You have a business idea that you’d really like to fulfill. You’ve already gathered the capital and are preparing for other aspects of your business. It’s good to go in deep about the logistics of how to provide your business to potential clients, but remember to also take a step back and look whether you’ve covered your bases. Many startups and small businesses experience a spurt of success at the start only to struggle in the long run. And mostly, this struggle is not because of lack of clients, but something completely preventable: lack of legal, staff, and data organization.
Small-to-medium business and startups tend to fear legal advice or data management, as they think it’ll cost more and will dig in the valuable early profits. There is some truth to this, but completely ignoring the bureaucratic aspect of your business can also lead to failure. Don’t make the mistake of putting legalities and other paperwork aside, as they can make or break your company. Here’s a quick checklist of things to keep in mind, so you won’t have unnecessary struggles one or two years in.
Nothing beats professional legal advice. If you’re uncertain if you’re adhering to all the laws or may potentially break one, it’s best to have a legal professional to help you out. Consulting a business lawyer before the fact is better than seeking one for legal defense; counsel is better than defense.
Especially if your business is one that requires a follows different rules depending on the location, knowing your legal boundaries will help you avoid obstacles in the future. Also, there are legal plans that give focus on business. They provide legal consultation over the phone or email for a monthly fee- this monthly fee can save you thousands of dollars if done right.
Write Everything Down
We all know verbal agreements are never enough, but it’s easy to feel complacent and just let quick agreements slide. However, having badly written agreement can spell trouble when left unchecked. Any agreements or major decisions with your business partners or employees should always be written down for you to track them for future use. Making business agreements with potential partners or developers should always end with a contract signed by everyone involved. Even your first few employees, even if they’re close friends, need properly notarized contracts.
While it may sound bothersome to draft a contract for everything, it’s simply just to protect you and your business. It helps keep your relationship with others on track and reminds everyone of their agreed-upon responsibilities.
Use the cloud to store your data
Before the internet, businesses had to use large filing cabinets to store important documents and data. Paperwork was the cornerstone of businesses, and every business had a dedicated secretary whose sole job was to maintain it. If a building burns down or collapses, or anything bad ever happens to the cabinet, your documents are gone for good.
Nowadays, we barely need those steel cabinets. Thanks to the internet, everything is online. From legal papers to accounting information, from inventory logs to employee attendance, we can store everything on the internet for ease of access. This prevents you from accidentally losing any data as there are plenty of cloud storage services to help you be on top of things. Some even include backup and security, too.
Prepare an Organizational Chart
Even if your company is small, it helps to be clear with the positions of everyone involved. This prevents any confusion over each other’s roles and responsibilities, making everyone’s tasks clear. It also establishes the direction the company will take as it points out who’s in the helm.
However, one aspect you should also include is the blanks for roles not filled yet. These blanks are for those who’ll be joining your company in the future. This is also a reminder for what kind of skills or specialists you may need down the line and can be a target for employees joining your company. An organizational chart also keeps everyone’s relationship in check as it reminds everyone that they’re in business together, and not a side hobby or project- a common sin among startups with potential that ends up failing.
As the popular saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Among the most crucial parts of preparing for a business is the bureaucratic side of things; while it’s never fun, it’s one of those things that simply need to be done. Don’t forget to accomplish these things before they spell trouble for you: preparing the necessary paperwork and establishing clear roles will ensure that your company has a direction everyone’s moving towards.
Meta title: Cover Your Bases with the Fundamentals of Business
Meta description: Starting a business can be hard, and it can be especially harder if you’re not well prepared. Read more to find out what you need to prepare on the bureaucratic side of the business to prevent future problems.