In this presentation called, "Establishing Systems and Processes", e4e partner Bill Prenatt presents Part 2 of the 2020 Planning Series.
In this presentation called, "Choosing Direction", e4e partner Dale Furtwengler discusses how to discover techniques for overcoming the three challenges that make it difficult for business owners to set a direction for their business.
In this presentation called, " Repetition and Consistency: Training yourself to be a good dog!", e4e partner Thad James shows how measuring success and correcting failure is paramount to success in business. By installing consistent processes, business owners can quickly identify successful practices that will build consistent growth. And recognizing small failures quickly, allows adjustments to be made before the errors become too big to fix.
In this presentation called, "Building An Amazing Team", e4e partner Lori St. Clair shares the pitfalls and missteps she made and how she overcame them to develop an amazingly self-motivated, highly productive team.
In this presentation called, "Managing Growth", e4e partner Dale Furtwengler asks how effectively are you managing growth in day-to-day operations?
In this presentation called, "Taking the Mystery Out of Running Your Business", e4e partner Mark Brimer discusses some things you can to to make your business more predictable.
In this presentation called, "Lessons on Business & Life from the game of Chess", e4e partner Brian Rogers shares his love for the game and how it enhances his journey in life and business.
In this presentation called, "Spicing Up Your Morning Routine", e4e partner Lisa Oxenhandler shows you how to convert your morning routines from drudgery to exhilarating in a few simple steps.
In this presentation called, "Transforming Boring Routines", e4e partner Bill Higley shares methods for transforming boring routines into satisfying rituals with the power of the right questions, the right vocabulary, and the discipline of time limits.
In this presentation called, "Your Business Listing Online", e4e partner Will Hanke tells us some things that will help our business's online listings and some tools we can use to do those things.
In this presentation called, "Opposition Research", e4e partner Thad James tells us how knowing all we can about our competition can help us to grow our own businesses.
In this presentation called, "The Making Minutes Matter Method," e4e partner Mary Kutheis talks about using this method to reduce stress while increasing your contentment and joy.
In his presentation, e4e partner Bill Prenatt gives the audience advice on how to stop "keeping up" and instead to get out ahead.
In his presentation, e4e partner Jim Canada gives the audience some tips on making presentations to groups and facilitation group meetings. Jim speaks from his own experience of being uncomfortable giving speeches before large groups and what he does to overcome that discomfort.
In this presentation called, "How to Set Your Business on Auto-Pilot," e4e partner Will Hanke explains how he uses automation to make his business operations more efficient. He makes suggestions about what web applications have helped him, describes the types of tasks that are easily automated and show us how we can save a significant amount of time during our work day.
In this presentation called, "Power & Path to Self-Management & Shared Leadership," e4e partner Les Landes explains a new method of employee management. He advocates for giving workers more freedom of self-management and dismantling some of the traditional power structures in today's businesses that get in the way of productivity.
In this episode of Business APProved called, "Help My Website's Been Hacked!," e4e partner Will Hanke explains how you can protect your website from being hacked and what to do if you think it's been compromised. He discusses the importance of regularly backing up your website, a variety of apps and plugins that help make the process easier and how to make your website more secure.
In this Wisdom of the Community Workshop called, "Don't Wing It! Design Your Negotiations," e4e partner Glenda Woolley leads a discussion about how business leaders can plan their negotiation and difficult discussions. She describes key turning points in her own development as a business professional and team leader. E4e members and guests also contribute and offer advice on how to best communicate with your coworkers and employees.
In this presentation called "Cybercrime: Preventing a Victim Mindset," e4e partner Jared Peno explains how to be proactive about protecting personal and business information from cyber criminals. He describes common types if internet fraud, how cyber criminals obtain your information and questions you need to ask yourself when trying to protect your information.
In this presentation called "Running a Business While Life Happens," e4e partner Lisa Oxenhandler explains how she maintains a work/life balance and how "giving back" helps her through the stresses of running a business. She also opens a discussion on the importance of being grateful and not taking yourself too seriously.
In this presentation called "Unique, Memorable, Referred," e4e partner Thad James explains how to stand out from your competition and generate more referals.
In this presentation called "Leveraging LinkedIn," e4e partner Josh Levey explains how you can use your LinkedIn connections to produce quality leads for your business. He takes the audience through a simple three-step marketing campaign, explains the different statistics to pay attention to and gives examples of the types of copy that have proven most successful.
