If you have started a small business, you are without a doubt its most important asset. You are the one who understands what problems the company aims to solve, how it will deliver to its customers and how it will stay competitive in the marketplace. Without your vision and leadership, the organization is unlikely to survive. Therefore, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself however possible.
It will be difficult to go to work if you are sick or injured. Therefore, you should make sure that you have a health plan that meets your needs and doctors who are able to treat you in a timely manner. This may prevent small aches and pains from becoming torn muscles or other problems that limit your ability to work. It may also ensure that an illness such as cancer or diabetes is caught early when it is easier to eliminate or at least control.
If you run your business as a sole proprietor, you could be named in any lawsuit brought against your business. For instance, if a customer is hurt by a product or slips on your sales floor, he or she could come after you for damages. Therefore, it is a good idea to have liability insurance that will pay some or all the damages awarded to a client or customer in a lawsuit.
Other ways to protect yourself from liability is to incorporate your business, which would create a legal barrier between the business and its owner. If your company is sued, a judgment could only be satisfied with company money or through the liquidation of company assets. Most small business owners would use the S corporation label as it requires less paperwork and costs less to create.
In addition to covering yourself and your business from liability, you may also need an attorney to represent you for other matters. If you happen to get injured away from work, you may find your business in a tough spot in your absence. Having a legal professional like those at Ahlander Injury Law can help you to get compensation for the time you miss due to any personal injury or damages.
If you are sick, it is important that you know who will take your place on an interim basis. Having a succession plan can be worthwhile in the event that you plan to sell your company or walk away from it at some point.
Such a plan may be particularly beneficial if you plan on handing your company down to your kids or other family members. When they know in advance what role each person will fulfill, it may decrease the odds of family infighting or hurt feelings in general.
It is also a good idea to provide yourself with a majority stake in the company to ensure that you can’t be bought out against your will. Alternatively, you can designate multiple share classes to ensure that you retain priority voting rights within your business.
The reputation of a business owner may be correlated with the success of the company itself. Therefore, it may be worth investing time and money into online and offline reputation management. This may include developing relationships with those who write for the local paper, responding to negative social media posts or ensuring that top search results for your name are positive in nature. While it may seem petty to respond to online trolls or to obscure articles besmirching your good name, you have to control the narrative about yourself and your brand at all times.
You are the most important asset that your small business has. Therefore, you need to do whatever it takes to keep you safe. Whether you are looking out for your physical health, your political health or the health of your public image, don’t discount the benefits of looking out for your best interests.