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Patrol 2.8 TD
nissan patrol
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1,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Gday all, after 20 odd years of working for others and going nowhere Ive decided to slowly branch out and start my own company (pc repair)

Just after some do's and dont's.

I have a 3 year plan to be completely independent as a repairer, in the meantime i will continue doing what im doing and earning enough to pay the bills while I slowly build my client base.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

So far I have:

1. Registered a company name (acn)
2. Registered my domain name
3. Commenced work on my website
4. Sourced a good accountant

Things to do:

Apply for abn
Organise business cards and business stickers.

I've read somewhere that most small businesses fail in the 1st year. I'm guessing too much too soon for some. I have patience. My goal is to be comfortably self employed by age 45.

Thanks
 

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KICKEN BACK IN THE BUSH
nissan gq
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4,690 Posts
The main reason many fail in the first year is they go too hard to quick
Buying everything up ,then come end of year no funds to pay for it all

Keep ya head level,WATCH people that dont pay their accounts
If the customer comes across dodgy,looks dodgy its a good chance they are
Limit the amount of $$$ work you do for first time customers

Good luck
 

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Patrol 2.8 TD
nissan patrol
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1,640 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm kind of blessed that my initial outlay is very minimal. Set up costs and advertising costs.

The running costs of the company will be very low, petrol and rego etc as i will be making house calls. I have a low but steady source of income as a backup with what im doing now, plus the wife works.
 

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GU8 CRD
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1,555 Posts
Depending on your personal situation, you need to determine how you will set up your business for the most tax effective purposes, as I can assure you it gets very, very monotonous posting off cheques to the ATO every month. Many small businesses start off as Sole Traders, but other options are Family Trusts (if you have lot's of kids) or even a Pty Ltd may be worth considering.

Statisitically, if a small business survives the first 5 years of operation, it will survive indefinitely. For a start up, you need to ensure you have enough capital to carry you until you have sufficient cash coming in the door. Relatedly, cash flow management is also very important, though will be made easier to manage if you do mostly cash (as opposed to account) jobs. Things that screw up cash flow are obviously not earning enough, but also growing too fast. A quick Google or your accountant should be able to point you in the direction of budget and cashflow forecasting spreadsheets you can use to estimate and track this data as you establish your business.

Good luck - it's an adventure!
 

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nissan
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8 Posts
You'll have to register your business with Fair Trading (on a state level) as well.

I absolutely recommend getting Public Liability insurance. It doesn't cost much- it'll depend on your industry but I pay less that $500pa for a $10m policy.

A business admin course and a business plan are well worth the effort. Never trust your accountant to tell you everything you need to know. Years ago I made that mistake and it cost me thousands.
 

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Registered
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636 Posts
Keep a record

Keep a record of where you gain each lead from. Personaly I get great response from my local paper, you need to find out what works for you.

Get yourself on the local radio station aswell.

Cheers Gordo'
 

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Nissan
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1,671 Posts
wheeler; A business admin course and a business plan are well worth the effort. Never trust your accountant to tell you everything you need to know. Years ago I made that mistake and it cost me thousands.[/QUOTE said:
X2 for that. It bankrupt me. Letterbox drops worked for me with advertising.
 

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nissan
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75 Posts
Good to see Tonka,must have big brass ones :rolleyes:
Ive been running a small business for over 7years would never go back working for some1 else...
My company is a Pty Ltd i had no choice,wanted to chase the big part of town which comes with what im into really.
Saying that dont go down that path,from what you have said you want to do all your work at the clients house cant see why you would need to be a Pty Ltd.
Best options would be Sole trader,partnership,or run under Family trust.
They all have adavantages and disadvantages,do you know anybody that works for themself?
If so talk to them get legal advice.......it could save you some dosh in the future :iconbana:
 

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nissan
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511 Posts
Just trying to the last time I had paid holidays, or sickleave, hmm 13 years . If your looking to employ its a whole different ballgame!

