So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your own virtual business? Well done, it’s brave.

But now what? Where do you actually start and what should you do. Let’s break it down, remembering that the order of these steps may differ depending on who you are, your previous experience and where you are on your journey.

Get Help

Starting any new business including a virtual business is a lot of work. There are financial, legal and regulatory considerations to weigh up before you choose the colour of your logo!

The best piece of advice I could offer would be to ask an expert for help. I worked with 121Temps when I set up my virtual business 5 years ago – and I still work with them today They’ve helped thousands of small business owners go virtual. This is what I do….

Define Your Service Offering

Some people find this simple, for others, it’s more complicated. There are many schools of thought on how you should earn a living – do you 1. do what you love or do you 2. do what you’re good at? Or, a combination of the two?

Guess what – this time it’s your choice! An easy way to start is by simply listing your skills. Remember – this will not only include things for which you have been awarded a degree or certificate. Once you have your list – choose several of the most appealing/profitable/sought-after and start there.

Nothing is set in stone and you’ll certainly find that your virtual business will evolve.

Test the Market

Do some research. Market analysis identifies, describes and analyses the products and services you offer. It includes

  • your target market,
  • your market share and
  • your competitors

Use this analysis to make decisions about pricing for your products and services and potentially the location of your business if it’s going to be bricks and mortar – of course, the advantage of being online in business is that this shouldn’t constrain you.

Not sure where to start? Ask family and friends, speak to local networking groups and businesses. Who do you know that you could speak to about your startup? Although it can be nerve-wracking to ask for help and opinions you’ll be genuinely surprised by how willing most people are to give. Time and effort invested in this step will really pay off.

Here’s a resource from the Qld Government on Market Analysis

Naming and Registering your (Virtual) Business

Yep – this is an exciting step! Before you dive in though – check that the name you want is available to use – domain name, social media profiles etc. and think hard about whether your chosen identity will resonate with your target market. It’s not easy to re-brand in future (although it is possible) so make this decision well.

Now the nitty-gritty…

  • Register your business name (Australia)
    ASIC is the body in Australia that looks after national registration of companies.
    • Choose the structure of your business.
      • If you have no assets then probably the best option is to register the name as a soletrader. In Australia, you can visit the Asicconnect website to check if your business name is available.
      • If you have substantial personal assets then you should consult with your accountant or business adviser as there are risks that you should be aware of.

Before you register your name, you should look up the name in the national Australian Business Register – as duplicates are not allowed.

  • Get an ABN (Australian Business Number) – apply online NB! you need an ABN to be able to invoice for your services in Australia.
  • Apply for GST – if your turnover exceeds $75,000 in any tax year
  • Register your Domain name
  • Search HERE to see if your name is available. This is the hosting partner for 121Temps and you can access a discounted hosting package from them. When you are ready, just email me for a discount code.

You can also start here….

Have questions? Please simply Contact me.