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June 6, 2022

7 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now to Kickstart Their Small Business Dream

7 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now to Kickstart Their Small Business Dream
H&R Block Small Business ambassador and finance writer Emma Edwards clues us in on how to kickstart your own business.

Have you ever dreamed of running your own business, working for yourself, and being your own boss? Don’t panic, I’m not pitching you an MLM.

I’ve been in business for 7 years. I began as a side hustler, and now work for myself full time – and I’m not the only one who has made the leap. The fallout of pandemic lockdowns, digital advancements, social media, and changing attitudes to work are leaving more and more people searching for something of their own. In fact, ABS data proved that the number of small businesses in Australia increased by over 15% in the 2020-21 financial year.

If you’re looking to kick start your own business, no matter how big or small, here are seven things you can do right now to get things moving.

1. Figure out your ‘why’

Being in business isn’t easy, especially when you’re starting out. Success comes from consistent action and motivation, which all starts with understanding why you’re in business. Maybe you’re solving a problem you’ve experienced yourself, maybe you want to help others, maybe you’re creative and want to build a life that allows you to create every day and make money while doing it. Whatever it is, get clear on why you’re starting a business. Not only will it help you stay motivated, it’ll help you make informed decisions about how to grow your business along the way. When your purpose is clear, so are your next steps.

2. Get on top of your tax obligations

If you’re starting a new business in Australia, you’ll need an ABN, which is basically how you tell the tax office about your earnings. Register for one via the ATO as a priority, as you’ll need one if you want to make money!

Then, get across the tax side of running your business. For most of us, it’s a learn-on-the-job situation, but being on top of record-keeping early on is a gamechanger. Keep track of all your receipts for things you spend, and make sure you’re reserving tax from every sale or invoice so you’re not caught short at tax time. There are apps and software to help you keep on top of your income and expenses, including ReceiptHub from H&R Block where you can digitally store receipts ready to make deductions.

3. Sell ONE thing

Yep, sell, baby! Start small and set a micro goal to sell just one thing. Whether that’s one product (e.g., a bracelet) or one service package (e.g., a logo design), selling just one thing helps you prove to yourself that you’re in business. Plus, it’s a great way to test the market and get feedback from your first customer to help you move forward.

4. Work out how much money you want to make

Take the learnings from your one single sale to look ahead and think bigger. How much do you want your business to make in its first few months, or first year? Coming back to your ‘why’ might be helpful here.

Is it a side hustle to support you on parental leave? Do you want it to be your full-time wage? Are you hoping to one day leave your corporate job? Think about your business in the context of your real life to establish how much it needs to make to be viable. Then, work backwards to begin establishing a pricing strategy. If you want to make $20,000, work out how many sales you need to make, or how many hours of your services you need to sell to get there.

5. Decide on your marketing channels

Marketing your new business doesn’t need to mean complex funnels and expensive advertising. It can be as simple as getting active in community groups, selling at markets, pursuing word of mouth referrals, or posting on your social media accounts. Work out where your ideal customers are and how you’re going to reach them.

6. Plan time to work on your business

The hardest part about being in business is remembering that unlike a job, you’re not paid for every hour you’re actually working. Time management and resourcing is critical. Remember to leave yourself time to actually run the business. Admin, invoicing, customer service, marketing – all of those functions need to happen alongside producing the product or service you’re selling. Give the business stuff the same respect as the actual business output, and you’ll find it easier to keep on top of things.

7. Get an accountant

When you’re first starting out in business, paying an accountant can feel counterintuitive. But speaking from experience, the earlier you get professional tax help, the better. The tax system changes often, and it’s easy to miss out on opportunities or make mistakes on your tax return. H&R Block offers a suite of affordable tax support for first time business owners, including a $0 first BAS offer if you’re required to lodge one.

This article was created in partnership with H&R Block.

Emma Edwards is an H&R Block Small Business ambassador and a finance writer and content creator based in Melbourne. She runs her own digital platform, The Broke Generation, where she has open conversations about money and financial literacy, with an emphasis on the psychological aspects of personal finance.

If you liked this article, you might like our feature about 5 simple ways you can boost your savings.

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