6. Invest in Liability Insurance
From Small Business Trends: ”Although it may not keep you out of court in our litigious society, a general business liability insurance policy may mitigate your exposure when you end up there.”
11. Have a Strong and Clear Deadlock Provision
From Bplans.com: ”There must be a strong and clear provision in the contract on what will happen if there is deadlock on a key matter… it is essential that both sides know what happens when they cannot agree on something fundamental.”
From Amex: “At its heart, the question is, who is getting the most out of the internship relationship? … If the intern is getting the benefit of the bargain even without being paid, the company is on the right track. But if the company is getting more out of the relationship, the intern needs to be paid to balance the scales.”
4. Create a Distinctive Mark
From Business2Community: “Trademarks in the U.S. are subject to varying degrees of protection based on the distinctiveness of the mark. A generic name will receive less protection than a name that is unique.”
4. What Is Your Focus?
From GeekWire: ”If you are working in a metropolitan area, the answer to the question, “What’s your focus?” should never be, “I’m a generalist.” In any startup ecosystem, there should be practices (both large and small) that focus on entrepreneurship.”
3. Be Careful in Your Hiring
From Yahoo! Small Business Advisor: “The best protection is to avoid the situation in the first place by thoroughly vetting your employees, creating and maintaining a strong oversight regime and putting the kibosh on any undesirable behavior as soon as it is spotted.”
“Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury
From Business 2 Community: “First published in 1981, “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury shows that a good in-person sale is really nothing more than a negotiation in which everyone comes out ahead.”
2. Negotiate a Flat Fee
From Under30CEO.com: “Some spaces will tempt you with a low rent and then nickel and dime you on everything. Negotiate a flat fee for electricity, telephone, Internet, conference rooms, copying, faxing, answering services and the myriad of other amenities your landlord provides.”
Decide: Employee or Independent Contractor
From Business on Main: ”There is a major difference in the way the law treats employees and independent contractors. Decide which category fits your worker, and then tailor the agreement to that relationship.”
Understand the Downsides
From Yahoo! Small Business Advisor: “Crowdfunding is not a panacea for first-time entrepreneurs. While it can reduce the regulatory burdens of initial capital raising, it comes with downsides.”
Debt or Equity?
From AlleyWatch: ”Many investors will know going into a deal whether they want preferred stock or a convertible note. Sometimes, however, they will leave it up to the company.”
1. Look at Who the Event Targets
From B2C: ”Look at who the event is advertising itself to. Are these your customers, colleagues or thought leaders?”
4. Take a Step Back
From LifeHack: ”Remember why (and for whom) you are working so hard, take that deep breath and attack that next challenge.”
3. Have a Set Termination Date
From KillerStartups.com: ”[I]t is important to have a set termination date and clear provisions regarding what the party’s rights and responsibilities are once the agreement has terminated. A gray area here is bad news all around.”
From Forbes: “[T]here are some very serious legal considerations every for-profit company – including startups – must be aware of before attempting to use unpaid interns.”
There’s too many options
From FreeEnterprise.com: ”“Leaving the large law firm to go out on my own, I was inundated with possible revenue streams to chase and spread myself too thin. However, once I picked a few narrow customer bases and focused my marketing efforts, I really started getting traction.”
10. Incubators and Accelerators
From KillerStartups: “[T]he access they provide to industry experts, startup attorneys and venture capitalists greatly improve the chance of your startup becoming a success.”
5. Practice Due Diligence
From ReadWrite.com: “[P]eople looking to sell should practice due diligence on their own companies before handing things over to a prospective acquirer.”
7. A Team Orientation
From Monsterthinking.com: ”Know that every project is a reflection of you and your team. To create the best product, learn your team’s strengths and weaknesses.”
There are too many options
From Upstart Business Journal: ”[O]nce I picked a few narrow customer bases and focused my marketing efforts, I really started getting traction.”
From KillerStartups: “There is nothing that will sink a startup faster than a founder abusing the trust put in him by his co-founders, employees and investors.”
13. Understand What They’re After (It’s Not You)
From Yahoo!: ”A reporter is not interviewing you to catch you in a ‘gotcha’ moment — he wants to write a story about a topic on which you have expertise that his readership will find interesting.”
From UpMarket: “Every startup needs someone who can fulfill its technological requirements, and there simply are not enough good programmers to fill this demand.”
8. Do Your Due Diligence
From ReadWriteWeb: “Not all accelerators are created equal. . . Some are worth their weight in gold, while others are just looking to churn and burn their clients.”
10. Incubators and Accelerators
From Fox: ”Not only do they provide you with the capital to get your idea off and running, but the access they provide to industry experts, startup attorneys and venture capitalists greatly improve the chance of your startup becoming a success.”
From Forbes: “[T]too many people are finding out the hard way that a legal self-help website ‘is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney’…”
How Far Will You Go?
From MSN: “Engaging in buiness with people in distant lands means exposing yourself to the regulatory regimes of those faraway places. . .”
15 Unique and Inexpensive Ideas to Promote Your First Product
From Under30CEO: “While a new product may not warrant a spot in a national daily, there is publication somewhere that targets your core customer base. And that publication wants to talk about you, for free, to the people who are most likely to become the first movers on your product”
From ReadWriteWeb: ”While revenue, profit and deal flow are easy metrics to “measure success,” as a service provider, the number of satisfied clients is the ultimate indicator of how my company is performing.”
6. Microsoft Excel is Still Relevant!
From Lifehack: “It is the industry standard for spreadsheets for a reason. With a little training, you can run circles around any closed source software.”
21. Agree on the ground rules beforehand.
From YFS Magazine: “Agree to the steps that will be taken and the format of the dissolution long before things get acrimonious…”
Be thankful you have a choice.
From VentureBeat: “At the end of the day, when you need money for that next big step and you have found someone willing to fund you, your say in the matter is rather limited. Remember the golden rule for startups — he who has the gold often makes the rules.”
From Forbes: “Last month, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act into law… While [the JOBS Act's] goals are laudable, the possibility of some negative outcomes may actually cause startups harm.”
14. Didn’t I Go to Work Already?
From Lifehack: “If you are ‘at the office’ even when you are at home asleep, it is time to take a breather.”
10. Know Your Grammar Rules!
From TheNextWeb.com: “If people are analyzing your word usage, they are not thinking about your message. Nobody is immune; when Steve Jobs once called an iPod the “funnest” ever, the following buzz was not on the features of the new product, but on the correct usage of “fun” in the English language.”
… But an LLC isn’t just for big companies with multiple subsidiaries, either. “Whether you are a giant or one person, you still want to protect your personal assets,” advises Peter Minton, president of Minton Law Group, P.C. …