Should you start an Australian Small Business? And where can you find market research?
What makes someone want to start an Australian small business and is it a powerful enough reason?
Do they have a great idea and think it will in itself be enough?
Maybe they find it hard to work for someone or perhaps just becoming wealthy is the motivation behind it.
Having a clear idea of what your business does is of course crucial.
What’s even more important, is why you want to operate it in the first place?
A single clear vision of what will inspire and motivate you, especially when you’re just starting out.
Don’t start a business to earn ”QUICK MONEY” And definitely do not do it for the ”LIFESTYLE”
Having goals like these are fine, but they are absolutely not going to help you succeed.
Goals like these should be viewed as only the “by-product” of a successful business and not the main focus.
In the beginning, you’re probably going to be working 70 plus hours a week (not much of a lifestyle).
Furthermore, depending upon the business you may not even make a profit for the first couple of years.
Have one main goal.
To stay truly motivated your end goal needs to be so important that allows you to keep pushing, no matter how tired or overwhelmed you are.
To simplify this you should have ONE main goal.
As an example, my target is financial independence by the age of 40 so that I can travel the world with my family.
This reason is so important to me, that every decision moving forward will be judged according to this goal. (this will make sense when we discuss the planning of your business).
According to a range of surveys, People start Australian small businesses for two main reasons.
The first is they want to be their own boss (55%)
The second is wanting to increase their income (41%)
Both noble goals to have but considering more than 60 percent of small businesses fail in the first three years (according to the Bureau of statistics) we as business owners need a stronger, clearer vision that is much more meaningful to us personally.
Understanding the Australian small business landscape and how to get free market research.
So I now assume you have a clear and highly motivating goal.
So what now?
It’s time to do some research.
If you’re going to be in business, you should understand the landscape of both your competitors and Customers.
This now brings me to the first free powerful resources you should be aware of,
These two resources can really help you understand the basics of your market, and EVERYONE should be using them.
If you are starting or already running an Australian small business, then the Bureau of statistics is a great free resource to help you understand your potential market.
Who are they?
If you’re not familiar with them, the Australian Bureau of statistics is our national statistic agency. They provide official statistics on a range of things from population to economic industry.
The ”ABS” collects data from a wide range of research papers, surveys and from what I understand they also use verified staff to collect data from various government departments.
Now, It’s not the most in-depth form of market research, but this will give you a broad idea and is certainly better than doing no research at all.
What to use the data for?
As an example, you might sell computers and want to know how many people in buying age live in your city. This will give you a rough idea of the customer pool, you can then calculate the amount of market penetration you need to be viable.
Use the data to understand what your average customer looks like and create a profile for them.
Do they have kids?
What is their average wage?
Well… you get the picture.
Another great resource for your Australian small business. Ibis world is the leader in market research and industry reports.
Who are they?
Ibis world has been operating since 1971 and is focused on Australia and NZ markets. They are a company that provides highly researched reports of over 700 Australian industries.
Just like the ”ABS” use the data to aid your business planning. Market penetration, Viability E.T.C.
This great resource is actually a paid service, Ibis world provides in-depth market data to businesses helping them understand their sector.
But guess what.
There is a section of data they provide FOR FREE.
Ibis world provides a free snapshot of Australian industries and while not very granular is a fantastic starting point.
Check out this example of the Australian food retail snapshot.
Use this data along with your own research to map out your market and create a customer profile.
Once you have an understanding of the landscape you will be operating in, its time to create an Australian Small Business plan. (check out our post on free Australian small business plans and templates.)
So, in summary, DO THE RESEARCH it will save you many headaches in the future.