How to protect your small business from disaster
When you run your own small business, you give it everything. Getting it up and running requires intelligence, excellent communication and lot of grit. So once you have it going, you need to ensure that you protect yourself from the risks a typical start-up might face. Here are just some of the things you can consider to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build up.
Become a specialist
As a typically under-funded start-up, resourcefulness becomes your area of expertise. To compete with larger companies with more budget, it is essential that you don’t try to spread yourself too thinly. Concentrate on what you can deliver that is special because that point of difference is your company’s Unique Selling Point or USP. What can you offer customers that no-else can? If your product isn’t the first in the market, how do you make it the best, or different from the rest? If you offer a service, how can you go above and beyond for your clients? Narrow it down and focus tightly on communicating what you find, as it is this that will make customers choose you over your competitors.
Make sure you’re covered.
We need to be realistic about the risks that our businesses face because if something goes badly wrong, it could be the end of your dream. Insurances can often seem like an expense you don’t have the funds for when everything is tight, but they are an absolute essential to protect your assets. Some will apply to your particular business as a legal requirement, and some are a good idea to cover you, such as public liability insurances. Better deals can often be found through a broker or with an insurance firm that specialises. If you rely on a vehicle, make sure you find cover from somewhere like insurance4motortrade to ensure you can stay on the road if your van fails.
Keep Your Ideas Safe
Your ideas and concepts are the lifeblood of your business, and anything that you create in this way should be regarded as your Intellectual Property. You can protect your IP in the same way as you can your businesses’ physical assets, which stops others from cashing in on your ideas or things like your branding and logo. This is policed through use of Copyrights and Trademarks, which protect creative concepts and words or symbols that represent your business and become a part of your reputation. You can legally stop competitors from using these assets. Speak to a solicitor specialising in IP if you have concerns.
Check Your Terms and Conditions
Have a clear, well-defined set of Terms and Conditions is a positive thing for yourself and your customers. It sets out clearly how you operate, what’s involved and what your customers can expect. If someone purchases from you, you both enter into a contract, so outlining exactly how it works sets the right parameters from the start. If you don’t define these clearly, you run the risk of misunderstandings. Not only can these harm your company’s reputation, and put off future customers but you could also land in legal hot water. Avoid this by viewing some sample T&Cs, adapt them to the specifics of your operations, and lay them out in terms that are easy for your customers to follow. This will be the foundation of a great customer relationship, which will keep them coming back for more.
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