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Building your business toolkit

Max using a laptop
Marketing student Max Taishi Kiyuna

The good news for any start-up is that awesome ideas are all around you. The tricky part is turning an idea into a successful business, and for that you need a good measure of market research, a sound industry knowledge base and oodles of passion.

But before we get into the details of how you can transform an idea into a great business, let’s look at how you can maximise your chances of success.

Choose an idea that’s right for you

A good starting point is to look at the things that make you truly tick. If you’re really into food and drink, think about the ways you can build in the hospitality industry. Look at gaps in the industry has and get started on problem-solving them.

Take a leaf out of the book of wine industry players like Vinomofo. These off-beat and casual wine-loving entrepreneurs brought their idea from its conception in a small garage in the suburbs of Adelaide and took it to the nation. The “mofo” founders sent shivers up the spine of the big retailers by beating them to the punch in offering one of the first affordable, curated (and cool) online wine-to-your-door services in Australia.

Looking at those who have ‘been there and done that’ can give you some invaluable lessons and show you what’s possible.

Think about your own personal goals and values

Do you want to go global or do you want to make a big impact on your local community – maybe both? It’s important to work out a strategy for the short term and then forecast your dreams for the next five to ten years.

Although money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, your business is a personal choice and it should earn you the amount of money that is going to make you comfortable. Remember, if it makes you happy, then, it is a success.

Getting your idea off the ground

To get to your happy business place you’ll want to have a plan. A business plan doesn’t require a lot of tangible dollars, it just requires an investment of time into industry and market research.

If you need convincing that a business plan is worth it, just take a peek at the following stats:  The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recorded that 60 percent of Australian small businesses close their doors within three years of starting. Many businesses fail right off the blocks because they suffer from poor strategic management.

As you start your plan, the first thing to do is get an in-depth understanding of your competition and identify your points of difference.

Think about how you’ll market your business: do you understand your target market and know where to find them? Will you rely on word of mouth or a more sophisticated social media strategy? It all depends on the type of business you are looking to run.

A good tip is to be conservative and realistic in your financial projections. You’ll need to answer the all-important question of cash flow, how you’ll get it and do you if it's reliable.

Tailor your investment needs 

You’ll need to think about tailoring your plan to different types of investors, whether they are a private investor, an incubator, venture capitalist or the bank.

The key is in the research. The deeper you research the more chance you will have of success. It will mean you can actually have good conversations with people that will have an impact on your business. It will mean you can sell your idea. It’s how you’ll make your idea a reality. And like we said, there are awesome business ideas are all around you - here's 30! 

Our Diploma of Business gives budding entrepreneurs the skills to build a business through marketing, financial reporting, risk management and online solutions.

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