Turning your idea into a business

Once you are confident in the customer demand and financial viability of your business idea, you will need to take steps to turn your idea into an operational business. To do this, it can help to:

  • engage a professional adviser
  • develop a business plan
  • decide on the best way to start your business.

On this page

Seeking professional advice

In the start-up phase of your business, professional advice can help guide you through the process and answer questions you are unable to resolve yourself.

Seeking advice can bring your attention to aspects of the business you may not have previously thought of and can help you save time and money when developing skills that are beyond your expertise.

It can also help you to objectively consider the advantages and disadvantages of your business idea.

You can gather professional advice from a range of resources including an:

  • accountant
  • lawyer
  • financial adviser
  • business mentor
  • insurance broker.

In the start-up phase of your business specifically, professional advice can help you:

  • streamline your thinking and reduce any unnecessary complexity
  • save time on ideas that might be already on the market
  • understand steps to obtaining investors for your business
  • understand the process of commercialising a product
  • identify future directions of government investment in industry innovation
  • understand export markets and how to secure export investment.

Read more about:

Explore business planning

A business plan outlines your business goals and objectives, and it should also detail the steps you will take to reach them. Business planning is essential in the initial phases of starting a business.

A good business plan can make it easier to attract investors to your business. It can also help you to:

  • assess the viability of your business idea
  • identify the steps that will be required to start your business
  • articulate a longer-term strategy for your business
  • set short-term and long-term goals
  • make informed decisions
  • identify how opportunities, products and services are suited to your level of commitment and expectations.

Types of business planning

There are different types of business planning that you can consider for your business.

A feasibility business plan is primarily focused on assessing viability. The plan includes information on:

  • how the business intends to attract customers
  • how the business will make a profit.

A feasibility business plan can be helpful in the initial phases of a business or when the business requires investment.

A comprehensive business plan can improve existing businesses and support new businesses at the start-up stage. The plan will include details on how the business is planning to operate, where it will source finances, its broad goals and objectives, and staffing requirements.

A one-page business plan is a short, simplified plan that contains high-level information about the business and its goals and objectives. Using this type of plan makes the start-up phase of your business seem more achievable and flexible.

How to write a business plan

Making a business plan will give you the best chance for success when starting a business. Learn about preparing a business plan.

Starting, buying or franchising

When taking initial steps to turn your idea into a business, you can choose between starting a new business, buying an existing business or buying a franchise.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option.

Advantages

  • Complete control over the decisions, ideas and business vision
  • Can choose the location and style of the business location and premises
  • Can start lean and scale up as your business grows
  • Able to select your staff.

Disadvantages

  • Have difficulty obtaining the necessary capital
  • Lack of an established customer base
  • Needs to build a network of support
  • Can have limited profitability and cash-flow, particularly in the initial stages

Read about selecting a structure for your new business.

Advantages

  • Avoid overheads and long or inflexible agreement periods
  • Save time
  • Create greater flexibility

Disadvantages

  • Subject to council and government regulations in some cases
  • Limited contact with others
  • Have distractions
  • Have limited options for onsite services

Read more about starting a home business.

Advantages

  • Have existing customers and staff in place
  • Take over an established brand
  • Have existing equipment, stock and other resources
  • Take over existing licences and registrations

Disadvantages

  • Have higher costs
  • Inherit legacy systems, older equipment and resources
  • Inherit existing staff who may not suit your new business goals and vision

Read about buying a business and due diligence when buying a business.

Advantages

  • Support, training and resources from the franchisor
  • Join a well-known existing brand
  • Access existing customer base
  • Access existing systems, policies and processes

Disadvantages

  • Lack of independence
  • Held to restrictive franchise agreement
  • Pay higher cost
  • Pay franchise fees

Read more about buying a franchise.