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The Most Efficient Ways That You Can Prepare Your Business for the Worst-Case Scenarios

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Worst-Case Scenario|The Most Efficient Ways That You Can Prepare Your Business for the Worst-Case ScenariosThere are a lot of different methods that can ensure a business remains successful. This can be because of the fact you have done a sufficient amount of market research, and as a result, know the ins and outs of your industry; it can be because you market yourself well and also because of the fact you carry your work out to a high standard. One of the other most important things that a business needs to be in order to succeed is be prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Though this isn’t a pleasant thought, there is no getting around the fact that being ready for the worst possible case scenarios is incredibly important. If you intend on succeeding in the long term, then your business is going to need to prepare for some of the worst possible case scenarios and be able to handle these bad times as and when they come around. You’re going to need to sit down with each of your organisation’s departments and help them to be able to plan for any issues that might arise. This article will provide you with all of the details necessary in order to prepare for the worst-case scenarios that might befall your business.

Be Sure to Put in Place a Disaster Recovery Plan

If you are taking the time to plan for some of the worst-case scenarios that could befall your business, then it is important that you have some kind of disaster recovery plan in place. This is a plan that would essentially lay out all of the steps that would be necessary for your company to carry out if one of these worst-case scenarios were to occur. These scenarios will include but aren’t limited to events such as fires, floods and burglaries; however, there are a huge number of eventualities that could prove to be an issue.

In order to be effective, one of these plans should include a huge array of guidelines that your company should be able to follow when it comes to the likes of document protection, data retrieval and the eventual replacement of damaged items. This is an incredibly helpful step you need to follow as not only will it mean you are aware of worst-case scenarios, but you are in a position to see them through when they occur.

Make Sure Your Company Is Insured

Insurance is an incredibly useful and necessary tool when it comes to preparing for the worst-case scenarios as that way, if something is to happen, then you will be in a position to properly cover everything. You will need to be sure you are reading your insurance terms because these are massively important when it comes to making sure they will cover you for the worst-case scenarios that you have been thinking of. You should take out your insurance with the likes of Cowell James Forge Insurance Group, which is able to provide you with general liability insurance for small businesses. Finally, you should do some planning regarding the insurance needs that your business is going to have before speaking to an agent, as this way, you will be able to understand exactly what you are looking for when purchasing.

Turn to a Business Consultant for Different Planning Assistance

It’s important that you are not worried about consulting with someone else regarding the necessary steps your business should take. In the same way that you would look towards an account for assistance with bookkeeping, a lawyer for issues surrounding the law and a copywriter when you need help bringing your brand to life, speaking with a business consultant is one of the most efficient ways that you can ensure your business is in the strongest position possible when it comes to preparing for the worst-case scenarios. A business consultant can be a fantastic resource for your business, especially because of the fact that the planning they will do for your business will not simply occur over the course of a weekend but will keep getting revised and revisited depending on how your business continues to evolve.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that a lot of different elements come into play when it comes to getting your business up and running and ensuring your success. One of the most important aspects is making sure that you have planned for the worst-case scenarios that could befall your business. These include the likes of fire, flood and burglary. By having some plans in place if these instances are to occur and by having adequate insurance, you should be in a position to cope with these problems.

8 Legal Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting a Business|8 Legal Things You Should Know Before Starting a BusinessSo, you have successfully prepared your business plan, secured the needed finances, and are now ready to jumpstart your business.

In this case, starting your business the right way means ensuring that you understand and comply with all the requirements to operate legally.

After all, covering all the legal bases before launching a business helps avoid mistakes that could be detrimental to your business endeavor’s success. In fact, business owners unfamiliar with the required legal processes and documents to start a business are more likely to fail.

With that said, here are eight legal things you should know before starting a business to help you thoroughly prepare the requirements needed to start your business the right way.

Ready? Let’s get right into it.

Choose Suitable Business Structure

Your business structure is the first requirement you need to comply with before legally starting a company. In this case, startups usually choose between forming a corporation, Sole Proprietorship, or an LLC.

