QUEENSLAND is home to more than 410,000 small businesses and these are at the core of every industry sector.

They are found in every community in every region, represent 96 per cent of businesses across the state, and employ 50 per cent of all private sector workers.

Small businesses – defined as businesses with less than 20 employees – complement the economic activity of large organisations.

They constitute the backbone of larger projects, power regional development, and are also the gateway through which many people enter the economy.

A portion of these small businesses are start-ups, newly established businesses that are in a phase of development and research.

Start-ups have a lot to navigate in their early days without the extra pressure of working through redundant advice on the internet.

There are, however, many useful online resources that provide a starting point for business research activities, and act as guides for taking a start-up from its infancy to profitability.

What’s more, most of these resources are offered free of charge, which means you are literally one click away from finding the best advice for entering or disrupting your industry of choice.

These resources also provide a point of contact with other small business owners.

Engaging with like-minded entrepreneurs and learning of their ideas will help get the ball rolling, regardless of what industry they have set their sights on.

Moreover, sharing in challenges with other small business owners can help you come up with innovative ways to overcome them.

After all, innovation is the entrepreneur’s speciality.

By fostering relationships with other like-minded entrepreneurs, you could form your next business partnership or bring additional stakeholders on board.

Being part of these online communities could connect you with the next mega-brand in the making, or you could become that yourself.

In a little more than 10 years, Facebook has grown out of the dorms of Harvard University and formed partnerships, or taken ownership, of more than 50 companies worldwide.

That’s some food for thought.

Here are some useful links for start-ups:

1. The Queensland Government offers a range of programs and resources to help small businesses start up, grow, or run their business:

2. Another government service providing essential information on planning, starting, and growing a business, with convenient checklists and forms:

3. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) promote competition and fair trade in markets to benefit consumers, businesses, and the community. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 is of particular relevance for businesses to ensure compliance with competition, fair trading, and consumer protection

4. WorkCover Queensland is a government owned statutory body, providing worker compensation insurance in Queensland. It is mandatory for all Queensland employers to hold a WorkCover accident insurance policy, unless employers hold a self-insurance licence:

5. The Small Business Advisory Services (SBAS) program aims to maximise the growth potential, prosperity and sustainability of small businesses through enhanced access to information and advice on issues important to establishing, sustaining, or growing a small business:

6. This resource helps small businesses identify what government grants or loans they potentially qualify

7. Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) gives support to members, provides a platform for networking, and also offers the latest industry news and

8. A step-by-step guide to registering a company and making it a legal entity:

9. Brisbane City Council is dedicated to economic development and supporting local businesses within the community. The website gives advice for selling a product to Council, exploring international markets with Sister Cities, running a business from home, and much more:

10. Exporting can be a profitable way of expanding a business, spreading risks and reducing dependence on the local market. Austrade research shows that, on average, exporting companies are more profitable than their non-exporting counterparts:

11. The Small Business Hub, powered by ANZ, is a powerful resource designed specifically for your small business. The Small Business Hub aims to provide you with all the expert advice, tools and information you need. Whether you're planning, starting, managing or growing your small business, there's something here for you:

12. To connect with other small business owners, you are also invited to join the ANZ Small Business Hub on LinkedIn. This group is devoted to supporting small to medium business owners, providing a place to connect, share and learn from like-minded members as well as respected industry commentators:

This article is sponsored by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522 (ANZ). The views and recommendations that are made in this document are those of the author and not ANZ. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ disclaims liability or responsibility to any person for any direct or indirect loss or damage that may result from any act or omission by any person in relation to this material.

Success starts here
If you’re thinking of starting a small business, or have recently launched one, you want to do everything you can to ensure its success. Visit the $2 Billion Pledge to find your local ANZ Small Business Specialist and get an indication of how much you could borrow.

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