Starting a new business is exciting, but it’s also full of surprises. There are countless ways in which your operation can deviate from your plans. To make matters worse, the consequences for failure are more steep, and many small businesses last less than a year before going bankrupt. However, there are countless known methods of sidestepping your small business woes. Here’s what you need to know.
One of the most essential parts of starting a business from scratch is building your brand. After all, your company has to make a name for itself, literally and then figuratively. However, this universal rule is a double-edged sword. To protect your own IP, you have to follow the same rules. IP is a tricky and multifaceted concept, so it’s best to hire an intellectual property lawyer before committing to any course of action. Getting some legal advice from an attorney that specializes in matters of copyrights, trademarks, and patents, you can better develop a brand that’s both designed to stand out and free from potential hiccups down the road.
IP theft of various kinds and scales are a constant focus for corporations, so you won’t want to be on the wrong side of the conflict. Moreover, you also don’t want your own property infringed upon, so you need to understand the limits of your protection so that you can always shut down an IP theft situation.
IP lawyers aren’t the only kind of attorneys that can make themselves useful to businesses. The law is a complex matter, and legal professionals can’t hope to master it in its entirety. Rather, attorneys often specialize in one category of law, and that specialization also pertains to whether they take criminal cases or civil suits.
First and foremost, you’ll need a business attorney, and you’ll need to hire them on retainer. Doing so will provide the support you need to keep your business operations above and, perhaps more importantly, to recover more quickly from a legal conflict. For other legal matters, you’ll want to hire an attorney only on a case by case basis. For example, it takes a tax lawyer to handle issues regarding your company’s income taxes. The takeaway here is you need to factor your specific issue into the process when looking for legal counsel.
More and more of commerce is online these days, and this has been a major improvement for businesses and consumers alike. However, it also puts people in a unique predicament. Using the internet introduces the risk of cyber attacks, and that risk increases as does the amount of time one spends online. Add to this that businesses are disproportionately targeted by hackers, because companies routinely collect data in massive quantities, and that data is valuable to hackers for various reasons. To protect your company from the looming threat of cyber attacks, you’ll have to invest in cybersecurity.
The first step should be to enlist the aid of a security consultant, because cybersecurity is a dense, complex field. A competent cybersecurity system, let alone a complete one, will require several different tools, not to mention a developed knowledge of modern technology. For example, the general populace understands the use case for antimalware, and malware remains a common threat to this day. However, businesses will have more intensive security needs. Intrusion detection and prevention software are crucial for being your first line of defense during an infiltration of your network, for example. Cybersecurity software also provides protection against DDoS attacks that could otherwise shut your company down.
Employee morale has been an increasingly common concern among business owners, because recent developments have shown that low morale is the biggest threat to your productivity. Keeping your employees happy, within reason, will help to keep them around, and this has a few benefits. First and foremost, your company’s productivity will increase in tandem with employee morale. In addition to that, it’s important to note that the hiring and training processes of bringing in new people will cost you time, money, and labor, so hiring too frequently will compound that cost. Prioritizing employee morale can often be complex, but it can just as often be simple.
Small businesses are more vulnerable than established brands, and there’s nothing that can really be done about the problem itself. However, making wise decisions during your company’s formative years will not only help it survive, but also help to create a sturdier foundation for future growth. These tips will help you get through your first year and prove that your business is here to stay.