Real Life

Starting a small business from scratch – four top tips!

Aussie mum Jayde went from working for someone else to starting a small business.

Many of us have dreamed of quitting our jobs and working for ourselves, whether it’s to pursue an amazing business idea, to earn more money or for better work-life balance. 

A common fear that stops us from acting on that dream and turning it into reality is the belief that we’ve left it too late, especially for those who’ve been in the same kind of role for many years. Not to mention worry that we could end up working more hours than ever before. Or of course, the business will fail due to our lack of experience and expert guidance

Still, more Aussies are taking the leap in 2024. We’re changing jobs at the highest rate in a decade, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. And those aged 25-54 are among the age groups leading the charge.

Find a great work-life balance as a franchisee. Image: Supplied

How Jayde started her business

Aussie mum Jayde Magill spent 20 years working for other people, but just six months after leaving her role to become a V.I.P. Home Cleaning Franchisee, she already has around 70 clients and employs three people – yet somehow, has more free time with her family than she ever dreamed of.

“I was looking for a way to earn more and have a better work-life balance,” Jayde says.

“I worked long hours, never had enough time to be involved with my kids, and had no energy left for the weekend to enjoy life.”

Now, thanks to the flexibility that her set-up as a small business franchisee offers, Jayde says she’s always around for school pick-up and drop-off and can even fit in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes three times a week with her husband David.

A similar experience was shared by former bus driver Rameshinder Jassal, from West Pennant Hills, NSW. Now a V.I.P. Lawns & Gardens franchisee, he made the leap into small business to have more flexibility and spend more time with his family.

“I can schedule my working hours according to my family commitments,” he said. “I have become more fit than I was before, I have more free time and my earnings have almost doubled.”

His longer-term goal is to expand his workforce and work fewer hours.

“There is great scope to expand your business if you’re happy to employ others,” he said. “Ultimately you can change this business into a passive income business.”

Offering a service that solves a problem is key. Image: Supplied

Choosing the right business structure is key

Those considering taking the leap into becoming a small business owner may understandably be concerned about the many requirements involved before they get started. Regardless of the type of field they’re looking to pursue, worries can include not having the experience and business acumen needed, for the heavy time cost and complexities of administration.

This can include tax management, permit requirements, revenue concerns – and cash flow including the need for any business loans. For Jayde, it was about knowing how much money she’d need upfront to get started so she could plan accordingly, especially in the early weeks and months – managing income with outgoings to meet the cost of living expenses.

What made all the difference to Jayde in not just giving peace of mind on that front but managing to achieve good work-life balance so early on – was the business structure.

It was a huge benefit not having to build a company from scratch, thanks to the set-up as a V.I.P. franchisee. Aside from the business name, brand and logo already being provided, the pricing, uniforms, technology and other equipment is also already organised for franchisees.

That meant Jayde could get cracking with her home cleaning small business from day one. Plus, V.I.P. offers ongoing training and help with accounting, managing bookings, liaising with clients and marketing. She says that level of support was key.

Duane Slabbert from Parkside, South Australia, has had a similar experience. He’s a V.I.P. Home Cleaning franchisee who’d been working as a data analyst in the life insurance industry. When the time came for him to make his own mid-career change, the set-up gave him the confidence to step away from full-time employment to become his own boss.

“The franchise model offers a proven business strategy that reduces the risk typically associated with starting a new business,” he said. “Being part of a recognised brand opens many doors and provides a level of trust with clients that would be hard to achieve on your own. It’s an ideal path for those looking to venture into entrepreneurship with a support system backing them.”

Having expert support and guidance matters. Image: Supplied

Jayde’s secrets to starting a small business

Starting a business always has its challenges. But here are Jayde’s four top tips to help set yourself up for success:

  1. Be in business to solve a problem. Don’t worry about having an original idea or competition – just focus on solving a problem for your customers at the right price.
  2. Draw on your experience. You’re never really starting from scratch when you make a mid-career change. All of your previous work and life experience will likely come in handy at some point.
  3. Know your costs. Understand how much money you’ll need to spend upfront and ongoing, so you can calculate your cash flow. As a V.I.P. franchisee, you can access marketing support (including a tailored local area marketing plan), which Jayde says has been invaluable for efficiently finding and converting leads – giving her more time to focus on getting out and making money.
  4. Be a good boss. Take the time to get to know your team and their needs, so they have fun at work and want to help grow your business. And share the spotlight by celebrating and thanking them for their efforts. Jayde does this quickly and easily by taking screenshots of client feedback and sending it to her team.

To learn more about starting your own small business, click here.

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