Small Business | Starting a Bidness (Part One)

This blog post summarises the live video in the Running In Heels Bidness Tips & Tricks Facebook page. Join the group for short videos that contain extra tidbits and the opportunity to ask questions.

I have heard from lots of people who have a business idea swirling around in their head, but they’re just not sure where to start. If this is you, then read on my friend, read on. So you start with an idea, then you need a name…

Things to consider when choosing a name;
 - Is the company name available?
 - Is the domain name available?
 - Are the Instagram and Facebook handles available?
 - Is there already a business (similar or otherwise) using that name?
    One school of thought is that your business name should explain what you do. I beg to differ on that one, because my first ecommerce business has evolved so much since I started it five years ago, that changing paths would have been harder if I’d called it “What Renee Crochets” instead of HEART from HAZEL.

    Something else to consider is your target market. I decided on the name for my business years ago, when I was running, in heels, from the office to the venue I was managing events at, and it never occurred to me (until Rachel Geebee from Clever Social pointed it out), that my business name makes me more appealing to female clients.

    So once you’ve decided on a name, it’s time to get a designer on board. Some people think a DIY logo and business card is a good way to save money, and in some cases this could work...I do strongly suggest that you use a professional though, least of all because they can provide you with the right bits and pieces for your collateral and website (pixelated banners and logos are not profesh. At all.).

    Outsourcing the design of your brand also frees you up to focus your time where it has the most value.

    via GIPHY

    Then you decide on a business structure. In New Zealand, your options are:
     - Sole trader
     - Partnership
     - Limited Liability Company
      My default preference is a limited liability company. That’s because I’m an accountant and we’re a bit funny like that. I like that both of my companies are a separate trading entity to me (and each other), they have their own bank accounts and IRD numbers.

      One company pays the other company a management fee, and that company pays me a salary. It keeps thing clean and simple and makes it easy for things like ACC, PAYE, super and maternity leave.

      Read more about different business structures here and here and use this tool to try and help you make a decision. It's a good idea to see an accountant to help you with this part, especially if your relationship status on Facebook is, "it's complicated".

      Once you’ve decided on your business name and structure, your new business will need an IRD number (NZ based) or ABN number (Australia based). If you think your business will make $60,000 ($75,000 for the Aussies) in sales or fees in the next 12 months, you also need to register for GST.


      Even if you don’t think you will be making more than the GST threshold, it can be a good idea to register for GST if you are going to be outlaying a lot of money up front for stock or store fit outs. You can claim the GST on these startup costs, which can really help with the cashflow in the early days when you’re trying to figure out how the heck you’re ever gonna get this thing off the ground!

      This is when I would open a bank account, either a trading as (T/A) account if you are going to operate as a sole trader or a business account in the name of the partnership or company if you are going to operate as either of those. This keeps things clean (your accountant will thank you!) even if it means you are transferring your money from your personal account to the company account, business purchases made through the business accounts are much easier to keep track of.

      via GIPHY

      I’m pretty sure that by now your eyes have glazed over and you’re not even sure we’re speaking the same language, so now is a good time for you to go away and write some notes in your rose gold notebook, and we’ll pick up where we left off in the next episode.

      Until then, if you want to get in touch for a quick chat, please do. If you want to throw about some ideas, get some honest feedback and find out what the next steps are, then check out the Pick My Brain packages on the website.

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