Starting up your own business – tips for business owner protection

Try to find a street corner in Vancouver CA without a Starbucks coffee shop

When you are starting up your own business, you commence a juggling act.  On the one hand you are trying to offer a quality product and great service but, on the other hand, you are trying to do it all on the cheap.

If your customers visit your premises they are sure to notice.  Even if they don’t visit, your poor resources will eventually show through in the quality of your product and service, particularly when demand increases and you are put under pressure.

‘Doing it on the cheap’ means cutting some corners.  This creates some common pitfalls which suddenly make business difficult when it doesn’t have to be.  From a business owner protection point of view, it very much increases your downside risk.

Common characteristics of doing it on the cheap include:

No plan

Having no plan means having no specific goals, no direction, no real action plan and no financial budget.  People often take a blind leap of faith into the deep end and struggle as a result.

No dedicated resources

Many business newcomers begin by working from home and often start in a back bedroom or shared bedroom.  Apart from a desk and a chair there is little space dedicated to the new business.  So apart from the venture being cash poor, technical resources are poor and computer hardware and software resources are inadequate.

Divided time

Time is divided between business and children or business and employment.  This usually results in a whole host of competing priorities, many distractions and scattered concentration.

Unrealistic expectations

It is common for newcomers to underestimate the amount of time and resources needed to achieve the desired customer outcomes.  It is also common to underestimate the amount of money required and the amount of non-productive work there is to do.  It results in the common trap of over promising and under delivering.

No help

Business can be a very lonely undertaking and loneliness is a big factor in destroying new ventures.  Having no help also means that you are stuck doing everything yourself, which eventually erodes enthusiasm.  Many give it up and go back to an employer for the regular and more secure income and the daily interaction with colleagues

No systems

Having no systems in place means that everything you do requires original thinking and much more effort than is necessary; or alternatively, it doesn’t get done.  It also means that there are no routines, which are a must if you are going to effectively manage your time.

Working on everything at once

This is the result of having no plan, unrealistic expectations, poor technical resources, no systems, no priorities and no order in your business.  It is a panic mode creates by self imposed and unnecessary pressure, which pumps up the stress levels.

So when you are starting up your own business, put yourself in your customers’ shoes!  If you walked into a business that had stumbled into the pitfalls above, would you take them seriously?  No is the likely answer, particularly if there is a warranty or ongoing professional service involved.

So if you start ‘on the cheap’, then plan to avoid or address the pitfalls for your own business owner protection.

For expert advice on business owner protection check out my personal risk insurance page at:

Until next time!