Starting A Business In Australia

Starting a business in Australia is hard. Over the last two weeks, one of my biggest goals was to prepare myself mentally for our PayPress product launch.

Hopefully, if all goes well, it will be launching this month.

And, after doing a lot of thinking, I came to realize that there’s lack of support for early stage startups or people that are starting a business in Australia.

Who can we turn to? How do we get help?

What I’ve come to realize is that when you’re too early, it’s like being stranded in time.


Being Stranded In Time

I might get in trouble for saying this, but fuck it I’m just going to spit it out …

In the startup community, nobody really cares much for early stage startups. If I’m wrong, please tell me and I’ll happily edit this statement. 

Early stage startups are “stranded in time.”

Most of them will not have mentors, advisors or people to talk to each day for support.

Nobody really cares about founders until they “get somewhere.” Or, at least appear to “look like” they’re going somewhere.

So unless you’re in an accelerator, have a pre-established network; or have raised an investment – you’re kinda screwed.

What I mean by “screwed” is that you’re stuck. And you have to learn to make it on your own.

Does it have to be like this?


Sydney Startup Accelerators Are Too Niche, Too Few

I feel that Sydney is supposed to be the ‘hub’ for the Australian startup community.

But …

There are only 2-3 accelerators that are not industry specific in Sydney. What this really means – if you’re a general startup, you do not have many options.

Here’s what F6s has to say:

Sydney Startup Accelerators
F6s
F6s only displays 4 results in Sydney. (For those that are unaware, F6s is the leading platform for applying to startup accelerators)

The results are for current applications with accelerators. Out of these results, one of them was ‘Tyro’ the FinTech Accelerator.

PayPress is a PR marketplace (not FinTech), so I can pretty much rule out applying to Tyro.


Sydney Accelerators Vs. New York (F6s)

When you compare Sydney accelerator applications to somewhere like New York – F6s displays 36 results.

There are far more options for startups when it comes to accelerator programs in New York.

And, even if some of the accelerators are industry specific, there are sill more options that just applying for 2-3 accelerators like Sydney.

Startup Accelerators in New York

 

That’s a ratio of 4:36 (Sydney vs. New York) and it’s quite alarming.


Early Stage Founders, Need Support

When I started sharing my thoughts online (my daily doings with startups) – I didn’t do this for you, I actually did it for me.

I needed a way to create daily goals, feel accountable for what I achieved (or didn’t achieve) and to maintain focus.

Recently, I started to feel the pressure and burden of my little tech blog – and dealing with the launch of PayPress.

I wasn’t sure if people would be interested to read about what I’m doing each day.

It turns out that some people are. And today, somebody reached out to let me know that they enjoyed reading about what I’m doing each day with my startup projects.

The cool thing …

It actually inspired somebody to do something about tracking their startups’ personal goals. Yay!


Creating a Personal Startup Support Channel

I was having problems to keep on track, and I decided to create my very own personal startup support channel.

You’re probably thinking, ok you must have got an advisor or a mentor?

Nope.

I just reached out to a startup founder who’s at a similar stage to myself and said:

“I’m having problems with maintaining focus. Don’t suppose are you experiencing anything like this?”

He answered something like: “Yeah, there’s way too much shit to do.”

So, then I pitched him my idea, which was pretty simple. Every morning and every evening have a short 1-2 min chat over Facebook Messenger.

Every morning and evening we’d have a short 1-2 min chat over Facebook Messenger.

Our discussion goes something like this …

  • Morning: What are your goals for the day?
  • Evening: Did you achieve your goals? Why or why not?

The Positive Ramifications

This idea is still new, and I haven’t experienced this enough.

There’s no qualified data to support any of my claims here and it’s all based on pure conjecture.

But I do believe these could be some of the positive ramifications that may emerge if you set up a startup support channel.

  • You’ll be more inclined to achieve your goals.
  • Self-aware of problems that you’re directly facing.
  • Always challenging yourself.
  • Gain a close friend.
  • Open up about yourself, instead of being closed and bottling everything in.
  • Deal with problems together.

There’s a backstory. Read —> Part One, Part TwoPart Three and Part Four.


 

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  • Nick Foster

    I totally agree that accountability is a powerful tool. Just telling a friend about your goals allows them to ask you, “Hey, how’s that thing you told me about going?” If you’re going beyond that, and creating purposeful conversations about what you’re trying to accomplish, I think you’re going to see big payoffs.

    • Running an experiment with this now, and I think it’s pretty cool : ) What I discovered is that if you’re a small team, it’s hard to get support. But if you team up with somebody that’s at a similar stage to you – it could be a really powerful support mechanism to “focus” – get things done, and stay on track.

  • Paul Towers

    I echo Nick’s comments. Accountability is a powerful tool and that’s one of the reasons why I am blogging about my startup’s journey over at http://blog.taskpigeon.co I also tend to agree that by and large early stage founders are somewhat ignored.

    Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as not all startups deserve attention. And some of these people (VC’s, angel’s, etc) only have limited time to share around.

    That said however it would be great if there was a way of surfacing early stage startups that look like they have potential (i.e. vetted in some way) that could then have more of a chance with engaging with other people in the ecosystem.

    Even with that however I think great founders will always find a way. So while it may be hard, we should all keep up the hustle.

    • Accountability is really hard, and often at times, early stage founders are kinda stranded by themselves until they get traction.

      With investors, local investors are always looking out for potential new up-comers. More often than not, they play the waiting game. All eyes watching, but a step back, waiting to see what will happen next.

      And, if something “does” start to look promising or if a big-name investor jumps in, they all pounce.