Many of my career coaching and career transition clients consider starting a business if they feel ready to leave the corporate world. They want to go it alone.

Especially when going through a redundancy, with a bit of a nest egg as a redundancy package, they gain the courage to try something that they previously thought was out of reach. But, there are many things to consider before taking the plunge!

I conduct ‘Road to Entrepreneurship’ workshops regularly at Lee Hecht Harrison, a global outplacement company, and also assist my private clients through the process of identifying and setting up a suitable business venture, and their marketing strategy to attract their ideal customers.

We always enjoy the exploration process and there are many questions. As there is so much to consider, when I come across great business resources, I like to share them.

The following is an excellent article by Vanessa Emilio, who writes for Flying Solo, and I’m sharing this in it’s entirety as it covers 7 of the important things to consider when transitioning into business ownership and setting up a retail business.

When it comes to starting your own business, most problems are caused by the things we don’t realise we don’t know. This article will help you get ahead of the game before you begin.

Starting your own business takes guts, a lot of hard work, some good planning and what will seem like endless hours of your time. Not sure where to start? Who to ask?

Here are the top questions I get asked about starting your own business:

1. Do I need to register a business name, company name or is a domain name enough?

business name must be registered if you are conducting business under a name other than your own personal name or if you do not have a Pty Ltd Company. If you are a sole trader and are running your business under your exact name, you don’t need to register. However, be aware that there is no protection for your personal assets if a customer makes a legal claim.

Pty Ltd company registration will protect your personal assets from most claims. Provided you are not fraudulent, grossly negligent or similar, any claim is limited to the assets of the company and they cannot make a claim against your personal assets. This is the best protection for your home and family. Consider starting out your business with a Pty Ltd set up right from the start.

“Most new business owners have very little money (read NO money) to spend at the beginning. So where is the best place to spend those limited funds?”

To register a .com.au domain you need to be a registered Australian business (Pty Ltd company, sole trader, partnership or trust) with an ABN.

2. What do I need to consider when naming my business?

You need to own your own business name – this is crucial. I’ve encountered too many situations where someone’s registered a domain, got a business running under that name … and then found out a little bit later that name is registered to someone else and have had to do an expensive re-brand.

To ensure the name you choose is available:

You need to be happy with your name so ensure you take the time to research, name and brand your business properly as it can be a very expensive process to rebrand at a later date. Smart new business owners will also consider trademarking their business name at this early stage. That way you will own the rights to the brand.

3. What are my obligations with regard to refunds?

As a seller of goods and services you need to know and understand your legal obligations as a business. Consumer law is very strict on regulating anyone supplying goods and services to Australian consumers. This includes non-Australian businesses or anyone in Australia supplying non-Australian goods and services to Australian consumers.

You have a minimum requirement as a business to offer a guarantee on your products or services. This means that even if you use an overseas manufacturer, supplier or drop ship, you still must abide by the consumer law requirements in Australia.

As a seller of products, you cannot send your customer to the manufacturer if something goes wrong, it is your obligation as a seller to manage this process and provide the refund or replacement.

So when can you say ‘No Refund’?

You do not have to provide a refund for someone who changes their mind or decides they don’t need it anymore but you do need to offer a free repair, replacement or refund if there is a problem with it, it is not as advertised, if it is faulty, or if it is not of acceptable quality or fit for the purpose intended.

4. Do I need terms and do my customers have to agree to them?

Terms of business go by a number of different names online; terms of use, terms and conditions, Ts & Cs. They are all the same thing. The most important thing is to ensure they are clear, up-to-date and cover your goods/services with a good indemnity, disclaimer and limitation of liability clauses.

You also need to decide how rigorously you want to be protected:

You have to assess the risk level in your business, your risk appetite and weigh it up against the commercial factor of having customers actively agree to any terms.

5. What are the most important things to spend your limited funds on when starting your own business?

Face it, most new businesses have very little money (read NO money) at the beginning to spend. So where is the best place to spend your limited funds?

Think about the top things that would attract you as a customer (to buy from your business), and invest money on those:

6. How do I know when to quit my full-time job?

This is THE most frequently asked question on everyone’s lips. It’s an individual decision but should be based on a number of factors including:

There are no hard and fast rules and it is near impossible to get the timing right. If you can afford to quit your day job, you should do it. If you don’t, you are handicapping your odds of your business being a success.

7. Is it smart to outsource overseas when starting your own business?

Outsourcing overseas can be a good experience or it can be a bad one. There are both pros and cons to outsourcing overseas.

The Pros: Potential to source less expensive/inexpensive talent, manufacturers and suppliers; more diversity in options; potential new products or services not available locally.

The Cons: Hidden costs may eat any savings you thought you initially made. You may not be able to control the quality of the goods/services produced as the country of choice may have different quality requirements, there may be little/no recourse for any contracts made in other countries, you may suffer reputational risk if the goods/services are not delivered as promised; you may have to offer refunds where you did not anticipate and cannot recoup so it may be an expensive venture in the end.

If you’d like support when thinking about setting up a business for yourself, let’s have a chat. Book in for a Career Clarity Chat here (it’s complimentary) and find out how I may be able to assist you.

Jane Jackson, starting a business, top career coach, career coach, sydney career coach, australia, hong kong, singapore, london, speaker, linkedin trainer, resume coach, interview coach, podcast host, top career podcast, careers, life coaching

I can highly recommend anyone thinking of setting up a small business to visit www.flyingsolo.com.au as you will find a wealth of small business advice and training to assist you!

2 Responses

  1. Thank you for helping me to understand how to start a business. Would it be a good idea to work with a civil lawyer when starting a business? A civil lawyer could help you get the licenses and permits you would need.

    1. It could be helpful. Certainly a civil lawyer is able to help with Employment Law in Australia. It would be best to find a lawyer who works in your geographic area and understands the regulations in your country. I see you are based in Nevada and offer legal services over there.

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