A series of films designed to inform and educate small businesses that I illustrated and animated as part of a collaboration between Courier and HISCOX.

The full microsite can be seen here: http://www.courierpaper.com/hiscox/ 

 

It would be great if money came in and out of your business just like clockwork, exactly how you expected it to, every month. But these things rarely work out perfectly; clients and customers don’t always pay on time and unforeseen staffing needs or investment opportunities can make your bank balance shrink in the short term. Plenty of startups survive for years without making a profit but only if they have a healthy cash flow. So set up a few simple systems early on to save on stress in the long term.

 

Think your business is too small to be hacked? Think again. Phishing scams and ransomware are increasingly targeted at small businesses on the assumption that they’re less prepared than bigger companies. Personal data, such as credit-card information, that you hold on behalf of customers is often a target, potentially compromising the trust and loyalty of the people who deal with you.

 

Taking on premises of any kind – workshop, store front or rented, owned or shared office space – is exciting, and often fairly key to your business’s success. It’s also an extra responsibility to add to the pile. So once you’ve found a great spot, decorated it and decked it out with the tech and equipment you need, make sure to protect it.

    
Like it or not, when it comes to starting and running a business, there are some legal loopholes that you’ve just got to jump through. But don’t let scary-sounding phrases like incorporation, confidentiality, terms and conditions, privacy policies and data protection send you running for the woods. Remember, you don’t have to get your head around them by yourself – that’s what lawyers are for.

 

It’s been said a hundred times, but it’s true: your name is your best asset. Plenty of tears and toil go into building and maintaining a good reputation, but even the best are fragile. Everyone who starts a business wants to do the best job possible, but mistakes happen, and sometimes those slip ups affect clients and customers. They could lead to minor problems – like a bad article on the first page of your Google search – or much bigger ones – like legal action.

 

People: they’re difficult. No matter what problems your product throws up, or what speed bumps your service hits, it’s your own employees that are likely to create some of the biggest challenges for your business. An enthusiastic and dedicated team can be the making of a startup; a mismatched bunch could be its undoing. And regardless of who’s in your team, if you can’t afford to keep them – or keep them safe and happy – it’s bad news for your business. So, before making that first hire, do a bit of homework.