If you want to start a business and you have very little capital, bear in mind that statistics show that 80% of small
businesses fail in the first 5 years. There are many reasons given, the main one being that a lot of new business
owners do not have enough capital to keep their business afloat.
My advice is to start with the basics, and as the money comes in, put it back into the business. You can start off
from home or a mobile service. This saves paying rent for a shop. Use all the free government assistance
available for small business. Look up on Google ‘Business Enterprise Centers’ and find one in your area. They
offer courses in Marketing, Budgeting for a Business and Strategies to Improve Profit. You will find like minded
people at these courses that you can network with, and who knows, they may need your business services in the
For extremely cheap business cards, pamphlets and sometimes offers of freebies, try Vista Print an American
based company. Do your research first, because if there is somewhere cheaper locally, its obviously a better
option and keeps the money in Australia. However, when you first start out you are always going to take the
There is also a government program called NEISS especially designed to help people start a new business. If you
are accepted for this program, they will pay you a fortnightly allowance, which works out the same as Job
Search, and you will not have to look for a job whilst on the program. This allows you to concentrate on building
up your business, and at the same time gives you the peace of mind with a small income. The program only lasts
for a year and after that you are on your own. There are a few conditions whilst on this program, like taking out
insurance for the business and having to keep a profit and loss spreadsheet.
It is a fantastic way to learn how to run a business, whilst being paid and not having to look for work, and at the
same time being supported by the government. Another site for helping you in business from the Australian Goverment is http://www.business.gov.au .
You need to start small. Have the basic equipment and a small quantity of stock. It’ll be trial in error to begin
with, but you won’t lose too much money if some of your stock doesn’t sell. Marketing is very important and can
be expensive. So word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective way of going about it. Another free marketing
strategy is your local newspaper or television station. They may be looking to interview people starting out in a
new business venture. All you have to do is ring them up and let them know you are about to start up a unique
business and ask if they would be interested in promoting it.
A friend of mine was starting up a bead business. She called Brisbane Extra who agreed to call at her home and
film an interview with her that later appeared on TV, thus promoting her business for free. The same goes with
your local newspaper. Take the initiative now and who knows you could have a thriving business in the very near
This is a guest post by Deb Diplock from Woodford Newspaper