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With redundancies hitting the headlines, no doubt some are considering taking their career into their own hands by starting a business. But how do you know if you’ve got what it takes to make the leap into entrepreneurship?

With redundancies hitting the headlines, I’ll bet there’s a number of Australians considering taking their career into their own hands by starting up a business.

A big round of applause to anyone planning to take the leap into entrepreneurship this year and some words of advice: explore your chosen industry’s potential, case out your competitors, invest in good technology, build a strong website and plan your growth path well.

Regardless of any economic uncertainty, the world is your oyster – just make sure you keep it fresh. By that I mean take the time to really think things through before stepping onto the roller coaster and undertake a full SWOT analysis of your situation (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – both internal and external).

Also ensure you know how long your contribution money will last, how you will fund your home life at the same time (presume no income for a number of months) and calculate how long it will be until you hit a cash flow positive state – then add a big buffer to that, just as you would to mortgage repayments. Consider the variables!

MYOB provides the following top five tips for starting a new business:

1.    Thoroughly investigate the market, costs (those you can control and those you can’t) and competition. Spend plenty of time speaking to other business owners and people who could be potential customers and promotional partners while scouring the internet and other relevant reading material for information.
2.    Get help from professionals such as an accountant and business coach. It pays to pay for good advice from experienced mentors both initially and right throughout your journey as a business owner.
3.    Make a detailed, honest assessment of your purpose, objectives, tools and business growth path. A comprehensive business plan that you set your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks to will give you structure and allow you to mark your goals in small steps against a timeline.
4.    Promote your wares via your own website, which is where local and distant customers and potential business affiliates are likely to first find you. You could access an easy website creation service or work directly with an expensive website designer; you should also consider setting up an e-commerce option if relevant. Just make sure you get the impact you need.
5.   Invest in reliable, suitable business management software. Using technology will save you time while managing all the essential aspects of your business such as your cashflow, stock, customer segmentation, sales conversion and more – in turn helping you reach the steps that lead you to the milestones in your business plan.

Most successful businesspeople follow a well-planned growth plan that ensures their IT, accounting files, marketing campaign activities and customer relationship management records are constantly updated while their customer and business partnerships are continually nurtured and their website is regularly refreshed. And they aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. Can you follow that path?

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Kristy Sheppard

Kristy Sheppard

Kristy Sheppard is MYOB's manager for public relations. She has more than a decade of experience in the public relations space, spanning B2C and B2B corporate and consulting roles within the technology, financial services, franchising and FMCG industries. At MYOB she delivers programs communicating its vision, business advocacy stance and milestones as it advances products towards and within the online landscape.

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