Do it because not knowing will eat you up, a key part of a start up ,is being willing to change directions if the market/fashion ets changes, and if need be have an exit strategy.
 

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LED ZEPPELIN
1995 GQ TD42 NA
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12,022 Posts
Seeing how hard my parents worked in their business (retail) put me off the whole idea, but after 23 years in the corporate world I regret not finding my own small business niche. Good on you for giving it a crack.

Some good advice here, I'll reiterate MQ MAD's advice to watch out for dodgy non-paying customers - the bane of my parents business, and a good mate just had his very successful building company go under because of an unpaid account at the wrong time.

Good accountant is paramount but yep don't rely on them to tell you everything.

See if there are any government/council incentives going in your area.

Join your local Chamber of Commerce, if such a thing exists where you are, and consider some form of sponsorship of your local SES unit and/or other voluntary organisations, or sports teams. Throw some bucks towards your local schools P&C so you can get a banner up when they have their annual fair or whatever they do. It's all about getting a name in your locality, and donations are tax deductible. Get some signwriting on your car for the same reason (and keep the car looking sharp).

Get Google ads on your website and look into ways to get your business returned on the first page of any search engines.

My wife has her own small business, I'll ask her for some ideas and tips for you.
 

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nissan
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1,175 Posts
X3 on the non payers thing, nearly broke my small business, and caused me much stress, plus as i found out the law protects the non payer quite well :confused:
 

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nissan
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75 Posts
Great work Glort,plenty of info and if you sit down theres even more to spill out.
There is never enough information regarding this whole life changer.
Tonka dont get down or worried about HOW much there is to do,or worry about keep your mind set and work till you have reached your goal.

The best thing you can keep as a reminder that anybody can get anywhere is that Good old Australia has had so many people that have worked there arses off with a limited education and have made it.
 

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174 Posts
Yeah ;- what Glort said ...

I spent thousands on advertising (well it was built into the franchise contract so ... ... )
but it basically got me nothing.
Greatest majority of my work came from just being seen to be doing good work, and the word gets around.

Pissy little one-off jobs for local councils turned into regular call outs, and some contracts, and, eventually preferred contractor status.

These same little one-offs also led to sub-contracting to people in similar businesses who couldn't achieve the results I was, in turn leading to these people becoming MY sub-franchisees!
 

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85kw of Brute Strength
nissan patrol
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829 Posts
good luck mate i honestly hope it goes well for you

often thought about buying a post office or something like that but i've been in my job 20yrs and got only 12 to go til retirement so i'll stay put i think.

i earnt $120k last year and just got a 4% payrise so i wont starve
 

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Premium Member
Triton n Lovin it.
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25,677 Posts
Word of mouth is your best advertising!;)
 

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BORDERTREK 4X4 & FABRICATION
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8,549 Posts
Good on you for having a go Tonka. Good luck with it.
 

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Nissan
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6,063 Posts
There is a rule of thumb for promoting a business and it goes something like this.

Put out 10,000 advertisements of some sort only about 1000 people will actually notice it, about 100 will read it, 10 will think about and if you are really lucky someone will contact you.

I'll assume for the moment that the one call turns into paid work more often it doesn't.

So let's assume you need 5 jobs a day to break-even that's 50,000 adds you need to put out everyday to bring in 5 jobs off the street so to speak.

As the other guys have said you have to make a niche for yourself by differentiating yourself from the crowd. Some of the best small business I know of have too much work because people call them and they don't even advertise, the business also took many years to develop.

As others have said don't over capitalize, most business fail in the first year because far to much income is spent on paying off the loan that bought the business.

But I commend anyone that is gutsy enough to give it a go! As long as you don't have to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to get started you can take the risk providing you have a partner (or other support such as starting your business part time) that can put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.

I wish you the best of luck.

Top thread with some great advice.

Cheers

Justin
 
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