In the first quarter of 2022, investors drove $866 million into 72 Australian startup deals. This was a record number for Australia, with the same capital raised in these three months as in the entire first half of 2021.

This thriving landscape has led to more people investigating how to start a business in Australia.

Seven steps to start a business in Australia

Starting a business is an exciting step in anyone’s career. For the best chance at success, it’s important to go into the process with a robust plan. Here are seven steps to help get you started on your business journey.

  1. The kick off:
    Whether you’re starting a business on your own or with others, sit down and get clear on the basics. This includes the business structure, purpose, target audience and goals.
  2. Research:
    Once you’re clear on what you want your business to look like, it’s time to hit the books. Read up and create a list of all the financial, legal, administrative and creative factors required to set your business up for success.
  3. Connect:
    Reach out to other professionals who can help set up your business and continue to work with you as it grows. This could include an accountant, lawyer and business coach.
  4. Planning:
    Now it’s time to start actioning anything you discovered in the “Research” stage. Ensure you have an Australian Tax File Number, any required licences and permits, insurance, payment systems, and anything else identified along the way.
  5. Funding:
    Hopefully you will have established your business costs in the “Research and “Planning” stages. Depending on the nature of your business, you may require external funding to get started. This could be through private investment, bank loans or grants.
  6. Marketing plan:
    No matter how valuable your product or service is, the business won’t succeed unless it reaches the right people. Develop clear, compelling branding that speaks to your audience and find out how to reach them. This may be through social media, paid advertising, PR or SEO.
  7. Get started:
    With all the research, planning and outreach completed, it’s time to get started. Depending on your offering, consider hosting a launch. Then, it’s a matter of maintaining all the hard work you’ve put in as you begin to operate. Aside from the day-to-day operations of the business, report on your progress regularly to ensure what you’re doing is sustainable. Moving forward, you may wish to consider hiring staff, refining operations and adjusting your marketing plan.

The benefits of starting a business in Australia

The growth of the local startup industry has made it a particularly good place to consider how to start a business in Australia. Some of the benefits include:

  • Startup hubs opening across the nation.
  • Ample networking opportunities.
  • Safe working conditions.
  • An abundance of Australian venture capitalists looking to invest.
  • Being part of a thriving and growing ecosystem.
  • Government incentives available to start a business.

The phenomenon of Australian business startups

Australia’s thriving startup culture is largely a result of the cultural, political and economic structures in place. An abundance of high-quality infrastructure, a strong market, and solid financial and legal frameworks have allowed Australia to continue to climb the ranks to become a leading country for starting microbusinesses and SMEs.

Additionally, the success of companies such as Canva, Linktree and Zeller, which all began as Australian startups, has helped Australia create a name for itself in this growing sector.

What is the biggest industry for Australian startups?

Australians are starting businesses across various industries, but none more so than fintech, one of Australia’s fastest growing industries.

With Australians becoming more technologically advanced, investors have been pushing more and more money behind businesses such as digital banking platforms, eCommerce apps and online payment systems.
Experts aren’t expecting the industry to slow down any time soon, with fintech predicted to continue to grow globally in the coming years.

What’s the failure rate for startups?

There is always risk involved with starting a business. In Australia, approximately 60% of new businesses fail within their first three years. A common thread among failed startups is a lack of experience and knowledge.
For example, a great business idea with plenty of funding will only get so far without stellar marketing. On the other hand, a business that looks great on paper but isn’t profitable also won’t last long-term.

It’s important for anyone investigating how to start a business in Australia to be aware of these risks so they can equip themselves with tools to mitigate them.

How to minimise risk when starting a business

Despite the risks, the data shows that Australians are continuing to try their hand at business ownership. Podcasters Terng Chen and David Bobis of Business Over Drinks have interviewed many startup owners and, in doing so, have gained a deep insight into why people continue to take the risk.

“People are now very aware that they don’t need to have jobs to be successful, accepted and even admired in life,” says David. He adds that people are drawn into the incentive of “making your own thing, creating your own story and not having a nine-to-five job”.

Terng and David have also gained an understanding of the key ingredients that make up a successful startup.

Have a smart leader at the front

Having encountered many examples of good leaders in their careers, Terng and David know just how much dedication, passion and skill it takes to create a successful business.

Terng explains that the best leaders are “exceptionally smart, exceptionally driven”, with David adding that they need to have a “phenomenal sense of self-belief”.

They also note some of the commonalities they’ve seen in leaders of successful businesses, including:

  • The ability to overcome mistakes.
  • The spirit to try new things when the old model isn’t working.
  • The tenacity and drive to not shy away from hard work.
  • A practical skill set beyond a passion for their business.

Understand expectations versus reality

People wanting to create their first startup often fantasise about networking with investors, creating a groundbreaking product and earning huge profits. David and Terng warn that going in with unrealistic expectations might cause the downfall of a new business.

“Many people go into it with the wrong expectations and then don’t understand what’s required to start doing business,” explains Terng. “Unrealistic expectations can force you into a path of unsustainable growth.”

Find your niche

Terng also sheds light on the value of finding the right niche for your business and that your company doesn’t have to be a household name to be successful.

“There are people who have really, really successful companies that are quite small and fit within a small niche within the industry. They’re not dominating, but they’re making money. They’re adding value, and they’re doing really well.”

Set yourself up for success

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for how to start a business in Australia, going into the process with experience, knowledge and realistic expectations is a great way to ensure you’re setting off on the right path.

  • Gain professional experience by working in other startups before creating your own.
  • Be observant.
  • Learn from your own and others’ mistakes.
  • Get to know the leaders who inspire you.
  • Sell or create something outside of your day job to get a taste of what it’s like to be a business owner.

Completing a qualification such as an MBA can also help to build a successful startup. By studying for an MBA, you will gain valuable knowledge from industry experts while meeting like-minded people.

Whether you’re an experienced worker looking to take the next step in your career or a recent undergraduate wanting to further your education, an MBA can give you the skills, experience and connections you need to get started.

Launch your new career with an MBA

Starting a business is an exciting career move. For the best chance at success, it’s important to set yourself up as a knowledgeable, confident and strategic leader. Completing an MBA is a great way to ensure you gain the skills and experience you need to make your business thrive.

To find the right MBA to guide you on your startup journey, speak to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors today. We will be able to assist you with the next steps and find out which degree will help you achieve your goals.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments