Determine if you are ready
Going into business for yourself for the first time will change your lifestyle, professionally and personally, and can involve a significant financial commitment.
Whether your business succeeds or fails depends on many things including your abilities, initiative and capacity to work, as well as the economic and business environment.
Assess whether you are ready and your business skills.
- Assess your business idea
The only way you can know if your business idea is going to work is by undertaking market research. This could involve researching information on the industry, undertaking competitor analysis and surveying potential customers. Determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of your business idea.
Analyse your market research with an open and unbiased mind. If your research shows that a proposed business venture has a high probability of failure it would be unwise for you to proceed.
Read our section on the feasibility of your business idea for more detailed information. IBISWorld reports covering more than 500 industries can be viewed at our business information centre. You can also request industry benchmarks by contacting one of our business advisers.
- Build your business plan
Although initially it may seem like a lot of work, a well prepared business plan can save time and money in the long run and help you secure funding and major contracts.
Learn more about business planning and use our template to complete your plan.
- Choose your business structure
Once you have established the viability of your business idea, you will need to decide on the structure that best suits your business and its particular circumstances.
Learn more about business structures and their tax implications.
Check your legal obligations
There are legal obligations associated with starting a business including licences, registrations, taxation and insurance.
Before your start trading make sure that you understand your legal obligations in order to avoid any fines or penalties.