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If the thought of going into business scares you, you are not alone!

I have just completed my first year in business and I am not going to sugarcoat it, it was a rollercoaster ride, but one I wouldn’t change for the world and I’m super proud of my achievements this year.

I will tell you, that starting a business does require a lot of time and you certainly HAVE TO be resilient and passionate about your idea to get you through the not-so-glamorous times, but getting the basic business knowledge doesn’t have to cost a lot of money… in fact I got most of mine for FREE!

I found all these FREE local Darwin business resources fantastic and I believe they have helped me change my life and achieve such a successful year in business, so.. I’m going to share them with you, to make your life easier and so that your 2017 can be amazing and let you know that you don’t have to do it alone.

 

1. SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOP

Before you jump right in, attend the FREE Small Business Workshop run by the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) This was a 3 day FREE course which gives you an overview on business topics such as Business Planning, Book Keeping, Marketing, Business Structures & Taxation, etc This was a fantastic introduction to what it’s all about and to also meet local people in the same boat as you.

2. BUSINESS PLAN

Highly, Highly, Highly recommend you write a business plan. This will allow you to put in writing your business idea and allow you to evaluate, analyse, criticise and decide if your business idea has even a remote chance of success! It will also allow you to anticipate any ‘road blocks’ you may face and help to overcome them. Its not as daunting as it sounds, I simply downloaded the Free local Darwin business resource template from www.business.gov.au/businessplan and walk through it step by step.

 

I will warn you, it does take a lot of time. Allow yourself at least a month as it’s impossible to do it all at once and there will be ideas and issues you may want to bounce off a few people to get their opinions.

Get ready to put your critical pants on for this one! There’s no point lying and saying you are good at everything and that the business wont have any problems, that’s simply not true! Even the most successful businesses have tough times so be true to yourself.

3. OBM

October Business Month (OMB) hosts fantastic FREE local business events – attend as many as you can! Some great seminars I attended were from Captovate about Social Media & Website development, also from Boab about ‘Brand Matters.’ And if you are lacking in motivation the Keynote speakers are always great to get those business brain juices flowing! Naomi Simson, Sarah Wilson & Janine Allis are just some of the inspiring business people I’ve listened too at OBM. These events are also fantastic places to start your networking, so get those business cards ready!

4. LEGAL & ACCOUNTING ADVICE

I found all the legal stuff to do with setting up your own business quite daunting. We should all have some form of legal Contract with our clients but knowing what and how to write it was over my head, so I contacted the BEC. They advised that as part of their services to small businesses they offer FREE lawyer & accountant time. I took full advantage of this service & put together my items I wanted a lawyer to look over and they gave me 5 hrs FREE legal advice! (I know…. pretty much unheard of hey!) This has given me piece of mind that my butt is covered! 

5. TALK TO FRIENDS IN BUSINESS

I’m sure you all have friends, family or know someone in business. Chat with them! Don’t be scared too share your business idea with them. Chances are, if they are already in business they are not going to steal your awesome idea, they have already invested in their own amazing idea and friends & family will want to see you achieve. They have been there before and can steer you in the right direction. The business owners I know are proud of what they have achieved and only too happy help you on your way to success also! And if your stuggling to find anyone to chat to, there’s always me!

So there you have it, my top 5 FREE local business resources! And they say nothing in life is free!! Pfffff!!! I hope I have inspired you to turn that exciting/scary business idea into a reality. If you have the passion and persistence…. You are half way there and with these FREE local business resources you are well on your way.

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Stefney Schultz

Stefney excels in design. She has successfully delivered beautiful and functional interiors, to happy clients, many of which have gone on to win awards.
Stefney Schultz
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