Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Freeplay 2012 - Starting Your Own Business


The Freeplay Independent Games Festival 2012 could not have happened without the hard work of all its organisers, sponsors and volunteers, they deserve many thanks. All work and words are copyrighted their respective owners and effort has been made to accurately record every speaker and the content presented. These notes are not from any official channel associated with Freeplay and are for the purposes of providing information.

All notes are available in full via: Dropbox (PDF Download). The PDF will be updated in the next few weeks so check back if you need updates.

John Vine

Will my business work?
Evaluate yourself:
                - What do you want your business to be known for?
                - How will you make it happen?
Test and develop product(s)
                - Will you fill a gap in the market place?
                - Is demand greater than supply?
                - Can you offer something different?
Research your market and help for start ups
                - IBIS World
                - INNOVIC
                - Bureau of Statistics
Write a business plan that's right for you
                - Puts down all the things you want to do
                - Sets goals, dates and time periods
                - Has clear achievable goals
- Marketplace information
                - Competitor analysis, research customers
- Infrastructure, resources and logistics
- Financial requirements and budgeted financial performance
- Action Plan

Editor note: You need to head to the Australian Business Register before doing the below.

Register business name
- Emphasises what your business actually does
- Stands out from competitors
- Is unique and easy to remember
- Register through ASIC
                - $30 for 1 year, $70 for 3 years
                - Business name is valid through Australia

"When we register an Australian company, the company can conduct business throughout Australia without needing to register in individual states and territories.

Please note that registering a business name is not the same as registering a company. Registration or use of a business name does not:
                - Create a legal entity (only registering a company creates a legal entity), or
                - Allow the use of privileges to which a company is entitled, such as a corporate tax rate or limited liability." (From the ASIC website)

Business Structure
- Sole trader
- Partnership
- Company
- Trading Trusts
- Cooperatives
- Incorporated associations

                - Check with IP Australia to see if your potential trademark is available
Domain name registration
                - AUDA

- How much cash to get started
- How much cash to operate
- When do I get my cash
- What is my break-even point
- When is the business operating on its own cash
- How much return will I get on my investment
- Compare rates with different banks
- Set a budget and stick to it
- Are you willing to put the "house" (literally) on the line if needed
                - E.g.  Second mortgage
- Have funds available to cover working capital, prepayments and security deposits
- Some larger franchise systems have preferred financing arrangements and internal recruitment programs

- Register for ABN, GST and PAYG via Australian Business Register. BAS is done via the ATO.
- Be up to date with tax obligations and comply with regulations
- If your business has a GST turnover of $75 000, you must register for GST (via the ATO)

Action Plan
- Break major tasks into smaller ones
- Decides what needs to be actioned on within the next 6 months

John also recommended speaking to a tax accountant solicitor for expert advice concerning tax, contracts and other business issues.

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