Of course, each of these structures has its advantages and drawbacks, so you need to pick one that’s the most suited for your business setup.

In general, many new business owners opt to form an LLC to protect their personal assets if the business declares bankruptcy. Plus, it is less expensive and less complicated than creating a corporation.

Overall, choosing a business structure is an essential step you need to protect your business and your personal finances.

Register Your Business

Once you have selected a business structure, the next step is to register your business name. Whatever business structure you choose, you need to file a name for your business or company in your state.

In most cases, there are four ways you can register your business:

  • A DBA (Doing Business As) works for sole proprietorship structures required, depending on your state. However, this registration does not offer legal protection.
  • An entity name lets your local government or state know that you operate a business under a fictitious business name. This registration protects your company at a state level.
  • A trademark offers brand protection in all 50 states and legally protects your business to places where your business is not registered within the US.
  • A domain name is your unique business web address to establish your business online and gain a solid digital presence.

Ensure You Are Not Violating Trademarks

When picking a business name, you need to make sure that it reflects your branding. Moreover, if you plan on providing online services or operate on a national level, it is best to get a trademark for your business name.

After all, trademark violations can mean damage and financial loss to your business, so it’s best to be prudent when ensuring that the business name you want is not yet trademarked. In this case, you can formally register your business name with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Get a Federal Tax Identification Number

In general, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) allows you to apply for a business license, hire employees, open a bank account, and pay your taxes.

Known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, your EIN will separate your business and personal liability, thus giving you additional legal protection and keeping your social security number from data breaches and identity theft.

In this case, you can conveniently apply for an EIN online through the IRS website.

Obtain Business Permits and Licenses

You must acquire the required permits and licenses before you can start opening your doors to your clients. Of course, depending on your business, industry, and location, the necessary business licenses and permits vary from state or locality.

Moreover, some businesses require special permits and licenses or additional licensing requirements. Likewise, others require zoning approval, especially if you put up your business in a residential area or require changes in traffic patterns such as shipments and bulk deliveries.

Secure a Business Insurance

Aside from this, it would also be a good idea to talk to an insurance agent to help you with the type of business insurance you need and the amount required for such coverage.

After all, purchasing good business insurance protects your company from the potential risk of accidents, damages, and lawsuits.

In this case, general liability insurance is one of the essential coverage for any business to have. It protects your company from general wrongdoing claims and ensures your income is secured during maintenance and reworking.

Open a Business Bank Account

It is legally wise to separate your business bank account from your personal finances. Moreover, it’s also a significant step you can take for more intelligent money management.

In this case, opening a business bank account allows you to deposit the money earned from the business and secure funding for business-related expenses.

However, it’s best to choose a bank that offers friendly and convenient terms for business startups. In addition, you should also note that the bank may also ask you to provide your EIN, formation documents, business license, and proof of ownership before you can open an account.

Hire a Good Lawyer and Accountant

Lastly, it would be an excellent step also to hire professionals like a lawyer and accountant for your company. After all, consulting and hiring a professional lawyer and accountant ensures that your company is covered from legal and financial angles.

Moreover, having a good lawyer and accountant can guarantee that you have solid legal support during unforeseen situations. Aside from this, investing in a lawyer and an accountant can also help secure your business in the long run.

Starting a business requires dedication and passion. However, there are also many legalities you need to work through to stay compliant and profitable.

With that said, investing time and money in ensuring that all the legal phases of your business are covered ensures that you are starting your company on the right foot.

3 Steps To Take Building Your Business From The Ground Up

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Build your business|3 Steps To Take Building Your Business From The Ground UpAre you getting ready to open the doors of a new business? If so, then you do need to make sure that you take the right steps here. It’s important to make sure that you are thinking about what crucial steps you should be taking from day one. The right steps will guarantee that your business is secure and ready to compete with some of the bigger players who are already on the market and doing a fantastic job of working the narrative. Here are some of the options we recommend that you do think about.

