Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Start Your Business Safely

Starting a business can be a daunting prospect, especially if you are leaving the security of a salary and regular hours to do it. There are some things to consider long before you get close to starting up your company, and neglecting them can result in negative consequences for your fledgling business.


Create a Business Plan


Draw up a business plan, taking careful account of all expenses and working out a best case, worst case and average scenario. Note down the accurate costs of each product, including a good hourly rate for your labour if applicable, and work out how much you need to sell them for to make an acceptable profit. Not only does this let you know if your business idea is feasible, it will let you know how long you should remain in paid employment saving up to get the start-up costs together. If you are confident you can apply for a small business loan from your bank, make an appointment sooner, rather than later.


Seek Professional Help


Consulting professionals is always advisable before starting any business venture. Any slips or mistakes on your behalf are not easily forgiven by regulatory authorities so make sure you are getting it right, from the very beginning! Bank managers are a mine of useful information when setting up a company, and, as it is the interests of the bank for your business to succeed, they will be more than happy to pass along useful hints and tips.

Have a Good Accountant


Sit down with an accountant before you start trading, or very shortly thereafter. It may be annoying to pay a hefty accountancy fee, but you will leave the meeting with peace of mind, and a clear understanding of your business obligations; and that is well worth the cost.


Do Your Research


Do plenty of research into your chosen market, and begin to accumulate customers before the business starts up. If you can begin official trading with a few loyal customers ready and willing to spread the word on your behalf your company will be off to a good start. Make sure that there is a ready market for your product and that you will be able to sustain sales over time. Remember, there is a limit to the amount of goodies a family member or friend will buy before they say enough is enough!


Follow Laws and Regulations


Make sure that you are legally compliant in every aspect of the business at all times. Skipping a regulation because it is too hard to enforce, or because you do not think that it is sensible, may land you in legal trouble, which can lead to financial trouble if a large fine is imposed… The rules and regulations may seem petty or be inconvenient, but they have been implemented for a reason and should be obeyed.


Have Adequate Insurance


Another area where many small businesses go astray is in the matter of insurance. If you have employees, you are legally obliged to hold employee liability insurance, to cover them in the instance of injury, illness or even death occurring at the work place. If you have a shop front, or office into which the public may venture, then public liability insurance is a must. This covers you in the event that an accident happens, resulting in a member of the public being hurt or killed.

Professional indemnity cover is there to protect professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, from dissatisfied customers unhappy with a treatment or result. If the company has a fleet of vehicles, or even just one delivery vehicle, then fleet insurance is needed to cover accidental loss or damage to the goods.

It may seem to be unnecessary and annoying to have to spend precious funding on insurances that will hopefully never be claimed upon, but it is better to accept that they are a necessity and pay up. Your business is highly unlikely to survive in the event that one of these calamities was to happen and you found yourself liable for all costs. So, look around today for reliable insurance providers, like AXA business insurance, and find the best insurance option for your company.

Running a business is an exciting, hair-raising career that is sure to change the way you think, act and even spend your money. Make sure that you take all the steps required to keep your small business safe and secure, so it can grow into a large, well-known brand!

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