Starting Your Business

Let's face it, if you are starting a business you probably don't have much cash to splash around and what you do have, you are going to want to spend on sales and marketing. However, I have seen many businesses splutter and fail because the business wasn't set up properly in the first place. Use the articles in this section to guide you on what you should be doing to get things set up properly. And, if your budget doesn't stretch to everything straight away, at least you can make an informed decision about the risks.

  • When a memorandum of understanding is better than a legal agreement
    With the deal nearly done and everyone feeling warm and fuzzy, the last thing you want to do is slap a 10 page legal document on the table and kill the mood. It would be like getting to second base and your mother dropping round for tea unexpectedly. So, is there an alternative to a full blown legal agreement which might not kill the mood but secure the deal? - read more
  • Will blockchain impact your business?
    Fake news, money laundering, identity theft, email scams and privacy breaches. This is the world in which we currently live and it has forced most to live their lives with an air of scepticism. Who or what can you now trust? In the ‘first world’, we tend to trust our governments and some large corporations to be responsible. The same level of trust does not exist in other parts of the world. Trust, particularly in an online environment, is the biggest issue facing modern society but a relatively new technology hopes to change all that and could be the next biggest innovation since the internet. It’s called blockchain. - read more
  • "The Secret" of Business Success
    Subscriber Only Either you, or someone you know, will have seen or read "The Secret" - an inspirational work that teaches us that the law of attraction really does work and that positive thinking really can bring us success and riches. So presumably, the law of attraction applies to business as it does to every other field of our lives? Is it really as easy as sitting in our armchairs and visualising our business raking in the money, or is there more to it than that? Are we misinterpreting how the law of attraction applies to business? - read more
  • How to ensure your business becomes an asset not a liability
    After ten years the plan was to retire: either Trevor could sell his business and generate a retirement fund, or pass the business onto his children with it paying him a yearly consultancy fee to see him through his twilight years. But after ten years neither was possible. Nobody would buy his business and his children perceived it to be a liability. - read more
  • How to decide when you need a written agreement (and when you don’t)
    “You have a deal!” said John as he reached over to shake Paul’s hand. Paul was elated. He knew the new business venture could reap rewards for both parties. However, Paul had been burnt before in a similar deal and knew he should have a written agreement with John. But, he wasn’t sure John would go for it – and he didn’t want to lose the deal. - read more
  • How to take the employee worry out of buying a franchise
    The advantage of buying a franchise is that the franchisee’s business is packaged up and ready to go. But for many franchisees that creates a huge problem: on day one their staff turn up for work and the franchisee is expected to manage them. Equipped with little or no prior business experience, that can be a huge barrier to anyone considering buying a franchise and one which the franchisor must overcome. However, at Esquires we have been able to take the employment worry out of buying a franchise. - read more
  • Will your Health and Safety Policy save you from prosecution?
    The metal stake had pierced his right side, gone through his torso and was now protruding from his stomach. Surprisingly there was very little blood but his ear piercing scream was enough to alert everyone on the building site. Jason was only 15 and shouldn’t really have been on the site. His Dad could only look over his body mortified as the emergency services cut the stake and took Jason to hospital. - read more
  • Why running your business is no different to running your car
    Subscriber Only Jason had travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand in his VW Beetle, but strange noises under the engine in a desire for more acceleration off the lights, meant it was time to move on. His Beetle was going to be the deposit on his new car … that was until he realised he couldn’t sell it. - read more
  • How to set up a joint venture without exposing yourself to unnecessary liability
    Subscriber Only A demand letter made Sarah’s heart sink. A $10,000 debt which she knew nothing about, yet her name was going to appear as the Defendant in court proceedings. When she rang up Malcolm, it transpired that the debt was for advertising spend she knew nothing about and would never have approved. Yet her neck was now on the line. - read more
  • How to stop your business partner ripping you off
    Subscriber Only Laura thought she had all the bases covered by having a comprehensive suite of Intellectual Property and Restraint clauses in her employment agreements. What she didn’t expect was that her own business partner would leave the business and set up in direct competition to her utilising the company’s IP. - read more
  • Why you shouldn’t copy someone else’s terms of business
    “Never Re-invent the wheel” was the advice I was given when I started in business. And that’s a great adage which I still use today. But if you are looking for a wheel for your car, you don’t go to the local cycle shop. That’s what some people do when it comes to their terms of business – copy those of another business and then realise (when it is too late) that they are completely unsuitable. - read more
  • Three important checks every business owner should make before choosing their trading name
    Subscriber Only Judith nearly choked on her coffee when she saw the ad in the paper. Judith had never had a problem with competition, but the name and logo of this new business looked remarkably like hers. There were differences of course, but she feared her customers would get confused. Her fears were confirmed when one customer complimented her on "her advertising campaign". - read more
  • Why you must choose the right employment agreements for your staff
    Most business owners know that it is against the law not to have a written employment agreement with their staff. However, what many business owners don’t know is that there are 4 different types of agreement to choose from... - read more
  • Will your business survive the economic recovery?
    At 30 kilometres Adrian hit the wall. His body just stopped, unable to run any further. He looked down at his feet and he barely had the energy to put one foot in front of the other. As he looked up, he saw runner after runner pass him as he saw his target marathon time slipping away before his eyes. The current economic downturn has been a marathon for each and every business in New Zealand and we are not out of the woods yet. But with the end in sight, will your business suffer like Adrian, or will it sprint towards the finish line? - read more
  • When limited liability won't save you from a lawsuit (and how to avoid being sued)
    When Robert went into business with David, he thought he could trust him to make it a success. If things went bad, then Robert could always rely on the limited liability status of the joint venture company to ensure his personal assets were not at stake. So when Robert received a claim against him for the company's debts, he nearly had a heart attack. What started out as a bad investment was quickly turning into a personal nightmare. - read more
  • How to negotiate a Guarantee Agreement
    “Never sign a guarantee agreement” is the mantra of most lawyers. However, in most situations that is simply not practical. Banks and larger lending institutions can be pretty reluctant to waive the requirement for a guarantee entirely. For some lenders, however, it may be possible to negotiate individual terms which reduce your liability. If that’s possible, here is a list of some of the things which you should focus on. - read more