1. Start as you mean to go on
This relates to all aspects of your business – be it in how you deal with customers, employees or suppliers. Set your stall early and clearly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Successful businesses put the time and effort into drafting clear Terms and Conditions to protect their interests to the fullest extent possible. Think about how the ordering/supplying process will work. What happens when things go wrong? If you’re taking on staff is it on a temporary or permanent basis? Do they have to work a probationary period? Have you complied with your obligations as an employer? Do your research and take advice.
2. Get familiar with your obligations to customers
There is a wide variety of Irish and European legislation in place to protect both business and non-business customers. Know what customers are entitled to expect when dealing with you and your business. Is there specific legislation that will particularly affect your type of business? Are you selling your product or service online? What about returns and warranty policies?
3. Show me the money
Most people don’t start a business purely for the fun of it. Even if you love what you do, you’re still in it to make money. Before you start selling anything, clearly establish how and when you get paid for your product or service. Is this clearly set out in quotes and Terms and Conditions? Consider whether a Retention of Title policy could work for your business. What procedure will be followed if a customer fails to pay on time? Do you deliver your product or service before payment?
4. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right!
Okay. This last one is outside the legal arena but it’s still worth mentioning. Every great business started as an idea buzzing around in someone’s head. What generally transforms an idea into a successful business is discipline, hard work and perhaps most importantly – self-belief.
So be your own biggest ally. Not only work towards success but expect it!
Taylor Solicitors Cork