Planning your business

Five ways to set up your new business for success

When you’re starting a new business there’s no time to waste, so setting it up properly from the start is important. Get off to a great start with these tips.

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In this article

Step 1. Start with a solid business plan

Flourishing businesses have one thing in common – a solid business plan. But it’s surprising how many people start a new business without one. Your business plan is your roadmap – and without a map, you risk losing your way.

Take the time to think through your business plan before you take the leap. It should show your:

  • Business goals and objectives
  • Budget and forecasts for your business
  • Competitive advantages
  • Key risks and how you’ll manage them.

Your business plan doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It’s simply a meaningful summary and map of the steps you need to take to achieve your business goals.

Step 2. Keep a close eye on your finances

This is important at any time, but particularly so in the first few months. Small businesses don’t always make money from day one, but the longer you run at a loss, the harder it will be to succeed. If you need help, ask for it early.

Step 3. Prioritise

When you’re running your own business it’s natural to think everything’s important – but you can waste a lot of time and energy doing things that don’t really matter. Prioritising how you spend your time is the key to achieving your goals (and keeping your sanity). 

Write a to-do list, then mark the most important things and focus on them. Only move on to other things when your priority tasks are completed.

Step 4. Have a sounding board

Running a business can be lonely, so having people you can talk to and bounce ideas off – such as a business mentor or ANZ Business Specialist can make all the difference. Advisers such as your accountant and lawyer can also provide valuable advice.

Step 5. Generate quick sales

A new business needs customers – and sales – fast. A targeted promotional plan for the first 90 days will help you get them. Here’s how to develop one.

Aim before you fire

Don’t waste precious time and money with a ‘scattergun’ approach. Marketing works better when it’s targeted, so build a profile of your customers and be as precise as possible. For example, if you’re selling technical equipment to the health industry, you might want to target purchasing managers of hospitals and clinics with more than 50 staff.

Set specific objectives for your promotions

For example, if you’re offering a subscription service, you might aim to gain 1,000 customers in the first 90 days. If you’re opening a café, you might be looking for a specific amount of customer visits and turnover. If you’re an online business, your objective might be to achieve 2,000 website hits a week with a 5% conversion rate.

Choose tactics to suit your target and objectives

Once you’ve defined your target customer and objectives, brainstorm 10-15 promotional tactics that match them. For example, flyers in local mailboxes might be a good tactic for a plumbing business, whereas an email newsletter and social media campaign is probably better for an online business.

Launch with a splash

Let people know you exist with a launch that gets attention. Could you create a launch event that gets media (or social media) coverage? This is where a marketing plan can help. Our guide breaks it down for you. 

Remember, you don’t have to get it perfect the first time around – getting it wrong can be a valuable learning experience. Don’t forget to measure how well you achieved your goals and keep an open mind so you can refine your tactics if necessary.

Starting a business

There is a lot to think about when starting a business, this video runs you through some of the things you can start checking off to get yourself open for business.

ANZ Business Start-up package

If you’re in your first two years of business, sign up and pay no transaction or monthly account fees on an ANZ Business Current account or a ANZ Business Flexible Facility for two years.

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