There are many pitfalls you need to avoid when you're running a business. After all, if running a business was an easy process there wouldn't be so many stories of start ups that crashed and burned before really getting off the ground. That being said, one of the most common and significant issues is that many new business owners try to take on everything themselves. This makes sense at first glance. After all, you set the business up so you will have a significant emotional attachment to it and an intimate knowledge of the business. The idea of letting anyone else get their hands on it can be pretty scary.
However, the truth is that even the smallest of businesses can be too complex an entity for one person to handle entirely on their own. In fact, even if you're leading a sizeable team, it's likely you will still be stretched too thin to make the most of your business. The other issue is that it's unlikely you will have all the knowledge and skills you need in-house. Think about it, how many small firms have a permanent HR, business, or employment law specialist on the payroll?
With that in mind, there are some essential areas of your business where you will need access to specialist external support.
Branding and marketing
We live in a fast-paced world and that means that if you're not making the best possible impression to potential customers as quickly as possible, you're in danger of losing them entirely. It might sound somewhat shallow and unfair that your business' success can hinge on something that really has little to do with the quality of your product, but this is true to a certain extent. However, that's the world we live in and if you want your business to be truly successful then you need to make sure that your branding and marketing are as strong as possible.
The issue that many businesses run into is that they don't understand that there are many legal aspects to marketing that need to be considered. Marketing is a vast area of business in its own right and new forms and opportunities arise all the time, each with their own rules and regulations. You need to ensure you comply with rules that ensure:
- customer data is processed and stored safely
- your adverts are legal, decent, and truthful
- customers can opt-out email, telephone and text marketing
- that the cookies you use on your website are legal
- consumer rights are protected
- customers are protected when they purchase goods and services online or at a distance
- your labels and packaging display accurate information on a range of things such as price, safety information, origin, ingredients, and allergy advice
As a small business owner, it's unlikely you will have sufficient knowledge or experience to handle all these elements in-house. You will probably need help if you want to be certain that your marketing is not only effective but stays on the right side of the law.
Your employees can make or break your business. After all, they're the people on the front line who take your ideas and turn them into a reality. Of course, that's only possible if you're working with the right people. Sadly, the recruitment process is one that can be extremely complex and seriously time consuming. It's also rife with legal pitfalls. Ensuring you comply with basic employment law without the help of a legal professional is almost impossible.
Employing any kind of staff can come with a variety of different legal ramifications that you need to consider. This includes everything from ensuring your workers have the right to work in the UK, that all employment contracts and statements of employment are issued in a timely fashion and include all the employee's legal rights which are many. Breaching any of these rights could result in an employee grievance or, in the worst case scenario, an employment tribunal.
There's no doubt that businesses these days cannot function without IT. We live in a digital world and without robust IT your business will soon stall. However, the reality is that without a decent level of IT support and infrastructure in your business, the whole thing could easily come crashing down around you.
Working with a dedicated IT company can ensure that your business is always functioning as it should. IT breakdowns can have a major knock on effect for the rest of your business. For example, hackers might target customer data and an IT breakdown might mean you fail to conclude an order or job as agreed with a customer. The right IT support can resolve any issues that may present themselves but can also help ensure those issues never crop up in the first place.
Direct legal representation
Running any business can involve a whole lot of red tape that you simply cannot afford to ignore. No business owner would willingly engage in illegal activity or do anything that could potentially cause serious problems. However, the reality is that mistakes can get made and legal mistakes can have devastating consequences for your business and yourself.
Reaching out to law firms for legal support is not only essential if those kinds of mistakes are made but is also just as important to make sure that never happens in the first place. The truth is that legal representation is not only important for your business but should be one of the first things that you consider. Staying on the right side of the law is something that too many business owners take for granted and should be right at the top of your list of priorities.
It can be scary to let outside professionals and companies get directly involved with your business. But the truth is employing the right legal support is one of the most important ways you can ensure your business is truly successful. Not only does this put some incredibly important aspects of your business into the hands of the right people but can help reassure you that your business is always functioning correctly on a practical and legal level. Remember, it's not about what you want, it's about what's best for your business as a whole.
Copyright 2021. This article was made possible by Jeremy Bowler.