Starting your own sole trader business is an exciting time with so much to consider, plan and get into action. One of the best things about starting your own sole trader business is that you get to be your own boss, meaning you have full control of the way you do business.
You’ve worked hard at getting to this moment to go it alone, so it makes sense to take all the right steps so you’re around in the sole trader business for the long run. To help make things a bit easier, we’ve found some of the key things you need to keep in mind before you launch your sole trader business.
Start with a plan
Now that you’re making your brilliant sole trader dream become a reality, it’s time to create a plan to help you stay on track. Opening a business without any real goals or systems can cause major problems before you even make your first sale.
A business plan may include some of the following areas to focus on:
- Money matters, so make sure they are all in order and that you’ve had a chat with a financial professional
- Design a marketing roadmap with plans on what you are going to do to get your name out there and let people know that you are open for business.
- Create some goals that you would like to see your business achieve and some action items on how you are going to make them happen
- Get to know who your competitors are, so you can things differently and can stand out from the crowd
Ensure you have capacity
The first few stages of starting your sole trader business are going to be a bit of trial and error, that’s why it’s vital to understand the extent of your business limits and capacity. While the temptation to take on every job that comes your way may be high, there is the real issue of overcommitting. This could lead to your business promising to get jobs done but failing to deliver, which isn’t a good look, especially in those crucial early days.
Being a sole trader means you have the control to manage your workflow. You can manage the types and the number of jobs that you take on. Having a healthy balance avoids burning out too quickly and potentially wrecking your business’ reputation.
Some things to keep in the back of your mind when calculating your capacity:
- Have you hired enough staff? -Once your jobs start to pick up you may need to look at hiring external help. This may be in the form of an office assistant to help manage your customers, an extra pair of hands when working out at a site, or another barista to help with all those never-ending cappuccino orders!
- Have you got the right equipment to do the job at hand? -Different kinds of sole trader businesses will require different tools of the trade and equipment to help get the job done right. Take the time to make sure you have everything you need before taking on a job only to be caught out without it.
If you don’t have the cash right now to splash out on brand new items, look at hiring or purchasing them second hand.
- How is your financial capacity? -You may find that your sole trader business is starting to grow faster than your cash flow. If this is the case it may be worth having a chat with business banker. They are financial gurus who can provide professional advice and are able to provide options to point you in the right direction.
Understand your obligations
Different businesses will have different rules and laws they will need to check to ensure they are being compliant. If you are ever unsure it may be a wise idea to check with your relevant industry body and relevant government bodies.
A couple of things you might like to check:
- If your business requires certain registrations and licenses, make sure you have these all approved in place before you start your day-to-day operations.
- Beware of any health and safety regulations which may need to be in place.
All systems are go
Let’s face it, systems are here to make our life easier and there is almost one for everything. Running your own sole trader business means you are more than likely wearing many hats, so getting some systems in place can help manage your business and free up some time.
You may want to look at getting systems for:
- Managing your customers (Customer Relationship Management)
- Keeping your books squeaky clean with accounting software/ apps
- Making sure your clients pay on time with invoicing programs
- Automating social media posts to help with marketing your business
Sort out your business insurance
Now that you have but all these grand plans in place, it’s time to protect your sole trader business with the right kinds of business insurance. Whether you’re a tradie, a yoga teacher or mobile beauty artist, there are a variety of different types of cover out there to safeguard it.
One of the fundamental types of cover you may need to think about is Public Liability insurance.
Public Liability insurance* is designed to provide protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or member of the public are injured or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.
Other types of business insurances that you need to consider are things like Portable Equipment insurance*, designed to protect your valuable tools of trade, covering you for loss and
damage to items of portable equipment associated with your business. These can include tools of
trade and items of stock.
While you’re busy setting up your sole trader business, let us take the drama out of shopping around for your policy. At Public Liability Australia we want to make getting your cleaning insurance easy and hassle-free.
We understand that no two sole trader businesses are the same, and there’s no single solution when it comes to insurance, so you have the freedom to customise what type of insurance your business needs.
Multiple competitive quotes from selected leading Australian insurers are only a few clicks or a phone call away. Select the policy to suit your business and be covered in minutes.
* This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
Public Liability Australia is a business name of BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769)sole traderstarting a business