• Shopping Cart

    Your shopping cart is empty
    Visit the shop

  • BLOG


    Posted on

    The basics of starting your own business

    woman-hand-smartphone-desk copy

    By Jes Egan

    Thinking about starting your own creative business? Or have you already and are not sure that you’ve set everything up correctly? I’ve had many conversations with people who are toying with this idea and wondering where to start. I don’t mean what your business does or what it will sell, as generally the people I speak to already have that part sorted out. Most people know what they want to do, just not necessarily how to go about it or where to start. Personally, I think if you have your creative business idea worked out and you think there is a market out there for you, then that is the hardest part.

    Some of the most amazingly creative people I’ve found are often overwhelmed (or bored) by what I’d call the ‘admin’ side of setting up a creative business. It can be the not-so-exciting part of your business, but it is really important. Taking some time and putting in the effort into this may seem fiddly and annoying but doing it properly can save you time, effort and money in the future.

    What’s in a name?

    The name you trade under is so important. How you come up with a name or what you choose can all be the fun part, however there are some requirements that you will need to check before you start using it.

    If you wish to work under your own given name as a sole trader then you don’t need to register ‘your’ name, however if you wish to trade under a business name, you will need to register this name with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). First thing to do is check that the name you wish to use is available and not being used by someone else. You can do this here. If the name you wish to use is available you then need to register this name with ASIC, you can do this here.

    Just note that you will need to have an ABN (Australian Business Number) or be in the process of applying for one (with an application number) to do this.

    An ABN (Australian Business Number) is important to have, although it isn’t mandatory if you’re a sole trader (as you will use your Tax File Number). To find out if you’re eligible for an ABN have a look here.

    Money, money, money

    A business bank account is one of the things I can’t recommend enough. It is really important to keep your business and personal accounts separate. This is a good way to keep track of what money is business related and to ensure you don’t spend too much of your personal money on business expenses.

    I would recommend shopping around for the best business account for you – fees can vary so ensure you find something that you’re comfortable with, keeping in mind that you will need your ABN available when opening business bank accounts.

    For my little creative business I have three accounts;

    1. A transaction account, where the income from my sales goes and my expenses goes out of

    2. A GST account, this is where I put 10% of all of my income into to ensure that I have my GST available if I’ve earn’t enough that financial year to pay it

    3. A business savings account, if I have a little profit sitting in my transaction account I move it into this account to earn better interest

    Often banks can help with a small start-up loan or overdraft, which could be something worth considering as unexpected costs can happen. A Small Business Banker likes to see your business plan and don’t panic if you’re not sure it’s complete, some banks are happy to see a work in progress and some of them will even help you with this.

    Registering for GST is something to think about if you run a creative business in Australia. If you’re expecting to earn less than $75,000 per financial year, then technically you don’t have to register, but if you think you may get close to that amount then you may need to. You can register for GST when you start your creative business or any time after if you think you’re going to reach the $75,000. If you would like more information about registering for GST have a look here.

    Quoting and invoicing is also something that is important to know how to do. I’ve written a specific post dedicated to this alone, see the Guide to Quoting and Invoicing.

    Call in the experts

    When running a creative business you won’t be able to (or want to) do everything. Knowing when to bring in an expert in to get the right advice is an important thing to understand. For me, this is with all tax related items as this can be daunting at the best of times. I strongly recommend getting a qualified accountant’s advice for tax related issues.

    If you can afford it, there are business mentors that you can work with that can help risk assess your product, target audience and business plan. A good place to look for one is through the Small Business Mentoring Programs (SMBP).

    There are many things to set up for a new creative business and these are just some of the things that will help get you on your way. Taking the risk and going out on your own is a big step but don’t be scared by the ‘admin’ things. Once these are done, you can focus on the fun things like the branding, building your website and of course, your fabulous creative product or service that you’re offering.

    You’ll get what you put into it, so give it a go, be bold and enjoy!

