As the 2015 StartupAUS report states, “Australia is at a crossroads.” Transitioning from an economy “based on resources, primary industries and domestically focused businesses to one based on high-growth knowledge-intensive businesses that can compete globally.”
Australia has not kept at-pace with the global evolution of high-growth technology-based companies, and has one of the lowest startup formation rates in the world. This is a missed opportunity for economic growth that StartupAUS are trying to rectify. Over the last few years there has been an upswing in the number of startups in Australia, following greater awareness and media attention. Startups will likely be the businesses of the future, focusing more on technology-based ideas with the capacity to grow massively and on a global scale, versus the more traditional small business, that focuses on a singular geographical location and a less differentiated product or service.
If you’re interested in creating a startup it may be good to keep a few things in mind.
Focus on one particular product or service; it will be easier to add others once you’ve set up the first one successfully (Facebook began as an exclusive service and then became global after finding success). You’ll have time to really focus on that one particular offering and adapt that before complicating the process with other products or services.
Chasing too many ideas instead of committing to a single one and developing it, is a common mistake and an easy one for first-timers to make. When you’re starting up you’ll probably find that new ideas seem to pop-up constantly, but keeping things simple and not overwhelming yourself or your employees by adding or changing goals is the best thing to do while developing your business.
Keep those ideas for once you’re more established in the market. Having short term goals will help to adjust your expectations, but thinking ahead about what the future may hold will also allow you to create a bigger picture, which will be important for once your initial goals are achieved.
It’s important to know your place within the market, how many businesses already do what you plan on doing, do they do it well? Are you different enough to stand out? Think about four of the major players in the social-media market, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They share a place within the market that has allowed for massive growth for all four; they’re similar enough to feel familiar to most users, but have different enough purposes that all four have been able to retain relevancy. Find your niche within the market and stick with it until the business has established itself.
It’s also important to think about where you see yourself within the business. At first you may find yourself with a hand in every pie, taking up tasks you never thought you would be doing. This will not only help when dollars are tight, but will also give you a better understanding of how the business is run in every way. But if you find success, where do you see yourself within the business? Do you plan on staying with the business until you retire, perhaps as director or CEO? Is your plan to develop the company and then take more of a backseat role, perhaps handing the reigns to an established CEO? Are you planning on selling once the business has been developed? You may find change your mind depending on the growth level or success of the business, but it’s important to think practically about what you are capable of doing.
The Government’s Entrepreneurs Programme may be of assistance in helping get your new venture started. The three elements of the policy can help to commercialise novel products or services, review business operations and help provide strategies for business improvement, or identify knowledge gaps that may be preventing business growth.