Launching a business enterprise is a labour of blood, sweat and tears. Often, entrepreneurs put years of their life into a new business idea, alongside large amounts of capital and other types of investment. Leading in business is a difficult enterprise. In studies run by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 25% of new businesses make it into their 15th year without collapsing. Businesses are most likely to fail within 5 years, with 45% of new ventures coming to an end before this.Of course, if you do manage to make a successful business, the rewards are huge. Business owners can enjoy financial autonomy, flexible lifestyles and the incredible feeling of satisfaction from having built something from the ground up.
If you are in this position, and you have successfully established a business, the last thing you want is for that business to fail – especially through circumstances you could have prevented. After creating a business, your next step must be to safeguard it as best you can. Businesses operating in different industries will have different needs to be met. However, by following the three simple steps below and adapting them to your specific requirements, you will help allow your business to thrive for many years to come.
Copyright and Trademark
In case you haven’t heard, Hugo Boss was recently embroiled in a trademark case that became mass entertainment, as the comedian Joe Lycett temporarily changed his name to Hugo Boss as a protest against the corporation’s case against a small brewing company, Boss Brewing.
Whilst for many this may be merely an amusing anecdote, business owners have lessons to learn here. Trademark disputes can bankrupt and destroy smaller businesses, and as we enter a global business world, it is more important than ever to protect yourself. Make sure your company name or brand assets have no relation – however passing – to one of the corporate giants. If they do, take the initiative and change them before it becomes an issue! Once your logos are confirmed and free from potential lawsuits, make sure to trademark them yourself. This will protect you in the future from other companies trading off your successful name, and even tricking consumers into thinking they are buying from you when they most certainly are not.
If you are a small business, it might seem like overkill to invest in professional I.T. support. However, in a world of online and digital business, there is nothing more important. If you hold any data about your clients, this must be protected as a matter of utmost priority, as must your own business assets such as bank details and documentation. According to statistics, if a small business suffers a major cyber attack, 60% of the time it will then go out of business. Don’t let this apply to you – get ahead of the problem and prevent it from becoming an issue. I.T. services will differ from business to business. If you run a bigger business in areas such as biotech, which relies on technology to operate, it’s worth looking specifically at Managed I.T. for Pharmaceuticals. If your business is smaller and more personal, find a plan that caters to your method of operation. I.T. support exists for companies in many forms, from catering to legal, and utilising it is one of the best ways to safeguard your business in the future.
A Business Will
It may be a subject we’d rather not think about, but in the event of a worst case scenario, having a business will can protect your assets even if you aren’t there to manage them personally. Many successful small business owners think of their business as their legacy. Without a business will, this legacy could easily fall into the hands of someone who doesn’t have the skills to run it, or who doesn’t care about the business’s survival. In order to safeguard your business in the long term, and keep your legacy alive, it’s important to consider this scenario and work with a solicitor to write up a business will as soon as possible.
Owning and running a business can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. This is particularly true if it is a business that has sprung entirely from your own idea, and which you have nourished from the very beginning. Once this business is established, safeguarding it will protect it from avoidable failure, and make sure it survives for as long as possible. Alongside other basic actions, these three tips will help stabilize your business for years to come.