6 tips for busi­ness owners

1. Eval­u­ate opportunities

Before embark­ing on a new ven­ture, start­ing a new busi­ness or adding a new group to your exist­ing busi­ness you should test your new oppor­tu­ni­ty by using an eval­u­a­tion mod­el. We see too many peo­ple with a busi­ness idea, who neglect to under­take basic research and due dili­gence. Do not make this mis­take. Prepa­ra­tion is the key to success.

2. Watch out for non-com­pete restrictions

If you are con­sid­er­ing leav­ing your cur­rent job to set up a busi­ness in the same indus­try, you should take care to ensure that you are not in breach of the terms of your employ­ment agree­ment. Any­thing you cre­ate while you are still employed may belong to your employer.

3. Pro­tect your assets

Your assets are the lifeblood of your busi­ness. It is impor­tant that they are ade­quate­ly pro­tect­ed. You can pro­tect some assets by reg­is­ter­ing a trade­mark, copy­right or patent, or reg­is­ter­ing your assets with the rel­e­vant author­i­ty, for exam­ple, reg­is­ter­ing your lease with the depart­ment of lands, to obtain a greater lev­el of secu­ri­ty. Where reg­is­tra­tion is not avail­able you may be able to get your lawyers to draft doc­u­ments prov­ing your ownership.

4. Use non-dis­clo­sure agreements

Non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments are con­tracts entered into between two or more par­ties, where some or all of the par­ties agree that cer­tain types of infor­ma­tion that pass from one par­ty to the oth­er will remain con­fi­den­tial. Non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments are used for var­i­ous rea­sons, includ­ing where patent or trade mark pro­tec­tion has not been obtained or is unavail­able, and to assist one par­ty to eval­u­ate anoth­er par­ty’s com­mer­cial prod­ucts. The type of infor­ma­tion that can be includ­ed under the umbrel­la of con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion is vir­tu­al­ly unlimited.

5. Incen­tivise your team

Suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neurs under­stand the need to share the rewards and the wealth cre­at­ed by a flour­ish­ing busi­ness to encour­age moti­va­tion. Ulti­mate­ly, the suc­cess of the enter­prise will depend on the efforts of many peo­ple. There are many ways that you can share the rewards, includ­ing issu­ing shares, offer­ing share options, dis­trib­ut­ing prof­its and pro­vid­ing bonuses.

6. Put togeth­er a team of trust­ed pro­fes­sion­al advisers

There is a ten­den­cy for entre­pre­neurs to put off retain­ing the ser­vices of pro­fes­sion­al advis­ers until they have their busi­ness­es on track” or have suf­fi­cient fund­ing. This is a com­mon mis­take that can prove cost­ly lat­er on and inhib­it busi­ness growth. You can­not be an expert in every­thing, so devel­op rela­tion­ships with accoun­tants, bankers, insur­ance bro­kers and lawyers from day one. In the long run this will save you time and mon­ey. It will assist you by enabling you to focus more of your time on doing what you do best, work­ing on your busi­ness. Devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships with the right advis­ers will save you from being bogged down with com­pli­ance and gov­er­nance tasks, as well as giv­ing you access to expert advice which will ben­e­fit your business.

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