New businesses pop up each day but not all of them last very long. A new and unique business idea is not a guarantee of long-term success. There is always someone ready to copy or modify your business idea. Also, you might be going into a saturated field with new ideas.
So, how do you protect a new business in a competitive market? Here are six ways to stay afloat.
Set out your Terms and Conditions
As a new business, have a detailed terms and conditions list. This ensures that people and other businesses know what counts as an infringement. Your terms and conditions should also include a sharing policy.
A sharing policy dictates how you want others to use your property (recipes, ideas, sketches, pictures, write-ups, etc.) You may ask people to credit you when using any of your property or state that they may only use it for personal use or they have to first get permission from a company representative.
Whatever your terms and conditions are, ensure that they are detailed, concise and readily available. Remember to abide by the terms and conditions of other businesses as well, as this puts you in a good light.
Whether your business is small, medium or large, insurance is necessary. Business insurance will protect your business from risks ranging from minor, everyday issues to difficult and overwhelming disasters.
Having a comprehensive policy will help you to mitigate any risks that you may face and save you from being completely out of pocket should a conflict involving your business ever occur. You should also take care to ensure that you have the right level and type of cover. As well as a standard policy, perhaps consider if you will also need public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, employer’s liability insurance etc.
Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks
Everything and anything created by your thought processes are classified as intellectual property. This includes your login, business name, novel ideas, logo, designs, etc. Trademark your business name and logo; this stops people from using it without permission and makes your brand legally recognisable. Copyright ensures that your business has exclusive rights to your intellectual property.
Become an Expert in your Field
In a bid to please your customers and establish your market standing, you may overstretch yourself and end up blending in with the other businesses in the market. It is impossible to cater to every business niche, and the best thing to do is specialise.
Pick a niche, and become the best in it, develop a Unique Selling Point (USP) for your business. A USP helps you to stand you out from the crowd of competitors and the more distinct it is, the better. Your USP may be your pricing structure, your customer service or the ingredients in your product.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan provides you with the means to carry out an in-depth analysis of your business. It details your objectives, goals, competitors, assets and liabilities as well as projected sales and turnover. It should contain a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis. A detailed and well-formed business plan will help guide decision making, help you identify the gaps to be filled in a market and the fail-safes to put in place in case of mishaps.