In this presentation called "What Every Business Owner Should Know About the Law," e4e partner Brian Rogers offers a few little known legal details that can significantly affect businesses and business owners. He covers some important technicalities of copy-write laws, how to protect trade secrets and things to watch out for in boilerplate documents.
In this presentation called "When Do You Cut the Cord, and Let That Prospect Go?," e4e partner John Eyres discusses the results of a survey answering that exact question. He offers different strategies for following up with prospects and explains how they might work differently in different industries. At the end of the presentation, John opens the floor for questions and advice from the audience.
You probably started your business because you’re passionate about the products you make or the services you provide. The last thing you want to think about is the law and how it impacts your business. But the law affects your business, so you should be informed.
Here are a few legal questions that you should ask yourself.
Should I incorporate?
Every business’s operations create the potential for legal liability. Like it or not, it’s a part of interacting with the public and offering products or services to them. Do you have a retail store? Someone could fall and become injured while shopping in your store. Do you manufacture a product? Using the product might hurt someone or damage property. This sort of potential liability could cost you and your business a lot of money if it’s your fault.
One of the ways to protect yourself against the liability risks generated by your business is to incorporate. When you incorporate, you create a new entity that owns and operates the business. You
own the company, but the company owns and operates the business. In this way, you are legally separated from your business and the liabilities it generates. If someone slips and falls in a store operated by your corporation or limited liability company, then your company would be held responsible instead of you. This creates a barrier between your business operations and your personal
There are limits to this protection, however. For example, you are always responsible for your own actions [http://bluemavenlaw.com/llcs-limited- liability-protection- torts/], so if you’re the one who mopped the floor and forgot to post a wet floor warning sign, both you and your company could be held liable when someone slips and falls. Also, you are responsible for obligations you personally guarantee, and in certain circumstances courts will disregard the company entity and hold the business owner responsible in what is known as “piercing the corporate veil.”
There are very few circumstances where it is advisable to operate a business without the protection of a corporation or limited liability company. Since every business creates the potential for
liability, your personal assets will be at risk unless you can mitigate all of the risks created by your business through some other means, such as insurance. Sometimes business owners decide that the potential liabilities created by their businesses are very small or they conclude that they have adequate protection from insurance. But it’s the rare business that shouldn’t be incorporated.
Could I be held personally liable for my company’s contracts?
If you haven’t incorporated, the answer is definitely “Yes, you are personally on the hook for your business’s contracts.” If you have incorporated, you shouldn’t be personally liable in most cases as long as you sign the contracts correctly.
When you do business through a corporation or a limited liability company, you should think of yourself and your company as separate persons. You don’t own or operate the business—your company does. You own the company, and you do things on behalf of the company such as sign its contracts, but you don’t directly own the business assets and you don’t enter into contracts on your own behalf.
When you sign your company’s contracts, you are acting as an agent of the company. That is, you’re acting on behalf of the company and not on your own behalf. In order to make sure that it’s clear that your company is the party to a contract—and not you—and that you’re signing the contract on the company’s behalf, you should clearly indicate that the company is the party and that you’re signing as an agent of the company.
This is usually done by listing the company as a party to the contract in the first paragraph and also in the place where the contract is signed, which is known as the signature block. You should also list your title (such as president) next to your name in your company’s signature block. If someone presents a contract to you that has your name instead of the company’s name in the first paragraph or in the signature blocks, you should have them correct the document before you sign it. Otherwise, it looks like you are the party to the contract instead of your company, leaving you responsible for the contract instead of the company.
Do I own my website?
So far we’ve been dealing with legal issues relating to liabilities, but there’s a quirky part of the law involving ownership of written materials that every business owner should be aware of. This
involves copyright law.
When you hire someone to create work product for your company, such as marketing materials or the code behind a website, rights to those materials—known as copyright—are automatically
created. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that the copyright 3 Legal Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask Themselves in the person creating the materials—and not your company—even if you’re paying the creator specifically to create the materials for you.
This is the default situation under copyright law, which is completely opposite of what you would expect. Most people intuitively believe that they automatically own materials that they pay for.
But that’s not the case.
Although the default under copyright law vests copyright ownership in the creator of materials, this default can easily be overcome through your contract with the person you’re engaging to create
your marketing materials or your website. Your contract should contain a clause by which the creator assigns the materials to your company. It’s that simple.
Although you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time thinking about legal issues, you should consider whether or not to incorporate, you should be careful to sign your contracts correctly, and you should make sure that you own materials that you pay to create, such as your marketing materials and your company website. If you do these three things, you’ll be able to focus on why you started your business in the first place. And you’ll sleep better at night.