Starting a new business is a bit like going on a first date. You have prior knowledge of the person you are meeting and an expectation of things in common. You choose a look that you feel comfortable in and think will be attractive to them. You look forward to sharing your ideas, skills and passions with them. But at the back of your mind is a nagging fear that it will all go wrong and you would be better off cancelling and staying home with a cup of cocoa and a good book instead.

What if there was a way to ensure it was the beginning of your happy-ever-after instead?

Good news! There is a lot you can do in the preparation stage of setting up a new venture that will help make that happen.

I know what it is like to start a new business, and here at Muritai Group, we create marketing strategies and brand experiences that work to make your company a success.

Here are our top ten things to do when starting a new business.

1. Have a plan

Winging it rarely works and your chances of surviving your first year in business are virtually zero if you haven’t put some time and effort into formulating a business plan first. If you have no idea where to start, the Government has created this handy little guide to creating a business plan or better still, seek advice from a qualified business planner.

2. Create achievable goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound and are what your goals should be. Divide them into short, medium and long term goals for your business and communicate them with others in your team. If you are a sole trader, share them with an advisor or a trusted friend who can act as a cheerleader on the days when you doubt yourself.

3. Do your homework

You might think you have the best business idea since sliced bread but is there a market for it? Your business plan should include a section on market research. Check to see if someone else hasn’t already cornered the market, or if demand for your product or service is on the rise or waning.

4. Attract the right customers for your business

Just like dating, you will have more chance of success if you share the same values, goals and want to be with each other. Discover what makes you attractive to your ideal customers and use that knowledge to shape your branding, marketing and advertising. 

5. Keep ahead of the competition

Part of keeping customers loyal to your brand is knowing what your competitors are doing and ensuring your customers are not given a reason to stray and try someone else. Keep the passion alive and your customer coming back for more.  

6. Invest in marketing

Marketing is not a synonym for advertising. It is all of the points made in this blog post and more. Just as a good relationship coach will help you attract a partner for life, so to a great marketing agency will help you create a business that is attractive to your target market and profitable.

7. Get it in writing

Relying on a verbal contract can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make when beginning a new venture. No matter how firm the handshake, not having a clear set of expectations in writing can be costly and can set you up for failure.

Make sure you have a robust Terms of Trade or Terms of Engagement in place. The more these are tailored to your business, the more effective they will be. Get your lawyer to review your Terms of Trade or better yet, get them to prepare them for you. This is one area where it is worth paying for good legal advice to give and your business the protection you need.

8. Take advantage of the help offered

Nobody wants you to fail, particularly the Government, as business is good for the economy and there is a myriad of free online guides available to help you get started. Never underestimate, however, the savings in time and money to be made by employing an expert to help navigate the tricky bits and give you a firm foundation from which to launch your business idea.

There is Government assistance currently available to receive expert advice along with other funding. We are also an approved advisor for the Regional Business Partner Network, who offer business capability funding. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you.  

9. Your brand is more than a logo

A company’s brand is more than a logo; it is a promise of an experience and is shaped by all the words, actions, and perception that people receive when they interact with your business. Included in the business plan should be details of your brand promise and how you want your company to be viewed by others.

10. Hire the right people at the right time

Not having the capacity to fulfil your customer’s expectations has been the downfall of many businesses. As has hiring someone because you needed them now rather than because they were a good fit for the long term. Before you hire, take some time to figure out:

  • what skills do you need
  • how flexible do they need to be, i.e. are their skills transferable
  • what values do they need to fit in with your brand promise?

Taking the time to do your research, planning and goal setting before you open for business will give you a far better chance of surviving your first year than those who choose to give it a go and see what happens. Just like those who prepare for that first date are more likely to get a second.


Give us a call or email us to discuss your plans for your new business and how we can help you create your marketing strategy and brand promise.