Starting a Business

Getting Started

Whether you have a great idea for a business or are looking to take over an existing operation, having accurate information about your business obligations, the industry market you are entering, competitors and understanding your finances is vital to building a successful venture.

To give yourself and your business every chance at success, you need to fully understand what is required through thorough research and planning before you make your decision and begin operating.  This is so you can make the best decisions for your business.


Before you start

Before you start a business, you should answer a few important questions.
Your answers will help you understand whether you are ready to start a business and whether your business idea is likely to succeed:

  • Hobby or business?
  • Will your business idea work?
  • Do you have the right business skills?
  • How will you finance your business?


Hobby or business

Is what you’re doing actually a business, or just a hobby? Ask yourself:

  • Is your activity being carried out for commercial reasons and in a commercially viable manner?
  • Do you intend to make a profit or believe that you will make a profit in the long term?
  • Is there repetition and regularity to your activity?
  • What is the size, scale or permanency of your activity?
  • Is the size or scale of your activity consistent with other businesses in your industry?
  • Is your activity planned, organised and carried out in a business-like manner? Do you have a business premises, licenses or qualifications and a registered business name? Go to the Australian Taxation Office’s website.
Will your business idea work?

Not every idea becomes a successful business so ask yourself:

  • What is the market for your product or service like and how big is it?
  • Who would your customers be?
  • Who would your competitors be?
  • How would your product or service be different to your competitors? Why would customers come to you before your competitors?
  • Has anyone tried this business idea before? Did they succeed or fail?
  • What regulations will apply to your business?
  • What will be the cost involved for your business?
Do you have the right business skills?

Do you have what it takes to run a business?

  • Are you a motivated person? Do you have drive, ambition and initiative?
  • Do you interact well with other people?
  • Are you a leader?
  • Are you an effective decision maker?
  • Are you prepared and able to work long hours?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • How do you handle change? Are you flexible and adaptable?
  • Are you an organised person?
How will you finance your business?

Start-up costs for a business can often be quite high so you need to consider how you will finance these. Initially, you may need to pay for premises, vehicles, stock and equipment. You also need to consider the cost of fees will need to pay, such as registration, license, insurance, legal and accounting fees as well as staffing costs (including income for yourself).


Local support for starting a business

Northern Sydney Insitute TAFENSW Brookvale Campus 

Northern Beaches Campus offers courses in automotive mechanics, business, building, community services and welfare, digital media, event management, fitness, hair and beauty, HSC, general education, marketing, maritime, office administration, technology, tourism and hospitality, visual arts and ceramics and welding. - See more on the NSI Tafe website

‚ÄčNorthern Beaches Community College

Northern Beaches Community College is a non-profit making association, governed by a College Council elected by its members annually. The College receives a small grant from the Department of Education & Communities for delivery of vocational training. It is their business, as an integral part of the community, to provide quality educational programs at affordable rates to meet the needs and interests of adults.

Local Business Networks

There are many local networks in the area that offer support to local businesses. See our Business Networks section for contact details of local networks.