Kickstarting my business at 23

I'm so excited to yarn about...

How my business dreaming came to life! Talking about how this means to me always gets me bursting out of my seat, as this has been such a meaningful journey that I took part on since last year. At 23 years old, I never thought I would be able to start my own graphic design business (I’ll be honest, I didn’t even see myself ever starting a business). Having gone through so many challenges and trauma from my childhood, I choose to use my resilience to build a platform for myself. Now I’m in a space where I won’t share and inspire others – that you too are capable or creating a platform for your own dreams and aspirations. 

I started off as a graphic designer creating logos for my best friend, Erin, for her Digital Marketing Company Evolve Marketing & Communications. It was through that experience that I got to practice my graphic design skills that I learnt through my studies at Billy Blue College of Design in the real world (it was cool first time opportunity hey, after only studying for 4 months). It wasn’t long before I realised I had a passion and knack for it. I felt so much love and support from my community Dubbo, as some amazing local small business owners started to ask for help in designing logos and branding assets for their businesses. It was in March 2020, that Leticia Anne Designs came to life – as I registered my ABN and business name (that was a deadly thing!). And in about 6 months, requests and inquiries became overwhelming as I was working full time! In September 2020, I had to make a difficult decision of rendering work as a Youth Development Coach down to 3 days to start focusing on the business. 

Okay, let’s fast forward to… January 2021, when made to move to Newcastle along with my partner. I reflected on it and felt that the move would be helpful to scale my business and because my partner also started at Newcastle University. Remembering that now, it felt like a huge risk (I was also leaving the home I brought behind), but we decided to jump in the deep end. In March 2021, I went full time – no turning back now! As they say, if something makes you nervous is because you care enough to do well in it. This year has been amazing as I got to be in touch so many amazing and passionate Aboriginal small business owners. This is what continues to inspire me as I go along in my business dreaming. There are so many stories these business owners have that are waiting to be shared. A huge part of what I stand for in my business is to uplift our mob because they have so much talent and ingenuity in them that could play a massive role in the community economy. Connection sits at the core of my business and hold true within relationships I have with the people I have worked with (I’m their little cheerleader now).  

As I decided to embrace my business dreaming, I knew I didn’t want to do it alone! As my business grew, I was able to bring onboard 5 amazing, deadly creatives who are small business owners too. This allowed me to expand from branding & graphic design to also offer website design, photography and social media marketing tips. 

If you are still on the fence about starting a business and breaking away from the 9-5 grind, I can totally vouch it’s worth it. I’m not going to lie; it’s not always easy – I experienced doubt, imposter syndrome and overwhelmed. But you have to believe, trust the process and give it your 100%. Embrace your ideas and things you are passionate about to weave into a business. But also know you are not in this alone – well, you don’t have to be.  

I'd like to share a few tips that might help you to kickstart your own business dreaming: 

Register your ABN

Register your ABN – An Australian Business Number (ABN) will serve as your business’ identification number. Therefore, it’ll be unique to your business. Make it official first so you won’t encounter problems along the way as it’s a requirement of the government to have one (unless you’re eligible for ABN exempt conditions).  

Connect to Business Support

If you’re keen on starting a business but have no idea where to start, there are so many deadly business support programs and organisations that are happy to lend you a hand. They can help you set up the different requirements your business needs to help you succeed. Check out these resources of amazing program that helped me embrace my business:  

YARPA Hub: https://yarpa.com.au|
Summit Employment and Training: 
http://www.summit-et.com.au 
First Australians Capital: https://firstaustralianscapital.org 
Many Rivers: https://manyrivers.org.au 

Seek out financial advise for setting up accounting systems

Get yourself familiar with practices on tax allocation, how GST works, and knowing the differences between a sole trader, a company and family trust. I know it is all super confusing in the start, but it’s super handy to get to know it from the start so you aren’t left being bitten on the butt later. (Trust me, it’s a spider)

Register you business on Supply Nation

Aside from getting your business accredited by the leading organization in building a diverse, Indigenous-owned business platform, it allows others to connect to you that I wanting to support or connect with Indigenous businesses and opportunities. Learn more about Supply Nation here: https://supplynation.org.au

Embrace your Social Media presence and the power of networking!

Nowadays, business owners have more power over how to promote their business because of social media. Embrace this change in our times and get to know what social media platform will help boost your business. One important tip I want to let you know is that you don’t have to be on every platform. Find out what is best for you and grow from there. It is called social media because it’s supposed to be for meeting people – and that includes possible leads that will benefit from your business. 

I am always grateful to my loved ones and the community who has helped me every step of the way, as they have contributed to my growth and helped me gain strength to heal and become the proud & strong woman I am today. Through them, I learned that my future belongs to me, and the challenges and trauma in the past cannot hold me back as I map out my future. Leticia Anne Designs may still be a baby, but I am determined to keep growing in the years to come!  

Leticia Anne Designs Graphic

- Leticia Anne

I just want you to know, that although my journey as a business yinaa’ woman’ may have started early, please remember that each one of us have different timelines in life. Some of us may have gotten a head start early, and some may not even realize their calling until later in life. And that’s OKAY! Life is not a race, so please be kind to yourself and not feel pressured about the external forces. Your life belongs to you, and you alone. There is no timeline in dreaming. But you owe it to yourself to do the very thing that makes you happy. Stay true to you.

Yarn again soon,

Leticia Anne

We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land that we stand and live upon. The beautiful Country created throughout our Dreamtime over 70,000 thousands of years ago. We’d like to pay our respects to our Elders past, present and future emerging for they how the acknowledge, guidance and resilience of our people. We’d also like to extend our gratitude for the gifts our Mother Earth and Baiame’s creations – for our people, land, waters & sky. We would like to further this to all our First Nations clients, businesses, creatives and community members across all Nations within Australia.