    Please note that the above advice is informative only. For business advice, please speak to an accountant, lawyer or tax agent.

    Jes is a ‘practical creative’ and a very busy lady, doing the business in a digital agency, being an artist, a university lecturer, and small business owner who can creatively be found cutting up a storm at paperchap.com. Follow Jes on Instagram and Facebook.


    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: business tips, how to, my advice | Comments Off
    Posted on

    How a vacation can help your business

    sky-people-whitespace-freedom copy


    By Diana Scully


    Most of us find ourselves dreaming about our next vacation or travel holiday but don’t book anything. Many of us follow travel accounts on Instagram, commenting on how much we’d love to visit this destination, but then don’t take any steps to get there. We want more time in life to take holidays, spend time with the family and just relax but find ourselves at the end of the year with accrued paid leave owing to us. So what’s going on?

    For many of us, taking time away from our work, whether we are in paid employment or run our own business, can feel overwhelming.  But its one view to be busy and another to confuse it with having a negative impact on your success. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a personal change upon returning from a vacation, for the better. And for the positive impacts it has on my work, taking a vacation is no longer perceived as a luxury, but rather an essential part in the outcome of my busy work/life schedule. Here are five reasons why I make taking the time to travel each year, a necessity in my life:

    A change in perspective. Travel gives you the opportunity to get away from your usual routine, the people you meet, what you eat, how you sleep and where you work… You begin to view things differently, think outside the box and allow yourself to take on something new.

    When you travel, especially to underdeveloped nations or unknown destinations, you open yourself up to new ideas. You begin to appreciate how different life can be and you return to your own lifestyle with a fresh perspective and point of view. Consequently, the flow-on effect leads to new ideas or solutions to problems you may have been facing prior to your vacation, by allowing yourself to think in new ways.

    Take a break and recharge your batteries. Travel gives you a chance to renew your energy, find your balance and re-align yourself. Most people reach a point throughout the year when logic becomes cloudy. Productivity declines and enthusiasm wanes. Taking a break, relaxing and switching off are ways to refuel yourself and find your positive energy. This opportunity allows you to indulge in your own needs for a period of time. And when you return, improve your productivity at work with your new, positive outlook on life.

    To push your limits. Travel allows you to break a routine that at the best of times, is designed to make you work efficiently and effectively each week. But in doing so, you also build yourself a comfort zone and forget your ability to push boundaries to grow your business and work opportunities. If you’re thinking about applying for a new role, starting a new business or growing an existing one – you need to think beyond the norm. You need to push your boundaries. If you expose yourself to this way of thinking, you will teach yourself how to build the courage to do this in other areas of life, i.e. work, fitness and health.

    Find inspiration. Travel gives you the opportunity to think for yourself for uninterrupted periods of time. Taking a vacation allows you to consider and contemplate issues/topics/opportunities that have been sitting on your to-do list for some time. When you give yourself the chance to think about something else than your daily routine and work commitments, you open your mind to new possibilities.

    Network and meet new people. Travel allows you to network organically, especially if you travel independently or on your own.  Travel forces you to talk to people, ask for help, seek advice and start conversations with strangers. It also shows you your strengths and weaknesses in your ability to communicate, adapt to new situations and accommodate different cultures and customs.

    Start changing your perception about taking time off from work to travel. Reverse the logic and the tendency to perceive a vacation as an indulgence in life, but rather, focus on the benefits travel can offer you at work and your general overall happiness.

    Images by Pexels.

    Interior designer Diana Scully owns and operates her own interior design firm Spaces by Diana that’s all about designing beautiful, personalised homes to reflect the people who live in it. Diana also has her own lifestyle blog, Spaces + Places, where she regularly writes about inspiring spaces to see and visit from around the world and shares her recent travel adventures. This year she has plans to spend time abroad in the US. Follow Diana on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: business tips, my advice, stress and wellness | Comments Off