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Last Updated on by Noni May
Getting a business off the ground and turning a profit is difficult, and that first year of trading can be fraught with challenges. Getting started especially can throw up all kinds of issues that you had no idea about. Here are some mistakes to avoid that many small business owners can fall into.
Before starting a venture, why not do a course to give you some kind of background knowledge? It could be on leadership, accounting, marketing any area you like. You may have a broad skill set but lack in some areas vital to the business you are creating, so consider all the skills you will need. Then you can decide on which area you need to upskill, so you can be prepared in all areas.
Every business needs a good website. Even if you don’t sell anything through your site, you need to be present online and have your information available. Spend the money here and hire a web designer to create you something bespoke and beautiful. It won’t be cheap but it will prevent you from losing or putting off customers. Make sure all of your information is on there, from an ‘about’ page to contact details, a gallery and social media information amongst other things.
You might think that your products or services are the best thing sliced bread because you genuinely believe in the venture. But your potential customers might have other ideas. Conduct market research and take the results seriously, there’s no point mass producing a product or putting everything in place to run a particular service and then people don’t buy it because they don’t like it.
Get yourself a tax accountant to do your return for you, however there’s more to it than just an annual tax return. The hard part is budgeting for your tax bill, predicting what you’ll owe and keeping money out of your profits aside. Get it wrong and you could end up with a huge tax bill that you’re not able to pay, or even fines and penalties, so it’s worth leaving it to the professionals.
Bigger companies might have more valuables worth stealing, but they also tend to have better security. This means lots of criminals like targeting smaller companies as their security tends to be weak. Keep your premises or home office locked and secure when you’re not there, you can buy great security systems these days that work with your smartphone and don’t cost the earth. Make sure your online security is well managed, using a managed IT service like www.clearfuze.com ensures that everything is set up correctly and is as secure as possible.
Even if you’re very careful, accidents can happen so be sure to cover your back. Most businesses will need public liability insurance, and employee liability insurance if you hire any workers. Don’t overlook this important element as if a claim is made against you, you’ll be left seriously out of pocket if something goes wrong.