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    • Total posts: 8

    Hi all!

    I am brand new to this website and need some help!

    Firstly, here is my background. I am a mechanical and Chemical Engineer that is looking at a carrier change… My husband started his Town Planning company a year ago (going very well!) and I have been studying Interior Design. In a few months I’ll be ready to “launch” the Interior Design side of the business. My mother is also an artist and I also want to launch her art as part of the company.

    So the company at the moment is $%$PlanningServices.com (I assume I cannot write the real name which is why I used the $%$ sings).

    I would like to have $%$DesignServices.com and maybe $%$ArtServices.com (unless the art is part of the design part…).

    Or I may even give it two completely different names….

    For the Design part of the company I would be working with a friend. My husband has already an employee for his Town Planning side of things.

    So am I right to think that going under different trading names is the way to go? With separate emails etc?

    Now my next question… I was thinking about doing a Cert IV in “small business management” but then read that it’s a waste of time and that all you need to know is available for free online. Id there anyone who knows any good websites/YouTube videos etc? Mostly for the legal side of things, company structures etc (as you can see I don’t know too much!), Finances (I’m great with numbers but don’t know the tax intricacies etc etc, Marketing (how to make my website seen on Google etc).

    Sorry for the long question and thanks in advance!


    • Total posts: 226

    Hi Steph

    Whilst there is plenty of free information available online – structures, tax and other legalities are really areas that you should see a professional for. I have lost count of the number of incorrectly structured businesses I have helped and it is much easier (and cheaper!) to do it correctly to begin with.


    • Total posts: 11,465

    Hi Steph,

    Sounds like you and your family are ready to take on the world!

    I’ll allow our resident experts to comment on the issues you’ve mentioned choosing business names and structures (thanks [USER=12942]@NickKaro[/USER] for kicking that discussion off), but for my two cents worth, I’m not sure that enrolling in a course is the best option for you.

    When weighing the options up, perhaps consider whether working with a business coach might be a more targeted option for your needs.

    Whatever you decide, I hope it works out brilliantly, and that you enjoy being part of Flying Solo.

    Nice to meet you,

    • Total posts: 805

    Hi Steph,

    Firstly, a huge congratulation for taking the leap :-)

    I have been a small business owner for 15+ years and out of that I have learnt a lot but the BIGGEST tip I can give anyone is stick to what you know and surround yourself with people in their fields.

    1 – Spend a tiny bit of money and speak to an accountant to set up your structure for you, please do this, as it will cost you more in the long run if it’s not setup to suit your needs.. You will need an accountant anyway for end of year tax, so find one that works with SME’s. It’s a tiny investment for peace of mind.

    2 – Get a book keeper for BAS etc. I have one and she costs about $180 a month (I do BAS monthly). I prefer to pay her to do it so I can focus on my business. I only use my accountant for end of year. If you do all the entering of invoices and payment etc, the book keeper can do the BAS in an hour and save you a lot of headache and money.

    I know when you are starting out paying someone to do these things seems a stretch, but it lets you focus on your business.

    FOR EXAMPLE: You may spend a couple of months doing courses on business management, taxes, payroll etc (either free or paid courses), when what you should be spending the time on is marketing – planning and executing, social media, content marketing, website development, creating images for your marketing and content etc, you get the idea.

    The longer you delay your marketing the longer it will take to establish yourself.

    There are plenty of marketing courses out there, I know there is a guy on Flying Solo that has a video academy website that steps you through it all (So sorry I can’t remember his name).

    Regarding the different websites and emails, that will be a personal preference if you want to market them separately then yes have different emails for each part of the business, I have a few brands that sell different products and I have separate names for the brands and they run independently form the main business.

    Good luck and sorry for the long post :-)

    • Total posts: 8

    Thanks for the replies!

    We already have an accountant but I’m not 100% confident in his abilities…. I might look for another one as you said Mischelle specialised in SME’s… We are seeing him next week anyway and maybe from there I’ll see if he gives me confidence ;)

    I completely understand what you are all saying… hire the right people to do the jobs they are specialised to do…. instead of wasting my time and then waste time on the part of the business that I WANT to spend time! The book keeper is a good idea I think too.

    So I will read some things online regarding the basic finances for a company so I can get my head around it and not just agree with anything the accountant! That must be my engineering side that wants to understand everything! Any pointers for great websites for basic info?

    I will also look into the marketing side of things. Good idea. I might put a post to see if anyone knows of the person you are referring to Mischelle! Although I am pretty lucky that my husband, as a Town Planner is involved at the infancy stage of building projects, so I have his whole contact list to “attack” and hopefully they will give me a go! Same with my mum’s art, I will be using it in my designs! :) I think the synergy is pretty good! (I hope! haha!)

    Thank you all again!

    • Total posts: 805


    Surprisingly the government has a good site for reference tools, guides and templates, it might be a good start point for you as it covers financial as well.


    And the ATO has some small business webinars that may help as well


    Good luck Steph and keep us posted on how you are going.

    • Total posts: 8

    Thanks Mischelle I’ll have a look! :)

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