Get The Best Tech And Equipment

First, you do need to make sure that you are getting the right tech and equipment for your company. Do be aware that the equipment that you use can become part of your brand and shift the perception that clients have of your company. You need to make sure that the perception is positive and the measure is clear. If you are interested in rising to the top then you also need to make sure that you’re not overpaying. This can set you back financially from the beginning. You should use resources like https://fleetupmarketplace.com to ensure that you are not overpaying for the vital equipment you need.

Insurance

It doesn’t matter what industry you are joining or what sector you are going to be a part of. Regardless of how large or small your business plans are, you always need to make sure that you do invest in the right insurance plans. The key coverage here will ensure that your business is protected from any possible disaster that you could encounter. Specialist insurance options are also worth considering too. For instance, if you are running a business with a lot of technology at the heart of it, then it does make sense to think about cybersecurity insurance. This is all about planning for the key worst-case scenario.

Get The Right Team

Finally, a business is only ever going to be as strong as the team working behind the scenes. Don’t forget, your business team is going to decide and determine your level of productivity and help you build the right reputation for your brand. You need to make sure that you are getting innovators and key thinkers. If you are interested in this idea, we recommend that you do look at using a recruitment agency to help you along the way.

We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you need to take when you are building up your business from scratch. If you explore these options, then you will be able to guarantee that you do have the right level of security in place. You can mitigate levels of risk and guarantee that your business is not going to be exposed to threats on the market. You can also take measures to ensure that your business is more competitive in a heated market, potentially rising above some of your top business rivals who are already on the field.

Are You Protecting Yourself As A Freelancer?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Freelancer|Are You Protecting Yourself As A Freelancer?More and more people are now starting to work from home and provide their skills by freelancing. It has rapidly increased over the last few years, however, because some people have been pushed into it, they have had much less time to plan and research their move to this way of working.

Freelancing, of course, has many benefits such as the ability to work from wherever you like and the flexibility to work around your lifestyle, however, self-employment needs to be well-researched in order to protect yourself and your income.

Self-employed people are protected in the same way as an employee, which can lead to issues. Protecting yourself with a firm that has a good reputation in lawsuits such as the Zarwin Baum lawsuit, outsourcing to an accountant for your taxes, and using an IT service are three ways you can protect yourself, but what uncommon areas need to be looked at?

Let’s have a look below at some of the ways you can protect yourself, that you may not think about.

Sickness And Holidays

This has to be one of the top benefits of being an employee, sick and holiday pay. As soon as you are a freelancer you lose this benefit, and it’s not something that people think about until they need it. This can pose a threat, especially if you need ot take a week off sick, or want to go on a well-deserved holiday without worrying about losing money.

The best way to resolves this is by resting yourself a sickness and annual leave fund. Put some funds to one side each month. This way you have a buffer to rely on if you are sick or go on holiday. If you have a business bank account, then you will probably do well if you pay yourself a wage each month, and leave the remainder in the business bank.

Insurance Is An Essential

It’s natural to make mistakes, therefore, you need to ensure you are protected. You can have strict protocols and consider yourself a strict worker, and still make a mistake. NOt having insurance to protect yourself could have a huge impact on your earnings, especially if you end up being liable for a mistake. Liability insurance is the most common insurance that freelancers use.

Use A Contract

This is the first way that you can protect yourself. It is the number one way you can ensure you are getting the correct payments. You should have a contract for your clients ot sign when you are planning any projects. This both protects your funds as well as protecting you if there are ever any disputes. It provides something for you and your clients to refer to throughout the contract period so you both know what to expect.

Although freelancers may face some challenges, there are still many benefits that outweigh the negative, even more so if you protect yourself with the above tips. As long as you put steps in place to ensure you are protected freelancing is a brilliant way to have control over your career and earning potential.

10 Tips for Managing Small Business Finance

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Small Business Finances|10 Tips for Managing Small Business FinanceManaging your small business finance is crucial to maintaining stability and growing your business over the long run. From setting a budget to regularly monitoring your books, you should be proactive when it comes to managing your finances. Here is everything you need to know about managing your small business’ finance.

