Australia, you beauty. A land of much promise and an ecosystem of energy and innovation. We are a strong economy, that is providing both domestic and international startups with ample business opportunities.
From fintechs, to e-commerce, to blockchain, to other nascent tech firms, we are becoming a well-connected ecosystem of entrepreneurs that are helping the country become an innovations and inventions hub.
So, if you are an aspiring small business that is looking to leverage a good startup ecosystem like ours here are a few tips to keep you on game.
Understanding the ecosystem:
As a business that is looking to establish its roots in any part of the world (because in the digital age, geography no longer limits you to the extent it did a few years back) you need to carefully assess which part of the world you are setting up shop in. With respect to Australia, due to our immigration friendly policies and the introduction of innovation positive programs like the Australian R&D Tax Incentive, this country has been very actively working towards growing its startup ecosystem.
Through there are problems like cultural assimilation (due to a strong sense of national pride) but this is something that is being offset by a growing multi-ethnic/multi-cultural citizen base who are influencing our local culture very positively (leading to a more inclusive way of life).
Get the model right:
As per the stats about 9 out of 10 startups fail in their first few years. Like any other business ecosystem, its own inherent nature can contribute towards a business succeeding or failing. This also means that there are a variety of factors (like a lack of market research, lack of business planning, lack of timing/market understanding & funding etc.) that can lead to businesses downfall.
So, in order to be one of the ten to make it, it is very important for small businesses to get a sense of the market (either domestic or international). This means there has to be a thorough scrutiny of the validity of your business model, its viability and its acceptability.
Another good tip is to do your homework and understand organizations that have failed, there are tough lessons to be learned here, like how local startup The Nerd Cave wanted to disrupt traditional retail, but it failed in terms of understanding their audience and keeping a keen eye on their competition/environment.
So, a good tip here would be to start slow, validate your model, grow organically and don’t lose sight of your market/customer pulse. Even if you are a small business that has launched, it is never too late to reevaluate your options and adjust appropriately.
Going to market:
If by now you have understood what has been discussed, have taken the plunge and gone live but still need directions, here are some tangible tips on growing your small business:
- Build your digital assets and strategize your online marketing plan. Your brand, be it any brand needs to be showcased. This is the credibility, proof that people are looking for you. A website/social media presence (even if you are a local plumbing company) is a sure shot way of growing your small business – as a tech led firm if you have not built assets, you are as good as dead.
- Invest in technology. Another key lesson is to invest into technology that can add value to your core. An example is you might be looking to build an e-commerce store and you need to market your brand, invest into marketing automation tools like Hootsuite, Canva, Mailchimp etc. These platforms can automate a lot of your marketing ops effort and help you focus on your core.
- Search for partners. When you are a small concern, alliances, partnerships, synergies etc. can carry you well. Always be on the lookout for alliances even if you are a big brand. Instead of working in silos, with everyone looking to reinvent the wheel, look to adopt and adapt.
What is the way forward? The next few years are going to be pretty interesting. With more tech advances slated to make their appearance (synthetic meat, wearables etc.) a lot of industries might be getting a bit of a shake-up. As a business on the verge of growing, know your environment and build your strengths. You will find success eventually, good luck!