Small Business Start-up Tips for Melbourne Mums and Caregivers

If you’re a full-time mum or caregiver and are thinking of channelling some of your spare time into something that makes a bit of money, starting a small business is a great way of doing exactly that. On-selling beauty or lifestyle products, doing books, writing content, making crafts – there’s no shortage of creative and lucrative small businesses you can start . But start-ups require capital – either intellectual or financial capital – and here are some tips to get you going.

Pick your unique selling point (USP)

If you’re selling something, you must have a unique selling point. What sets you apart from the competition? What makes your product or service better than paying for it elsewhere? It might be one-of-a-kind pieces, added convenience, or expertise. Try to sum it up in a couple of sentences – as it will form the basis of your business.

Select the right structure

What kind of business are you starting? Will you hire employees? Are you only going to work for yourself? You need to select the right business structure – a sole trader, a partnership, proprietary limited, etc. This can affect how you pay tax, be it via BAS or quarterly instalments, payroll tax if you have employees, and other financial implications. If you’re unsure, see a tax accountant. The Chartered Practicing Accountants of Australia have a checklist you can download here .

Investigate available business loans

The most crucial ingredient in a business is investment – and the easiest way to obtain that is by investigating available business loans . A bank or lender will want to see your business plan – how do you plan to make a profit and pay back the loan? You need to investigate how much you need to borrow, the loan term, whether your business can afford the repayments in the short term as you’re likely spending more than you make, and whether you have collateral to put up to have “skin in the game.” If you do, you may be rewarded with a lower interest rate. The Victorian Government business site has more information here .

Get mentors and networking

If you haven’t studied business or are new to business as a rule, looking for mentors who have run successful businesses is a great idea. We have tips about budgeting and maintaining cashflow from experts ; and getting info from the internet is helpful. But it’s no substitute for real mentoring and networking. Think about joining Meetup or Facebook groups about mum or caregiver businesses, or small business in general can unlock a wealth of knowledge you can use in your own start-up. Also, it’s a bit of socialising when meeting up in person!

Other checklists to get you started

When setting up a business you also need a web presence, the right software, bank accounts, and insurance. The team at cloud accounting software Xero have a fantastic checklist for new businesses . The important thing is to do your research and have a go! You never know where your business might take you.

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