Starting a business in Melbourne during these unprecedented times is certainly brave. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an uphill battle. Challenges will arise no matter when you start your business. With some determination and a bit of creativity, you can overcome them. To help you on your entrepreneurial journey, here are five top tips for running a business in Melbourne:
Buying or leasing a commercial space doesn’t always make financial sense when you are still just a startup. The same is true when your industry is going through periods of uncertainty (a global pandemic definitely counts).
This is when serviced offices in Melbourne really come in handy. These are fully furnished private offices with internet and secretarial support based in the CBD and other popular business locations. The best part is, you are not bound by year-long contracts or bond payments and can use the space for as long as you need, whether it be a week or a month.
Once you set up your business, the phrase “you have to spend money to make money” will ring true. For start-ups, making money is likely to be a very slow game. In order to reduce your expenses and gain some support, you should be looking at your funding options.
Fortunately, there are many grant programs and government schemes available to small businesses and innovative projects. These include state government programs, council grants, and opportunities within your industry. The more you apply, the better you will get at grant writing and the better your chances are of receiving more funding.
Your tax obligations will vary depending on what type of business you own and whether or not you have employees. One of the first things you need to do is register your business for tax. The problem is, a lot of new entrepreneurs tend to do the bare minimum. This means they have barely any understanding of the taxation processes for business.
To avoid this pitfall, schedule a session with a reputable tax agent to learn about your tax obligations, how to handle your business record-keeping, and anything else related to business finances. You’ll be thankful you did.
It may sound cheesy, but connecting with your community can do more than just benefit your business financially. It will also support you and your staff emotionally. This is a broad piece of advice that involves initiatives like:
- Registering your business for local events
- Sponsoring or donating to local matters
- Offering discounts, incentives, and promotional products to local customers and stakeholders
- Connecting with local groups on social media
- Partnering with other local businesses
- Being responsive on social media
Creating these networks will help you to engage with your clientele, reinforce your brand identity, and overall feel a greater sense of connectedness.
Help is always a call away, but it will be easier to work on your support contact list today while you are stable. Doing so will ensure you’re ready for a rainy day. Know the names of people and sources of support you can rely on, such as:
- Relatives, friends, and peers
- Industry contacts
- Professional services (like a lawyer and accountant)
- Mental health services
- Business coaches or mentors
- Government relief programs
If there are any other contacts you can think of, record them too.
Never give up on your vision without giving it a good go. Once you’ve got all of the above points covered, you can get working on helping your Melbourne-based business flourish.