Being an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding but it is also a lot of hard work and there are many knocks to be suffered along the way.
If you are serious about setting up your own business and you want to make it as successful as possible with as few issues that can harm you or your company as possible, there are a few things you are going to want to do, including the following:
This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.
Don’t talk about your ideas
Okay, so you may need to run your ideas past a trusted mentor or potential investor, but it is important that you do not go blabbering about your new ideas to anyone and everyone. Why? Because if an idea is a good one, people will see that and some of the more unscrupulous individuals around you might think to steal your ideas and launch it before you get the chance to do so. Your dreams of being a successful entrepreneur could be dashed in an instant.
Copyright and patent your ideas
If you have developed a really excellent idea for a new product or service, if you are to do so, patenting it is will help to ensure that the above cannot happen, and no one can steal your idea from under you. You will hold all the rights to your idea and as such you will be the only one who is able to make money from it via your business.
Form a limited company
When you are starting out as a business owner, it is a really good idea to do everything you can to separate your personal finances from your business finances. Apart from setting up a dedicated business bank account, one of the best ways to do this is via limited company formation. By registering as a limited company you can ensure that your business debts do not become personal debts, so if things don’t work out, the buck is not passed to you and you are not expected to use your personal money to bail out the company.
Ensure your business is insured
Many business owners, especially when they are just starting out, think that they can save money by not taking out various insurance policies. This is a really bad idea because if something was to go wrong, and for example, one of your products happened to be defective and cause an injury to a customer, you could be looking at a huge lawsuit. Insurance is there to protect you, your business, and your customers, so talk to a business lawyer, find out which insurance you might need, and be sure to buy a policy. Hopefully, the worst won’t happen, but if it does, at least you will have the resources to deal with it.
Use a professional business address
If you’re an entrepreneur who is starting out by running your business from home, one thing that you will probably want to do is to invest in a virtual business address. Why should you do this? So that you do not need to put your home address on your company website or various other pieces of correspondence Doing this will remove a lot of your privacy, and it is so unnecessary when you can use virtual business addresses for just a few pounds each month.
Even if you’re a small business working from home, you should have proper contracts with any freelancers, you use, contracts for employees records of every single step your business takes, and..well you get the idea. The more you document, the less likely you are to get in trouble in any way, so do not be tempted to cut corners.
Take some time off
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to protect yourself as an entrepreneur don’t work too hard. I know that can be easier said than done, but if you want to avoid burning out and being unable to run your business as effectively as you would like, it absolutely makes sense to take some time off, have a holiday, spend time with family and friends and just have a break from spreadsheets and marketing materials. You’ll be a more effective business owner as a result, which is good for you and good for your company.
Life as an entrepreneur can be tough enough, especially when you are just starting out so don’t make it tougher than it needs to be and ensure that you do everything you can, including the above measures to protect yourself as far as humanly possible Good luck!