If you want to ensure long term growth for your company, then managing your small business’ finances is a top prerogative. From paying your employees to purchasing supplies, cash flow management is crucial to business success. Small business owners often make mistakes that, such as not separating personal and business accounts, or not paying taxes in time. Some small business owners avoid taking loans, out of fear that they’ll only be an additional financial burden.

Many of these ideas affect sustainability as well as scalability for your business. Here are ten financial management tips that will help you grow your small business:

1. Keep Your Business and Personal Account Separate

As a small business owner, starting a business bank account should be your priority. There are several benefits you gain from a business account, such as incentives, interest rates etc. that are not made available to personal bank accounts. You also ensure that financial matters related to your business is conducted through your business account only – this includes business taxes, overhead costs and paying employees.

2. Pay Yourself

Small business owners also make the mistake of not paying themselves, thinking that the extra capital can help the business. However, despite being a business owner, you also need to take care of your own expenses. Remember that you are also an employee of your business, and that means that you should be paid accordingly.

3. Loans Can Help You

Don’t be afraid of business loans. Loans can help you scale your business. Not every business owner has the capital to purchase expensive equipment, or purchase surplus supplies during a time of high demand. A business loan can help you grow your business. When done right, the return on investment is more than enough to compensate your loan as well as the interest on that loan.

4. Maintain Good Credit

This means that you need to pay your credit card bills on time, pay off any loans by the time they are due, and file your taxes on time. Good credit can help you down the line when you need to get approval for business expansions. Say you want to purchase more property, or take out a business loan. In these situations, good credit can help you get what you need to grow your business.

5. Invest in Business Growth

Your small business might benefit from better equipment, more employees, or an additional store at a good location. Investing in such opportunities helps your business to grow. At the same time, partners, lenders and even employees are more likely to see you in a positive light. This is as they see that you understand the potential of your small business, and are willing to invest in its growth.

6. Create a Budget

A budget is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t spend more than you can afford to. Every business has three costs – one time costs, recurring costs and variable costs. One time costs include equipment purchases, property purchases etc. Recurring expenses are bills, taxes, payroll, overhead costs etc. Variable expenses can come out of anywhere – such as business travel costs. Keeping these in your budget prepares you against any business disruptions.

7. Monitor Your Books

Even if you have a bookkeeper, you should also be aware of your income and expenditure. Look at your books every month so that you’re aware of your business’ cash flow.

8. Negotiate With Vendors

If your small business purchases supplies from vendors, then don’t sign any contracts immediately. Negotiate with them and see if you can bring the cost down. Ask them about grace periods and penalties in case you’re late on payments. Ensure you’ve met multiple vendors so that you know you’re getting the best deal.

9. Inspire On-time Payments for Clients

Some clients and customers don’t pay on time. If this happens to your small business, then you could find that your cash flow is being affected. Introducing incentives in the form of discounts can help you mitigate these issues. Tell customers tat if they pay on-time, they can get a 5% discount, or else they have to pay the full amount. Introduce penalties for payments that are overdue past a grace period.

10. Think Ahead

Sustainable business growth depends on a long term strategy. You need to think ahead, invest in the future and continuously grow your business in order to succeed over the long run.

It is also important for your small business to have the best business insurance. To know more, click here.

Sources:

  1. D’Angelo, MAD, Updated January 7th 2021, ‘10 Tips for Managing Small Business Finances’, viewed 11th February 2021, https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5954-smb-finance-management-tips.html
  2. Gregory, AG, Updated October 21st 2019, ‘5 Everyday Money Management Tips for Small Business Owners’, viewed November 11th 2021, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/money-management-small-business-owners-2951600
  3. Ignjatovic, AI, February 15th 2019, ‘The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Small Business Finance’ viewed 11th February 2021, https://www.shopify.in/blog/small-business-finance
  4. Square Contributor, September 25th 2020,’How to Manage Your Business Finances’, viewed 11th February 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/square/2020/09/25/how-to-manage-your-business-finances/?sh=452d16b237fc