Starting a business at the best of times can be daunting. Doing it as the world continues to face an unprecedented health and economic crisis can feel quite overwhelming.
However, entrepreneurs embarking on a new venture now are in good company. Some of the world’s best recognised new brands like AirBnB, Uber and Slack, launched during or just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) – underscoring that, in times of change, people are open to new ideas, new products and new ways of doing things.
To help foster and develop the ideas of the newest crop of budding entrepreneurs, particularly in a challenging new environment, MYOB has created a Start-up Guide for local businesses. The new Guide contains everything potential start-up founders need to know to establish their business – from what it takes to start, survive and succeed, to key details on budgeting, forecasting and hiring new employees.
MYOB NZ Country Manager, Ingrid Cronin-Knight, highlights that over 60,000 Kiwis set out on the journey to start a new business every year and explains there’s nothing that brings out innovation like overcoming new challenges and problem solving.
"Businesses like Hey Mama Movement - an online platform for group home workouts which launched in June - are ambitious and eager to get out there and help or provide a service to others. It’s this drive and determination that often leads to the creation of business during a crisis.
"However, while having a business idea is exciting, building a new enterprise takes a lot of effort and you need consistent focus and perseverance for it to be a success," says Ingrid.
The first steps to starting your own business
"The initial idea stage is one of the most exhilarating moments in your business journey," says Ingrid. "You’ll need to determine how you can turn your idea into action, validating your concept and identifying gaps in your thinking.
"The best way to start a business is to see if the customer will pay for your proposition — there is plenty of guidance available about creating a business plan and getting expert opinions — but the most important piece is that you have something a customer is willing to pay for because it solves a relevant problem for them,” says Ingrid.
"If you can get customers to part with money, then you can focus on the wider fundamentals of how you might scale and grow your business. Scaling and growing a business requires money and if you have cash coming in you can then reinvest it."
For new businesses in the planning stage, the MYOB Start-Up Guide includes information on how entrepreneurs can set up a structure for managing their finances, including advice on leveraging the use of the latest software – like MYOB Essentials – to help keep track of their cashflow, as well as tips on how to set a budget and create a financial forecast.
The Guide also breaks down the best business structures for different types of enterprises to suit both physical and online environments. Here, advice is offered on selecting a physical business location, with information on council requirements and consents, commercial lease requirements and considerations around becoming your own landlord.
The take-off stage
"In the final stage of launching your business, you need to plan how you’ll reach your customers – including evaluating the use of a website, social media and traditional marketing. It’s also worth thinking about who you might need on your team to help you grow and develop," explains Ingrid.
Ingrid says the initial start-up phase is a time where lessons are learnt and mistakes are made, but it’s also where your hard work starts to pay off.
"Be careful about how you use your time as there will be many demands on it. Also consider setting yourself up with a support network," says Ingrid. "This could be something formal, like an advisory board, or it could just be a group of people you are close with and have credible and relevant business acumen, who can help you as you approach new stages of your business’s development."
SMEs account for 97% of all New Zealand businesses. Fostering their development and continuing to support their success is imperative to the future of our economy.
"SMEs play a vital role in our economy by creating jobs, driving innovation and making a major contribution to our GPD," explains Ingrid. "Each new business adds something unique to our society and for those with a business idea, I encourage you to go for it; work hard and enjoy the ride."
The MYOB Start-up Guide is available to download here.
This article was created for MYOB NZ.