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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: PROTECT YOURSELF, PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS


I’m not a legal personnel, but I think I should remind us of some rules that will safe guard us  in our Enterprise pursuit. The rules are more related to business owner.

Your career or business has a future which you have the responsibility to protect. No one will do it for you.  In all you do, think possibilities beyond the now!

A business can go down the drain with just a mistake from the entrepreneur or a staff in the business.  Many have ignored these tips and are paying dearly for it. They even wish for a second chance in life, which may never come. “Sometimes we need to use our tongue to count our teeth.”

Sometimes when your intentions are right, but your steps are wrong, your head will be preserved. I have innocently defaulted in some of the areas listed below, but came out unhurt by the special grace of God.  Don’t wait until it happens to you before learning the lessons therein, when you can learn from other people’s experiences. “Prevention, they say, is better than cure.”

The rules are more than these, but I just want to highlight these few tips to safe guard us in our business pursuit.

1.     Adopt formality where necessary. Write things down. Every transaction you have must be documented. Though the law recognizes oral agreements, written evidences carry more weight/value. Request for proofs, in writing, for every transaction you do. Do not risk it!

2. Keep proper records of those things you wrote down, receipts given you and what nots. Of what use is your documentation when the document cannot be produced upon demand? Writing is not enough, the documents must be intact at all times. This is where filing plays a key role in your business. Cultivate the habit of filing.

3. Think far, very far. Every business category has its rules/laws. You cannot operate a limited liability company the same way you run a Business name. There are some distinct laws governing the setting up and running of these entities. Know those laws and keep them.

4. Do not partner with people in a business you don’t know its main source of income; you’ll be left in the dark. No matter the relationship you have with them, don’t please them in this instance; friendship is different from business. Avoid any business without a product or service for sale. Any legal business must have value it gives to its customers in exchange for money.  

5. Do not be in a hurry to do a thing you don’t know the essence. You must know the ‘why’ behind everything you do.  Rushing into a business just because you want to out run others may get your fingers burnt at the end of the day.

6. Build systems in your business: Without systems, your staff can easily put you in trouble. Systems aid your business to run smoothly in your absence.

7. Insist on integrity: In all your dealings, always insist on integrity. It may seem like you’re losing, but the end will speak for itself.

8. Use the law in your favour. Pay your taxes, rates, licenses…. as at when due. Channel all illegal or misconduct against you or against the state to the appropriate quarters. Do not try to handle them yourself; they may land you in trouble. Example: Forgery, fraud, theft, …..

9. Watch your steps: You may have good intentions of helping people with your business, but run into trouble. I’m I saying you shouldn’t assist people anymore? No, of course. Assist people, but do it with caution.

10. Avoid illegality: There are short cuts in every field. Always bear in mind that such short cuts are not for you.

11. Avoid ‘suretyship’: It can ruin your integrity. When you surety for someone, you automatically become the first contact should the person default. This may destabilize you and cause more trouble than you can ever imagine.

12. Get regularly counseled by your Mentors and Attorneys. The role of these set of people cannot be overemphasized. They can see what will take you years or decades to see; they have either gone through the path you’re in or they have worked with and rescued people that got ‘hooked up’ on this path. Heed to their advice and warning, if you must go far in business.

13. For every document brought to you to append your signature, you must read it through and through and understand it before signing. Better still, you can take it to a lawyer to read and interpret to you. Your signature should not be on any document in a hurry. If it’s so urgent for you to append your signature, then you have to think twice.

14. Do not issue a check on an empty account, except you are double sure the money will get in before the check is presented. Apart from the financial crime associated with it, it will dent your image.

Solve issues at hand before your business ends up in court.Safe guard your future and that of your business.

A word is enough for the wise. Be warned!


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