If you are just setting up your business, or are creating a start-up within a broader enterprise, then you will have a lot of decisions to make about how you want your company to operate, and what infrastructure you want to have in place to support this. . It is up to the individual business owner whether they want to own all the processes from the start, or if they want to make development a little more organic. However, there are some important processes that must be done from the start, even if workflows are not formalized from the start, because growth and good work practices depend on this.
If you plan to have staff members other than yourself then you will want to make sure you have some form of HR process to work with. Hiring, developing, managing, and firing are integral to getting others to work for you, and without having a structure in place, you can lose staff, or even get into legal trouble. There are some basic introductions to human resources available online, and it’s important to understand employment law from the start.
Having staff means you have to pay them. And if you have to pay them, you have to own a financial system. Staff will be taxed and NI and it is your duty to inform HMRC of their work with you. Even if you start without staff, the financial infrastructure is essential. You must keep the books properly in order to pay the correct taxes, keep records of any profits, losses or expenses, and to bill and pay customers or suppliers. You can wait until you are more established to set up a viable financial process, but going through disorganized papers and records is not the most efficient or professional way to run a business even in the first place.
Setting up a start-up is a big deal, and you’ll want to give your business every chance to succeed. One thing you need to think about is how to protect your business from premature death. Of course this can be achieved through marketing and other similar efforts, but it won’t help you if you get into trouble with the law. This can happen to even the most honest of business people, as lawsuits can stem from something as simple as someone tripping in your office. Save yourself thousands of pounds, and a potentially disabling court case, by taking out insurance to protect you from such things. Accidents at your workplace, or damage caused to you while running your business are covered by something called public liability insurance, and if you have to interact with other people in running your business, you’ll probably need it.
Keeping your business alive and seeing it grow is a top concern for startups. Adopting the right processes and procedures from the word go can help you achieve this goal and save you from having to change things while the business is in full swing, as it is a much more difficult task.
This article was written by Roxanne Wells on behalf of Hiscox.