A - Z of Australia Business Tips

Business Tips:

A is for the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

ABLIS is a free service to help you find the business licences, permits, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to meet your compliance responsibilities as a business owner.

ABLIS saves you time and money by making it easier to find information and comply with government business regulations. ABLIS also benefits businesses that operate across multiple states and territories, by providing a single place to search for information.

B is for Business finances

As a business owner, you can engage bookkeepers, accountants and other advisors to look after your finances, but ultimately the financial responsibility of your business lies with you.

C is for Connecting with customers

Connecting and listening to your customers can help you generate ideas to improve your business.

You can connect with your customers by:

  • offering your customers channels to give feedback on your products and services
  • conducting market research to better understand how your customers use your products and services
  • understanding the importance of marketing and branding for your business

D is for Debt

Cash flow is an important part of any business and it’s vital to stay on top of outstanding debts in order to grow your business.

E is for Events calendar

Keep on top of your community’s Events Calendar to find business events, seminars, training courses, and workshops around Australia.

F is for Franchising

If you’re looking to start a business, buying into a franchise can be a good alternative to starting a unique venture. Some of the benefits of a owning a franchise are:

  • the business already has stock
  • the business has established suppliers
  • the business has an established brand

G is for Grants and Assistance Finder

Finding government grants and assistance to help grow your business has never been easier. A variety of grants and funding programs, as well as advisory and counselling services are available for Australian businesses.

H is for Home-based business

Running a home-based business can offer many advantages including flexibility of work hours, having creative control, and the reward of watching your business grow over time.

There are plenty of resources for:

  • planning and getting your home-based business started
  • registration and licences for your home-based business
  • taxation and insurance for your home-based business

I is for Intellectual Property

Unique ideas and creations can exist in every business. Intellectual property (IP) represents creations of the mind or intellect that can be legally owned.

IP laws allow for protection through:

  • patents
  • trade marks
  • copyright
  • registered designs
  • circuit layouts
  • plant breeder’s rights

J is for Joint venture

A joint venture is when two or more businesses combine resources, knowledge and skills to boost business growth. Joint ventures can vary depending on your business goals and the level of commitment you want to give to a project.

K is for Knowing your target market

To run a successful business you need to know all about your potential and existing customers and the marketplace you operate in. Take time to regularly assess who your competitors are, including:

  • their strengths and weaknesses
  • who your customers are and what they want
  • whether there are any gaps in the market

Putting the effort into researching your target market will help you determine whether you can turn your idea into a profitable business.

L is for Licences and permits

If you’re running a business, it’s important to make sure you have the right licence or permit. Having the right licence allows you to operate without worrying about being shut down over non-compliance.

The federal, state and territory and local governments are all responsible for the different licences, permits, registrations and certificates that apply to business.

Search the ABLIS  website for more information on licences for your business.

M is for Marketing

A successful marketing plan can help you reach your target market, boost your customer base and, ultimately, increase your bottom line.

Good marketing helps your customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, your competition. Developing a marketing plan is essential for the success of your business. Regardless of how good your product or service is, customers will not always come to you, and you’ll need to bring them to your business.

A marketing plan should set clear, realistic and measureable objectives, include deadlines, provide a budget and allocate responsibilities.

N is for News for your business

If you’re in business, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest government and business news.

Keep current on news with  business.gov.au’s free email update service.

You can customise what information you would like to receive by selecting what state you are interested in, and choosing how often you’d like to receive the updates.

O is for Online business topic

Online business, also referred to as e-business, is any kind of business activity that happens online (over the internet). By trading online you can save time and money, reduce your overheads and reach a much wider market. You also make it easier for your customers to do business with you.

Online businesses can take many forms including:

  • websites
  • online shops or marketplaces
  • blogs
  • social media accounts

P is for Planning for your business

business.gov.au has a free suite of planning tablet apps, developed by business experts, that you can access anytime, anywhere. You can use these apps to create well-structured plans that are tailored to your business.

The suite of planning apps includes:

  • MyBizPlan – this app provides an interactive business plan template that guides you through the process of creating a solid, well-structured business plan, tailored to your business
  • MarketMyBiz – this app provides an interactive marketing plan template that guides you through the process of creating a marketing plan to help you achieve your business goals
  • MyBizShield – this app steps you through the process of creating a solid, well-structured emergency management and recovery plan, tailored to your business.

Q is for Quality management system

A quality management system can cover systems, processes and controls used in a business to improve its operations.

Quality management systems focus on the customer’s needs, and help with development in the areas of cost, reliability, quality, innovation, efficiency and business effectiveness.

R is for Registering your business name

A business name not only identifies you to your customers, but also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and enables your customers to make an emotional connection to your business and brand.

If you operate as a sole trader, partnership or a trust, and not as a company, you will have to register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

S is for Social media for your business

Many businesses use social media to promote their business, communicate with customers, and build their online profile.

Getting involved with online communities that use social media may help your business build relationships with customers and supporters.

T is for Templates

Planning should always be the first step in developing your business as it gives you direction and helps you prepare for a lot of what you may need to overcome in the future.

The suite of business.gov.au planning templates helps guide you through the steps of creating solid, well-structured plans for your business.

Use these templates to develop business, marketing, succession, and emergency management and recovery plans for your business.

U is for Understanding your tax obligations

It’s important for business owners to understand how taxes can affect their business. You can save money by paying the right amount on time and by taking advantage of any exemptions that you may be entitled to.

V is for Videos

You can find business videos on starting, running, and growing a business in Australia. From finding a business advisor to developing your marketing plan, videos cover all of the tools and resources you’ll need for your business.

You’ll also find videos on a range of business topics including tax, employing people, and intellectual property.

W is for Work Health and Safety (WHS)

Creating a safe work environment is critical to the success of your business, and is one of the best ways to retain staff and maximise productivity.

Knowing and understanding the work health and safety (WHS) laws will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness.

X is for ‘X-porting’ (exporting)

Looking to expand your business through exporting?

Exporting can:

  • open your business to new markets
  • spread risk by reducing dependence on the local market
  • increase your competitiveness

Y is for YouTube for your business

Every day millions of people (potential customers) watch, share, and comment on videos posted online.

YouTube is a powerful way for businesses to connect with their audience by:

  • demonstrating their skills
  • launching new products
  • asking for feedback
  • increasing the search engine optimisation of their website by linking their YouTube videos to their website

Z is for Zoning permits for Businesses

Changes and modifications to business premises are likely to require permits relating to zoning, approvals and inspections.

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to adhere to the planning and building regulations.

A good place to start is by contacting your local council’s building or planning department for the relevant permits and approvals for your business.

 

For these topics, or other business-related information, visit the ABLIS  website.

 

(Adapted from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald)