Starting your own business is exhilarating. You’re full of ideas and they all come flowing out of you thick and fast. Before you know it, you’ve set your website up and you may even have a customer or two. It’s an exciting time. Everything starts to fall into place and you’re flung into the rigours of entrepreneurship. But, before you get carried away, there are a few things to remember! There are a fair few ‘behind-the-scenes’ things to take care of before you go too far. That’s what this post is all about. We’ll show you how to lay the foundations of your business before it’s too late. Without further ado, here are the four things no-one tells you about setting up your own business.
- Protect your intellectual property – As a small business, your ideas are the most important thing you have. They’re also the most valuable. They hold the potential of your entire business. They are your future and you should treat them as such. Once you’ve got your business name and a core idea, secure them. They are your intellectual property. Trademark the name and patent the concept if necessary. Very few people are out to maliciously steal your ideas, but ideas can spread fast if you’re not careful.
- Secure your assets – When you’re a young business, money is always tight. The budget will be constantly at the front of your mind. Every expense and asset will be considered carefully. You may have carefully selected your startup assets and equipment. It could be a vehicle or vital piece of equipment. Just imagine the struggle you would find yourself in if it were stolen. Invest in sophisticated tag systems and security measures to protect your most important assets. Trust us, this is an expense worth paying!
- Registering as a business – If you begin trading and pulling in profit, the tax man needs to know! If you’re making money from your business, you need to register. If you’re unsure about how to do this, it’s best to speak to an accountant. There are three main ways to set your business up. The first is as a sole trader (great for freelancers and small, personal businesses). Then there’s a partnership which is ideal for co-founders of a small company. Finally there’s the limited company route for bigger companies pulling in large profits.
- Liability – We have witnessed many startups succumb to employee or public liability cases. As a business, you are entirely responsible for the health and safety of employees. You are also responsible for the safety of anyone on your business property. This is particularly important if you run a shop or an office. If you’re not covered for employee and public liability, you risk being sued for personal injury. As a small business, this will cripple your finances if you’re not set up to deal with it. Cover yourself, quickly!
These may all seem like dull considerations. We know you’re desperate to get on to the fun stuff. After all, you started your business to follow a passion, right? It’s important that you take care of these considerations first. You’ll thank yourself later. Now you’re free to make those millions!