Even if you think you have the perfect product or service, the small business world is filled with unseen stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs. Protect your investment by taking the following precautions.
1- Start Slowly and Build Up Your Skills to Preserve Startup Funds
You have several options when obtaining funding for your new business. You can max out your credit cards, get a bank loan, use crowd funding, or borrow money from family and friends. Some people even sell their homes to finance their businesses. Try starting your business part-time instead of pouring all your money and time into it immediately. You’ll make a bit of money (maybe lots), learn the ins and outs of running a business and still have income from your job. When you feel confident enough, you can leave your day job and become a full-time entrepreneur.
2 – Develop and Maintain Good Customer Service
Protect your business against financial hardships by providing excellent customer service. Loyal, repeat customers are ultimately more profitable for your business than one-time “hit and run” buyers. Even when you’re doing well, always put the customer first. “It’s easy to get carried away when you have cash flow,” says Sam Meenasian of USA Business Insurance “but maintaining good customer relationships are the key for success for the future of your business.”
3- Use Market Research to Make Customized Decisions
No business owner has a crystal ball to predict the future, but you can arm yourself with enough information to make the right decisions for your customer base. Following trends or imitating competitors won’t give your company the push it needs to be successful. By doing your own market research, either through a consultant or your own surveys and customer feedback, you have a better chance of keeping and growing your business. Entrepreneurs who create their own distinctive product or service protect their investment from fickle market trends.
4-Secure Your Website, Hardware and Business Data against Theft and Cyber Attack
Buy the best anti-malware and anti-virus you can afford on all computers, laptops and mobile device and upgrade them often. Update browsers and all software programs on company computers often. Instruct employees on the signs of a malware or virus intrusion and have them report anything out of the ordinary to the IT expert immediately.
Protect your hardware by feeding computer cables through a computer’s lock port (a metal loop found on most desktops and laptops). You can use tracking software to ensure the safety of laptops and mobile phones on the road. Some tracking software firms even have the ability to password secure missing items and take webcam photos of the thief.
5- Purchase Business Liability Insurance
It’s important to sit down with an insurance agent who specializes in policies for businesses in your field. A jewelry store needs different insurance than a plumber, and it’s best to consult an insurance agent who is experienced with your industry. You may need one type of insurance policy for your business office and another to protect your company from claims against you due to mistakes or injuries that occur on repair calls.
Purchasing the right amount of liability insurance will protect your assets and pay for medical costs or other obligations if someone is injured on your business premises or on your jobsite. It typically covers the settlement award if you’re sued, along with the cost of your legal defense. Says Meenasian, “It’s imperative for startups to carry liability insurance, which is the bare minimum you can do to protect your business from unforeseen accidents.”