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How to start your own small business

If you're interested in starting your own small business, you're not alone. Every year thousands of people ditch the idea of working for "The Man" and embrace the autonomy and flexibility of being their own boss.

It's an idea with almost universal appeal. No long commutes, no office politics, no corporate hierarchy to navigate. And while you've probably heard about others' failed attempts to establish their own small business, there's no reason embarking on this kind of venture shouldn't be successful with the right planning, groundwork and vision.

Profit without interest

One of the biggest mistakes many people make when attempting to set up their own small business is that they choose an area that doesn't particularly interest them. They make their decision based largely on the business' ability to turn a profit. Needless to say, putting this criterion in the driver's seat isn't a great start.

"I think it's really important that you find something that you really love that you can build with knowledge by going back to study," says Elle Young, director of Stay Young Fitness, based in Sydney's Northern Beaches. "I think that it gives you a lot more enjoyment through the studies if you really do love it."

Do you have what it takes?

There are also certain characteristics and skills that will help your idea to become a thriving venture. Things such as good organisation, effective communication, problem-solving and the ability to learn from mistakes. It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people overlook these essential traits in the flush of excitement and adrenaline when cultivating their business idea.

TAFE NSW Certificate IV in Small Business Management course offers a solid component of that planning and groundwork. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of owning or managing a small business. This includes a combination of practical activities, industry case studies, role plays, simulations and projects, all of which will help you develop a range of small business management skills. Topics and units include business and financial plans, finance, operations and people management, technology, promotion and marketing.

Case study

TAFE NSW Graduate, Anthony, knows full well how rewarding it can be to start a successful small business. After studying Carpentry and Joinery, then Building and Construction at Riverina Institute's Wagga Wagga Campus, Anthony decided to strike out on his own, largely inspired by his TAFE teachers and fellow students.

"It certainly paid off. I haven't looked back, and I just want to keep growing my business," he said. "It's a great feeling. You put in the hard yards at the start, throughout your apprenticeship, your training. And it pays off to be able to run your own business. It's very rewarding."

Having a great idea for a small business is a good starting point. But it isn't enough on its own. It needs to be followed through with a lot of grunt, legwork and targeted research. This Certificate IV qualification combines that grunt, legwork and targeted research with the flexibility and convenience of online delivery. Enrol now and make your dream of owning your own small business a reality.