Starting a Small Business - Where to begin

Even with a great idea, starting a business can be daunting.

Even with a great idea, starting a business can be daunting. If you haven’t done it before, knowing what steps to take to get you started can be confusing. Below I have listed the key steps I took when creating my business, I hope these help you on your journey.

1.Do your research

Learn as much as you can about your customers and competitors. This is a vital first step and will help you when you’re writing your business plan.

2. Write a Business Plan

Get your business plan down on paper! It will help you lay out your goals, challenges, audiences, budget and define your mission, competitive advantage and product/services. This is generally a working document when you start out, as your business evolves you can add to it or make adjustments. A business plan is an essential stating point that will keep you in check and help you make decisions moving forward.

3. Decide on a business structure

There are different ways to structure your business, each with different obligations. Most NZ businesses are sole traders, companies, or partnerships. Find out more here >

4. Research Income Tax and GST requirements

What you pay and when you pay it depends on how much you earn and your business structure. Find out more here >  

If accounting and numbers aren’t your thing, and you have the budget, it could be worth talking to a small business accountant.

5. Check if you can use your chosen name for a business or a brand

Make sure there are no other businesses using the same name and check what domain and social profiles are available. The ONEcheck and New Zealand Intellectual Property Office websites are very helpful.

6. Get your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)

Registered businesses have been automatically assigned an NZBN. Sole traders, partnerships and trusts can apply to get one via the NZBN website >

7. Apply for Trademarks, website domain and social accounts

To register a Trademark, Copyright or Trade Secret visit the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office website. You will need to create a RealMe account to apply.

Licenses for website domains can be purchased through multiple providers. I use Freeparking, but pricing can differ so do your research. At this stage you may also want to think about whether you will build and manage your website yourself or hire a designer.

Depending on your target market and marketing strategy, business social media accounts can be created on relevant platforms.

8. Develop your Brand Identity

Unless you’re a confident designer, you will be looking for an external designer for this portion. Your brand identity is more than just a logo, it includes elements such as colour palette, fonts and photography guidelines, that help you maintain a constant visual identity your audience will relate to and remember. View our services >

Good luck!

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