12 March 2014

5 overlooked business tasks

When you're running a startup or small business, there are many tasks that can be overlooked. Here are some you really shouldn't forget.

When you’re launching a start-up business, there is an overwhelming list of things to think about.

There are many important decisions which can’t be overlooked, such as choosing the right commercial premises or working out a strategy for business growth. But entrepreneurs usually have their hands full, meaning important tasks which should be firmly on their to-do lists can often be overlooked. 

1. Set up your financial details

If you’re in the early stages of setting up your business, you might be tempted to wait and see if it’s a success before separating your business and personal finances. However, it’ll be easier to keep track of finances and carry out business transactions if you have a separate account.It will also make it easier when calculating your tax payments.

2. Back up your data

This is the kind of tedious task that often gets overlooked. But not looking after your business IT properly can have disastrous consequences. Hard drive failure, a computer virus or human error could see you lose your customer databases, payroll data and other vital information, so put a disaster recovery plan in place as a priority. 

3. Keep in touch with your customers

Once a customer has used your service or bought a product from you, don’t forget about them. Use social media and mailing software to keep them updated and encourage repeat business. Each time you interact with your customers, you’re building up a tribe of people who could buy from you again or recommend your business to others.

4. Sort out your website

Creating an online presence may seem time consuming and pricey, but having a well-designed website is now essential for a start-up business. Spend some time making sure your site has content and images which are engaging and reflect your brand.

5. Take out insurance

Don’t be tempted to try and save money by not taking out insurance. Insurance can protect you from situations that might otherwise spell the end of your company. Even if the risks are small, is it really worth the gamble? Shop around to find the best, most affordable deal that suits your needs. Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need:

  • Public liability insurance. This insurance covers against accidents that causes to your customers, suppliers or members of the public or damages their property. The most common type of accident is tripping or slipping, for example tripping over a wire that hasn’t been covered over or isn’t clearly marked. This is recommended for many small businesses, e.g. plumbers, electricians, shop owners etc.
  • Employers liability insurance. Barring a few exceptions, you are legally obliged to take out this insurance if you employ staff, even if you only hire temporary workers. While this may seem like an unnecessary burden, it protects you from compensation claims if one of your employees is injured or develops an illness as a result of their work.
  • Indemnity insurance. This is recommended for businesses that give advice or offer professional services, such as accountants, personal trainers and photographers. It protects you from claims of negligence or mistakes on your part that result in financial loss for your customer or client.  
  • Contents insurance. Customers based in Bizspace centres benefit from buildings insurance, but you are responsible for insuring the contents of your office or unit.