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  1. Business Startups

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Don't get your fingers burnt!

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Terrence Arthur Rowe

Start-up Businesses

Setting up in business is exciting but can be daunting. There are so many things to consider and address. Don't get your fingers burnt!

A good starting point should be the drafting of a business plan. The business planning process can help you to identify opportunities in the market place you hadn't considered. Once drafted, your business plan shouldn't simply be placed in a drawer never to be seen again. You should regularly revisit your plan to ensure you are taking the actions you said and also that your business is performing against the targets you set.

With so much to do and so much initial outlay some fundamentals can often be overlooked. The terms upon which you trade with your customers and, where applicable, your suppliers are a key tool in your business. They will assist you manage expectations, help you to retain customers, help with time management but more importantly assist cashflow. It's all too easy to put together a set of terms from other sources. Take the time to put terms in place which truly reflect your business. Don't wait until a problem with a customer or supplier occurs to take this action. By then it will be too late and the costs could be high.

Think about your relationship with your co-shareholders or partners. Put in place a shareholders agreement or partnership agreement to regulate your relationship so in the event of the relationship breaking down or the death of a co-shareholder or partner, the right structures are in place to protect the business.

Funding your new venture will be of fundamental importance. The offer of investment from a friend or commercial investor may be the break you are looking for. Take advice! Failure to take the right advice could result in terms being imposed upon you which could make it difficult for you to exit the investor if the relationship does not work. Any terms agreed with an investor need to enable the business to function on a day to day basis but also enable you to exit the investor should the need require, with minimum disruption to your business.

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