Startups don’t just run on their own. When you create a new business, you’ll likely subscribe to a bunch of different software, use a few different tools and automate processes with technology.
In truth, it can all be a bit overwhelming. First, you have to figure out what you need, then you have to find the best option for you.
This article is a shortcut, with some of the best resources and business tips for growing and fuelling startups in Australia and New Zealand.
Accelerator and incubator programs are highly effective for getting startups off the ground. Many programs are tailored for those in specific sectors, or startups based in certain locations. Do your research to see if there’s one that’s right for you.
Role of startups in driving economy
Startups may be small companies, but they play a big role in growing economies. They create jobs, which have a huge economic impact, particularly locally, by putting more money in people’s pockets.
The impact of startups can be seen in a range of world-leading examples – how Google impacted Mountain View, California, how Alibaba changed Hangzhou, and how Microsoft allowed Redmond, Washington to grow.
Sectors where startups in NZ and AU are poised to win
Startups are often at the whim of higher powers, and those in the right sectors can expect to have a tailwind behind them from the beginning. This helps to open doors, start conversations and attract the kind of investment you need to grow and scale.
Technology is an area of huge growth, and opening a new business with any sort of tech application is a step in the right direction. But it can go even deeper, into specialised sectors within the tech space.
- Deep tech involves innovations in science, engineering and mathematics, and includes artificial intelligence and robotics.
- Medtech/biotech has a range of health-based spinoffs, and is particularly sought after in light of the Covid pandemic.
- Climate tech looks to solve problems associated with climate change, and has huge potential for growth due to the global nature of the problem.
- Crypto and blockchain is an area that continues to become more and more popular as it begins to pose a legitimate currency alternative.
For businesses in Australia and New Zealand, distance to the rest of the world has always been something of an issue. However, technology is able to solve the tyranny of distance, which is why you can still launch a profitable tech startup from down under.
Step by step guide of starting a business
Starting a business in New Zealand or Australia is actually fairly simple. It takes time and resources, but if you have the patience, the persistence, and the cold, hard cash, then there’s no reason why you can’t succeed.
Follow these 9 steps to give yourself the best chance of succeeding:
- Make sure your idea is viable. See what sort of demand there is for your business, and write a business plan.
- Think about funding. Consider how you’ll finance the business. Identify if your business needs credit, particularly in the early stages.
- Choose a business name. The world is your oyster…except when it isn’t. When you come up with a name you like, check to see if it hasn’t already been taken by someone else.
- Choose a business structure. Do you want to be a sole trader, have a partner, or register as a company? There are pros and cons to each option, so do your research before making a decision.
- Get a business number. If you want to start a business in NZ, click here. You can also create a RealMe account to make logging in to various government departments easy. If you’re in Australia, get a business number here.
- Research the regulations that govern the industry your business is in, so you start off on the right foot.
- Register your company. If you want to structure your business as a company, register it with the Companies Office.
- Register for GST. You need to be GST registered if your business turns over at least $75,000 (Australia) or $60,000 (New Zealand)
- Register your trademark. This is the best way to protect your brand to stop anyone else from replicating it.
Resources available for NZ & AU businesses to get started
Once you’ve got your startup set up, you’ll look to get fundamental small business resources to help you. When startup founders talk about finding resources, they could be talking about many different things.
Two of the most in-demand types of business resources are those that help with the running of your business (i.e. operational resources) and those that help to grow your business (i.e. to get funding or mentoring). It could be as simple as just getting money.
Read more: Five lessons for entrepreneurship in 2022
In finding resources to grow your business, you can look to use incubator or accelerator programs to help.
- Incubators are about taking your idea and turning it into a working prototype. It can come with perks such as office space, small business checklists to help you along, and access to professionals with experience growing businesses. Depending on the time you have to dedicate to your startup, these can range from a few months to three or more years.
- Accelerators are the next step. They’re for businesses that have gone through the incubation phase, and are now looking to grow. They can take anywhere from a few weeks to three months, and open up networks, expertise and sometimes funding to help you get up and running.
Read more: Types of borrowing loans available for businesses
The following resources are accelerators for founders looking to take their working ideas and grow them into reality.
New Zealand startup resources:
- Govtech Accelerator: a four month program for startups with a public sector focus.
- Kokiri: For Māori-led startups, with an opportunity to get a $10,000 startup grant.
- Climate Response Accelerator: For businesses looking to impact the environment or combat climate change.
- Sprint Accelerator: a faster course that takes 8-12 weeks. Best for those with more time to dedicate.
- Sprout Accelerator: For AgTech or FoodTech businesses.
- Startmate: A popular accelerator in both NZ and Australia, with grants of up to $75,000 available.
Australian startup resources:
- Brinc Accelerator: A three month program for tech startups and those looking to solve global issues.
- Antler: A supportive global accelerator community that helps to get access to individuals with specific industry expertise
- Skalata: A seed investment program for startups with an innovative new product that’s ready to be launched. Founders receive $100,000 in exchange for 10% equity.
- CSIRO ON: For startups involved in tech, research and science.
- Startmate: As mentioned above, this is also available in Australia and has a history of investing in almost 200 startups.
Attending incubators and accelerators are a fantastic way to grow your small business toolkit. You’ll give yourself the best head start to develop your idea into its best form, and take the idea to market with the help of seasoned experts.
Another constant issue for founders is money. The best small business tools help to provide the resources you need to finance your business, improve your small business cash flow and keep you afloat.
While it’s tempting to rush into developing your idea to its best form, the reality is you need to have enough money on hand at all times. More than 80% of businesses fail due to cash flow issues, so look into small business finance resources to make sure you avoid common mistakes.