Running your own small business is not easy. But, let’s be honest, it never was. It’s a fact of life that to achieve outstanding success, you need to work hard, be talented and have a little bit of luck. So, once you actually achieve success, you also want to protect it, you want to keep it. Whether it’s protecting it from the instability of economic markets, geopolitical upheavals, or just your competitor down the block, you need to be always on the ball. As a young entrepreneur, you don’t really have the option of being reckless. So, below you can find a couple of tips on how to keep your small business safe and sound.
Be very clear regarding your terms and conditions
First things first, be very clear and honest about your terms and conditions. Let your website and your company guidelines point out very clearly what you offer, and what it means doing business with you. Everything from having clear payment information, down to solid contracts written in clear and plain language. This protects you from any ambiguous and misunderstandings that might spring up, as well as showing your clients and partners that they can trust you.
Act in good faith
On the previous note, work at being honest completely. This doesn’t just include your contracts only, but also your website, your leaflets, and pamphlets. Show your potential and real customers respect, and they will show respect back. Lying or exaggerating about what you have on offer online or in your advertising will make you seem shifty, less trustworthy. If you do it too much, you might even end up being sued for false advertising.
We understand that you have to sell yourself, that you have to present your company in the best light possible. Just remember to temper that enthusiasm, to keep it grounded.
And of course, be actually good at your job. Striving towards being the best you can be is a core part of being successful, and is the best insurance you can get.
Have a good team behind you
Protecting your small business also means protecting what you have built, keeping it strong and growing. So, the best protection in this vein is employing a good team to have your back. You want trustworthy employees, professionals you can count on, people that you believe in and that believe in you. Of course, if you’re getting somebody new, you should practice due diligence and actually vet them properly. Have thorough background checks done, always check their references and recommendations.
Now, you should also have actual legal protection on your team, or as a backup. Namely, having a legal expert lawyer working directly for you means a lot. They can handle some legal paperwork, deal with local bureaucratic issues, and help you fulfil all necessary regulations and licences. And of course, if you get into trouble and actually have a legal dispute going on you will probably need to hire experienced compensation lawyers to help you out (or assist your in house lawyer).
Protect your IP
Another vital part of staying safe is taking care of your intellectual property. Namely, your IP includes abstract things like your logo, or your business name. This is intangible property, things created with your own mind. Now, by properly protecting your IP, you will get a strong legal foundation and basis to work from. Getting trademarks and copyright registration, as well as patents, will get you covered.
Now, the issue here is that legal regulations vary a bit as far as IP protection is concerned form place to place, from region to region. Patents, for example, need to be filed with your relevant office, copyright laws, while at their core are the same and still have a great deal of variation between them. So, do your homework and speak to an attorney or IP protection specialist.
Get some insurance
Now, we know, we know minimizing your operational costs is a core part of any business, especially small enterprises started by young entrepreneurs. However, you need to get some insurance. There is no way around this, things happen, markets crash, people get sick, new, dumb laws get passed… If something goes extremely wrong, insurance can cover you can protect and shield you from the worst. You can insure vital pieces of equipment, certain deals and contract, or even your entire company if you can.
Establish your brand
Finally, establishing a strong brand means creating a strong reputation for your company. People will associate your name with quality, with good work, strong products, and high-level services. Now, this does take time, it’s mostly built through providing people with good work and good services. You can speed it up, though, by advertising strongly, having a logo and a clear trademark, being distinctive on the market through your style and image.
We know the business world, no matter what line of work you are in, is dangerous and fraught with risk. However, with proper protection, you will definitely have success for years to come. So, try to establish your brand, build your image and style. Get some insurance, and have a good team to back you up. Be clear with how you do business in every possible way and, above all, the best insurance is being an expert in your field.
You may also be interested in: How to Reduce Your Small Business Operational Costs
Writer: Alexander Hunkin
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