Three services start-ups don’t know they need

Anyone who has ever tried to start a business knows how difficult it can be to have that innovative idea and even more importantly to convince people that they need the business’s products and services. Here are some ongoing services many start-ups don’t consider. Services that help a start-up to stay up.

1) Merchant Services

Get the edge over your competitors and give your customers more by accepting credit card payments.  If you sell products or services to clients, accepting card payments means the money is in your business bank account sooner that the old process of invoicing customers and waiting 30 days. For retailers, coffee shops, cafes or anyone else with a physical store location, this is a no-brainer. Customers expect the convenience of being able to pay with card and if you aren’t convenient, they’ll go elsewhere.  It’s not just retailers that should take card payments; plumbers, mechanics, solicitors, physiotherapists and any other business with paying clients should consider this as a chance to give customers a better service.

To get started you’ll need to find a merchant services provider, who can provide you with a merchant account and method of processing card payments, ranging from Chip and Pin machines, or contactless card terminals, to paying by phone or via websites if you allow customers to pay online.

You’ll sign a contract with the Merchant Services Provider who’ll give you an account, provide you with all equipment you need and charge you  a small percentage of each transaction.

Find out more about Merchant Services UK.

2)  Ongoing legal advice

Who could possibly want to sue you? Whatever your business, legal issues can arise at any time and having legal assistance on hand could save you time and money further down the line.

Before the business is up and running, you need to consider the finer details of structure. Is it sole-proprietorship, limited liability company or limited partnership, to name but a few? This will help you to understand the best tax structure (you always want to help keep taxes to a minimum!).

How well do you really know your industry and have you got all the right licences and permits in place?

Many start-ups assume that their workforce will love them, work hard for the cause and be there for life. This is often not the case and legal issues can arise from disgruntled employees or even employees that breach the contracts you have with them.

As your business gains a reputation you may also be approached by those who claim you’ve copied their model, products or services. Protect yourself against this with the right legal assistance.

3) Business Insurance

Business insurance helps to allay any risks ranging from damage to premises and assets to  intellectual property and employment issues. There are various types of liability insurance that can help to cover the costs if an employee is injured whilst working for you or if there is any injury to a member of the public as a result of your business. Business insurance travel is an area that is often overlooked. If you use your vehicle for business, like visiting clients, deliveries or for other members of your team to drive, make sure your insurance covers you for business use.

There are also various legal issues relating to your sales, marketing and promotion. You don’t want to look like you are miss-selling!

The most surprising thing about business insurance is the number of businesses who just blindly renew each year.  Shop around and you could knock hundreds of pounds of your yearly cost.

What have you learned that you need since you started your business?

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