How to start a business

Thousands of new businesses open every day. If all those people can do it, why not you?
Here’s what to do, and when.

Steps to starting a business

Starting a business isn’t one big decision. It’s hundreds of small decisions. Here are some of the key steps along the way.

Test your idea with target customers, and check out the competition. Market research will help you start strong.

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Writing a business plan will help bring your idea to life. It doesn’t have to be a book, by the way!

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Estimate the costs of starting and running your business, and figure out where that money will come from.

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Work out what you need to charge to cover costs. And choose a pricing strategy that will work for your business.

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Will it be easier to start out as a sole trader? Or do you need the legal protection that comes with being a company.

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Get a few key accounting things right when you start out, and you’ll be sweet when it comes to tax time.

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Make sure you tick all the right boxes with the government. Find out where and how to register your business.

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Set up a website so customers can find you online. It’s simple to do and a great way to get found.

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Once you’ve learned how to start a business, you might need tips and tools to help run it.

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This guide is intended as general information only. Always check with a professional for advice.

guide to starting your business

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There’s a lot to learn when starting a business. From writing a business plan to hiring your first employees and promoting your business, this guide has got you covered.

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Xero makes small business software, used by 2.7 million+ subscribers.

How to start a business, by people who’ve done it

Quote: "Getting initial finance was tricky but we've grown into a sustainable online business now, with orders received daily." Retailer, England
Quote: "It's very likely I'll be able to make my dreams into reality. Surrounding myself with a great community is helping." Professional services consultant. Australia

What business ownership is like in New Zealand

If you want to know how to start a business, you should probably also know what it’s like to run a business.
Here’s what real business owners think about.

33% want to grow their business

want to grow their business

39% want to be more profitable.

want to be more profitable

22% would like more time away from the business.

would like more time away from the business

Source: Hearts and Minds, Xero, 2017

Handy resources for starting a business

Since you’re wondering how to start a business, you might find these resources helpful.

Business plan template
Business plan template

Use our templates to help transition from a rough idea to a real-life business.

Choose a template

Your guide to finance
Guide to finance

Need a few extra bucks to get off the ground?
Learn about your options.

Read the finance guide

invoice template
Invoice template

Need to bill customers but not sure how to?
Use our template – it comes with instructions!

Get the template