Choosing a career

15 of the best stories and threads on starting a business

- September 3, 2020 3 MIN READ

Say what you will about 2020 but it’s forced us all to be innovative. Here at Flying Solo HQ we’ve noticed an increase in questions around the practicalities of starting a business. Eg: what works, what doesn’t, what you really need to get started and is now really the right time?

Thanks to the collective wisdom of our Flying Solo community via our incredible forums (100k members and counting), if you have the idea then it’s 100% worth giving that idea a shot. 

But as we know it takes more than an idea to get a business off the ground and the best person to learn from is usually the person already doing it. 

These 15 articles all relate to starting your own business and have gained in popularity over the past two years across our forums, social media and  website. 

If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of starting a business right now then we hope these will help.

1. How to pay yourself as a business owner
Well, you’re not going to do it for free are you? But the nitty gritty of this seemingly straightforward process is worth a read when you’re starting out. 

2. How does a sole trader draw money?
Assuming you are paying yourself, you also need to consider tax as the forum poster discovered. Flying Solo is blessed with a lot of accountants and the replies on this thread are practical and straightforward.

3. Should I register for GST
Heather Smith wrote this post two years ago and is STILL replying personally to every comment and question that is posted. It’s by far and away one of the most-read pieces on Flying Solo.

4. Lessons on surviving seven years in small business
Get through the first year and aim for the stars! Angela Henderson’s straight talking advice is a salve for first time business folk who need some comfort and advice when starting off. 

5. Help with woman’s clothing suppliers and wholesalers
Aiming for e-commerce in women’s fashion? This is a thread for you if you’re trying to decide on wholesale supplier options. 

6. Pay It Forward: Free products to help your business keep on keeping on
A running list started at the beginning of COVID full of free stuff from our small business community to help everyone stay afloat. A real testament to Flying Solo’s unwavering commitment to community spirit. 

7. Advice on starting a cafe
We have several threads on this topic on the Flying Solo forums. This thread includes some great starting points in terms of how much capital you’ll realistically need and what kind of questions you should be asking yourself being taking the plunge. 

8. 5 reasons why small businesses fail
Understanding reasons for failure is just as important as understanding the secrets to success. John Refalo breaks down the 5 most common reasons and how to avoid them. 

9. How to create effective small business process documents
Documents like policies and forms, assist with training, help manage business continuity and enable better business consistency. But if the documents are too complex, poorly maintained or difficult to access – they might not be useful at all. Keep these tips in mind, and your documents will achieve their intended results.  

10. Do you need to narrow down your marketing focus?
A particularly helpful read if you find yourself stumbling over writing a blog or social media post time and time again. 

11. Anyone out there running a food van?
A lively discussion around the practical aspects of starting, managing and sustaining a food van business. 

12. This is why you’re not getting enough referrals
Referrals are gold in a small business so it’s good to start out understanding potential pitfalls before you progress too far. 

13. How to have a Blue Sky mindset
Never underestimate the power of mindset – how you feel about yourself and your business has a huge impact on the level of success and day to day enjoyment.  This is a popular read and comfortingly simple message. 

14. We started a coffee van business: here’s what we learnt
Vans are a theme on Flying Solo! And this story of a husband and wife’s journey to starting their is an inspiring and practical read. 

15. Tips for new players to our Flying Solo forums
First written 9 years ago by Flying Solo’s first moderator these tips will help you navigate our forums.

Let us know what you think in the comments and if there’s something we haven’t covered we want to know that too: