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How did you get started?

Discussion in 'General Business Chat' started by Blacky, 5th Sep, 2016.

  1. Blacky

    Blacky Member

    Joined:
    3rd Sep, 2016
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Overseas
    Im keen to move from a wage slave into my own business - and have a few ideas.
    I have experiance in running and operating businesses which were owned by others, and I believe that I can do it.

    However Im struggling with the begging piece of the puzzle. I earn a very good salary now - and work only 1/2 the year. However, Ive pretty much reached the top of my salary possibility (may get some small increases but inconcequential).

    How do I go from here to starting my own company - without simply replacing my job with a job I own (for the same or less $).

    Be interested to hear how people got started.

    Blacky
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    24th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    158
    Location:
    Sydney
    What are your skills? Are you looking to apply your existing skills to a business? Or start from scratch?

    What type of business are you interested in?

    At the end of the day - just picking something at random because you can make money isn't always going to get you very far IMO ... because you need something that motivates you, excites you and keeps you getting up and putting in the hard yards when things aren't going so well. You need a passion, else you're just swapping your easy salary for a life of stress, no sleep and a lack of security.

    I note you are overseas - are you looking to start a business OS, or in Australia?
     
  3. Terry_w

    Terry_w Active Member

    Joined:
    30th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    37
    Location:
    Sydney
    Start it on the half of the year when you are not working - if it doesn't work out you can always go back to work.
     
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  4. AllThat

    AllThat New Member

    Joined:
    31st Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    2
    Location:
    Sydney
    It may not be an advise which may apply to you, but we had to start it because my husband could not get a job. This is probably a not a good example of how to start a business. Changing from an employed painter to a professional painter, the only advantage would be being able to claim travelling and office expenses to the business.

    Currently, we are about to start an export business after finding a customer/distributor in an Asian country who wants to import this Australian good. He has been importing it for over 30 years, but the company which provided the goods changed hands multiple times and his orders have been put on the sidelines, which gave me the opportunity to jump in. If it picks up again where it used to be, it will be more than an average person's income for several hours of work spanning over 3-4 days every two months but this amount is not enough to pay someone by a large business with turnover of $10B a year.

    Anyway, my advise to you is try to set aside couple of weeks a month and focus on building the new business- getting the structure, test the leads, set up website, email, ABN etc and see how you go.
     
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  5. Blacky

    Blacky Member

    Joined:
    3rd Sep, 2016
    Posts:
    11
    Location:
    Overseas
    looking to apply existing skills/knowlegle.
    Mostly in services functions (rather than products/retail).

    I have a number of ideas (about 5) some of which are related and could leverage off each other, others are completely seperate business and industries.

    Im overseas - however, the business(es) will be Australian based

    Blacky
     
  6. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Member

    Joined:
    2nd Sep, 2016
    Posts:
    5
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I always planned to start my own business, although I kind of fell into it in the end.

    I'd gotten pregnant unexpectedly about a week after walking out of a company I didn't enjoy working for, all just a few weeks before I got married. I had planned to get another FT job after the wedding/honeymoon and despite only being about 7-8 weeks pregnant when I returned I couldn't in good faith take another position.

    Instead I decided to do temping work for the interim, with the plan of going back FT after. Although I found that every company I worked for during that period I didn't enjoy. Bad systems, poor staff members, disinterested directors etc.. The companies I worked with were anywhere from large franchises, through to small independents and included some agencies that I always wanted to work for initially because I thought they had such a good name, the reality was very different.

    I already had my licence, so decided I'd start my own company as I knew I could do it better. I didn't want to put my name to a company I didn't believe in and one that wouldn't listen to the ideas I had to make things run smoother or ones that didn't care about their employees. I spent a year setting things up slowly around a newborn and other temp work.

    I did it earlier than I planned, but I don't regret it.

    If you have some spare time, start planning now. What are you going to do, how, what buffer do you need to survive x months without income, how are you going to find clients, set up costs, systems, procedures etc.
     
  7. Propagate

    Propagate Member

    Joined:
    30th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    13
    Location:
    VIC
    I've copy/pasted my story below from a similar thread on PChat, wasn't too difficult for me as I'm leveraging off my own experience, I'm still on the tools doing what I know how to do and have a good relationship spanning years with old clients. The only additional things I had to learn was how to effectively manage a small business, (cash-flow spreadsheets, accounting and payroll etc). None of which was/is particularly difficult if you put the time in to understand it as you go and for us, being small, nothing takes all that much time. As we don't stock, manufacture or supply anything that also helps keep our book keeping simple.

    From PChat thread:-
    --------------------------------------------------
    My company is now 3 months old and going great guns.

    I am a structural draftsman, (commercial & heavy industry type stuff). Served my time drawing Oil Rigs for the North Sea back on the River Tees, North of England 25 years ago until the industry died in the late 90's. Jumped over to nut & bolt drafting from Oil & Gas whilst mates were still chasing the Oil money all over the country, (of which there is now none and they are pretty much all out of work).

    My last "boss" retired in March, so myself and my colleague (& friend) who I ran my bosses company with started up on our own.

    We have taken on a great office 4k from my home in a great, quiet little village. There are the two of us as director/owners (also on the tools) and two staff, (although one guy has just retired so just the three of us now).

    We have got so much work it's just not funny. We had a great reputation in the industry but my boss rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way, so once people found out we were going out alone the tenders came flooding in. We've been turning work away.

    We'd love to take on another one or two people but it's extremely hard to find the level of draftsperson at the moment that we'd really need. We'd like to put on an apprentice at some pint in the future once we've got a suitable buffer behind us to be able to properly commit to one.

    We've massively streamlined our operating admin compared to how my boss ran the last company. With the advent of cloud based accounting and project management tools, (Harvest is a fantastic tool for managing our estimates and time tracking which we can then translate directly to Xero accounting for invoicing). It's so simple that I have been able to set up all our payroll, manage our accounts and do all of our book keeping in just a few hours each Friday without the need for a dedicated book keeper.

    So far, so good. August was our biggest invoiced month to date and last week we won our biggest contract yet and we have about 8 weeks worth of work committed to in front if us, which is about the best you can do in this game.

    Just looked at our tender list, we've quoted over $2.5m of work in 3 months. Some we won, some we lost, some don't & won't become projects and some are still pending and in with a shot. Hit rate is around 10% in this game and we're tracking pretty much dead on that at the moment.

    Happy Days!
    --------------------------------------------------

    So, in short, nothing really changed for me other than no "boss" anymore, I have to take the risks but I also now can reap the rewards.
     
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  8. Freddy G

    Freddy G Member

    Joined:
    19th Mar, 2017
    Posts:
    8
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi Blacky,

    I'm just about to start my own consulting business because I feel that I can service the industry I was in a lot better than existing consulting/agencies that looks after that space so I am very much interested in this thread.

    Cheers,

    Freddy
     
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  9. 2 Dollar

    2 Dollar Active Member

    Joined:
    30th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    27
    Location:
    Here
    Started a business from home while working full time.
    That way there's no pressure of overhead costs to cover and any extra cash is good.
    Turned out much better than expected and ended up making lots of money.
     
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