How To Start A Small Business

April 22, 2016

Bit of a random diversion for Almost Posh, but a couple of months ago, I woke up one Friday morning, started a small business and was suddenly all:

start up 2016 graphic | Almost Posh

Okay, it wasn't quite that spontaneous (I had given it some thought the night before) but it was kind of that easy. I'd been doing some sideline work through various contacts as well as getting a small amount of income from the blog so decided it was time to get legit and make my hobby into a business.

Writemate logo | Almost Posh

If you're interested, it's called Writemate (your friend who can write, see what I did there?) and it offers content and creation services, editing, formatting, bit of this and that, you get the picture.

Here's what I did to kick off. Obviously, it may well be different for you, I'm not a professional and this is provided as information only. Do your research, consider the PDS available and if pain persists, see your doctor.

1. Get an ABN (Australian Business Number)

An ABN is what identifies your business - mostly to the government for tax purposes and also to your customers, verifying your legitimacy. When you google "ABN", the first sponsored results are for outfits guaranteeing to get yours for you in 15 minutes, low cost, no hassle etc. However registering for an ABN is free so I wouldn't be paying for it if I were you. has lots of useful information to determine whether you need one and what steps to take.

2. Register Your Business / Trading Name (optional)

You don't have to register a business or trading name if you're trading under your own actual given name but as I had dreamt up what I thought was quite a nifty business name, I thought I'd bars it within Australia by registering it with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This sounds heaps scary but it's not. You'll need your shiny new ABN to register and it will cost $34 for one year which is quite reasonable and may be claimed back on tax.

Work desk | Almost Posh

3. Buy a Domain Name (and scab up all associated social media handles)

Whether it's blogging or business (or both!) a domain name gives your website a professional look and helps people remember it easily. Don't be put off by how technical and computery it sounds, it's really not that hard to link a domain name to your existing website and most domain hosts provide tailored instructions or have support chat to help.

It's also more affordable than you might think. I've used Hover for both my domains. costs me $17 AUD for a year and costs $39 AUD for two years. I'd have liked but some scab was squatting on it and wanted like $14,000 USD for it. LOL, I said to them and offered them $20 AUD. To register an .au domain, you'll also need your ABN.

Protect your brand and business name by signing up for all the social media handles and keep them consistent across the lot to make it easy for your customers/readers to find you - even if you don't intend to use, say, Twitter, you want to protect your name as much as you can. Social media is where the people are and is essentially a low-cost marketing tool so it makes sense to try and use it for your business.

Working at laptop | Almost Posh

4. Build a Website (if you haven't already)

If you haven't already got a website or blog, don't worry. With easy website builders out there (like Wix, Squarespace, even Wordpress), it's pretty easy to smash out a simple yet cute looking website that you can then tie to your custom domain. Make it clear, concise, tell people what you do, give examples of your work and importantly, let people know how to contact you. (Or, you know, I can do it for you via Writemate, pluggity plug plug.)

5. Get some business cards

I was in my early 30s before I got my own proper business cards through work and although I have only used about seven of them legitimately, I still remember the thrill of handing one over like I was all grown-up and important. I now carry three lots around; work, Almost Posh and Writemate because I am THAT important. The two latter were super easy to design and have printed via Vistaprint - I've used them for loads of things over the years, they are always really affordable (and often have deals through coupon sites like Living Social), easy to navigate, loads of options and add-ons and they arrive really quickly. I went basic stock, uploaded my own graphics and am really happy with them both. Let me give you one if I see you because I have 247 of them!

Working | Almost Posh

6. Do Work / Make Money

Now that your framework is up, time to do some work! You can use PayPal to invoice for payments which is really easy and it means people can pay you with cards. Remember to track all your incomings and outgoings for tax time. I usually do my own tax via eTax but this year I think I'll consult a proper accountant to make sure I've done everything properly and claimed all my entitlements, which will include the cost of registering the business, the domain names, website premium package, business cards, blogger events (O HAI PROBLOGGER!) and any other expenses that might arise.


7. Get help

If all this has left you reeling, have a quick squiz around the Government Business pages for a starter. There are lots of good resources with checklists and calculators and all sorts of tools to get you started, with information relevant to your state or territory as well as support and advice articles.

Have you got an ABN for your blog or have a business name registered? Is there anything stopping you from doing so? What else would you advise others starting out to consider?


This is not a sponsored post, unless you count the plug for Writemate which is me anyway so essentially I'm sponsoring myself with precisely zero dollars or gifted items. For more information see my PR and Media policy.

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