If an Englishman’s home is his castle, so is his business and every castles needs walls, a moat and a drawbridge. If your business runs into difficulties, it can feel very personal, so make sure your business has all the protection it needs to avoid the worst case scenario.
Protect Your Ideas
Whether it’s your logo, your business name or the model your business is founded on, Intellectual Property is one of your most important assets. Ensuring it is protected from unfair use by other businesses, and claims of ownership from competitors means you remain based placed to hold and grow your position in the market
Checking with an expert is the best choice to make here, as the law is complex and they can not only guide you through the process of establishing your ownership of intellectual property, and also steer you away from trying to claim ownership of things that cannot be patented or trademarked. The British Library offers a comprehensive beginners guide to the field.
Check Your Finances
In the current climate, banks are increasingly reluctant to lend money on either a business or personal basis, and though alternatives exist like trying to attract Angel Investment or crowdfunding, they come with their own drawbacks that may not make them the right choice for you.
It may be more advisable to look for inefficiences you can reduce in your operations, and try to rebalance your budget to free up more cash than it would be to take on more debt at a difficult time. If you have the money to expand, make sure you do your research in advance so your spending that money in the most efficient way possible and maximise your returns, while minimising the risk that the investment will fail.
Whether it’s on the highstreet, or through the new breed of online lawyers, legal advice is more and more in the reach of small businesses. Paying a one off fee to consult an expert early on could pay for itself many times over, as you avoid being locked into a lease with hidden fees, or miss out on a good deal from financiers.
Many online lawyers offer fixed price services, like contract review, to make sure your contracts are compliant with the law and do actually get you the goods and services you wanted when you signed the contract.