Getting your business ready to start trading

There are various activities, skills and processes that you should have in place when your new business starts trading.

Make sure to have:

  • your organisational structure prepared and employees trained
  • your retail premises, branding, website or other sales channels ready for customers
  • your payment systems and banking processes in place
  • your stock, suppliers and equipment ready for trade—learn about finding the right supplier.

On this page

Organisational structures

An organisational structure is a framework used for organising and coordinating the work activities of your business.

Organisational structures allow you to define how information and actions flow through your business. The structure will determine, for example:

  • who will take responsibility for what
  • who has authority over whom
  • roles for directors and staff
  • delegations for efficient decision making
  • the structures that best suit the business strategies you are putting in place.

Establishing an organisational structure

Establishing an organisational structure is the process of developing a framework for your core activities and how operational information will be shared.

When establishing the structure, you should consider:

  • the relationships between staff in their roles
  • the location of your business
  • any strategic alliances, partnerships and joint ventures
  • specialist roles that require technical knowledge or finance or digital skills.

Getting your premises or online store ready for customers

After finding the right business location—whether physical or online—you should consider what needs to be done to prepare for your business to open and trade.

If appropriate, you should think about a soft launch for your business by opening only to a small number of family, friends and other supporters. This will help you identify anything you may have missed or where you're not functioning effectively before opening for customers.

  • Licences and permits
  • Insurance
  • Security
  • Staff facilities
  • Parking
  • Utilities
  • Payment methods
  • Work, health and safety procedures and considerations
  • Fire and emergency procedures
  • Parking
  • Cleaning materials
  • Stock, supplies and materials
  • Branding and signage
  • Advertising
  • Website and online presence
  • Social media accounts

Learn about business structures and getting the right licences and registrations.

  • Licences and permits
  • Insurance
  • Dedicated phone, email address and workspace
  • Payment methods
  • Work, health and safety procedures and considerations
  • Stock, supplies and materials
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Website and online presence
  • Social media accounts

Read about starting a home business.

  • Licences and permits
  • Insurance
  • Website and online presence
  • Dedicated workspace
  • Payment methods
  • Work, health and safety procedures and considerations
  • Stock, supplies and materials
  • Branding
  • Advertising
  • Social media accounts

Learn how to manage online sales and payments.

Choosing a business location

Each premises and location option has unique advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider each and determine which will be most suitable for your business.

Use the business premises checklist to help you decide.

Learn more about finding the right business location.

Getting your team ready for customers

Your team is at the forefront of your business, so you should prepare them for operations by:

  • having clearly established roles and responsibilities
  • having strong policies and procedures to cover all aspects of staff-related tasks
  • ensuring that more than one person is trained to do each task–avoid having specific tasks that only one person can do. This creates the possibility for errors or delays if the person is sick or on leave
  • making sure all staff have been trained in their job roles and tasks
  • communicating who the staff can turn to for support or direction.

Banking and payment processes

Your banking needs will depend on the type of business you are starting, the available funding and your personal circumstances.

It can be beneficial to set up a dedicated business bank account. This helps to separate your business finances from your personal finances. It also lets you easily track and control the income and expenses of your business.

Working out your banking needs

To help you determine your business banking needs:

  • get advice from your accountant
  • research the best deal on banking products and services
  • find a direct contact at the bank, preferably a business banker
  • read all information provided, including product disclosure statements
  • access a line of credit or overdraft with advice from your accountant.

Read more about:

Set up your payment and banking processes early

  • Make sure you have your payment processes and banking facilities set up well before you want to start trading.
  • Train your staff how to take payments and handle other transactions (e.g. give refunds).
  • Check what support and training resources are available from your payment systems provider and bank.