When you’re in business, there is the chance for quite a lot to go wrong. While this is a pessimistic statement to make, it’s also one of truth; there are so many insurances that you can take out to ensure that you are covered should anything minor or major happen that it can be quite overwhelming. However, it is essential that you take them out and think about the things that maybe aren’t so well-covered to tackle them before any issues arise.
Gender Pay Gap
If you’re a woman in business, there’s a high chance that you are being paid up to 35% less than your male counterpart. This is cited as being due to a lack of women within the top operating roles within business, which can say a lot for a company’s ethos. There have been long ongoing plans to close the pay gap, with the current London mayor Sadiq Khan addressing it as part of his election manifesto. This means that it is big news within the business world currently; you will need to complete gender pay gap reports to go towards government statistics, and anything that flags up above of the national average for what you are paying your employees could have a detrimental effect on trading – there are a lot of people who take this matter to heart. This doesn’t need to be done within a small business, only if you have more than 250 people under your employment. There are lawsuits that can arise from people who are working for you who may take umbrage to this matter, and if the pay doesn’t reflect accurately the job that your employee is doing in relation to somebody else doing the same job but of a different gender, you could find yourself battling this out in court. Staying one step ahead when it comes to this is vital – both for the values of your company and the contentment of your workers.
Health and Safety
No matter how big your business is, you need to put the health and safety of everybody who is working for you into high regard. It is one of the most important things that you need to take into consideration, and getting on board with the right legislation for the size of your business is something that needs doing as soon as possible if it hasn’t already been covered. If you have an HR department, they will be able to tell you everything that needs doing to get your working space up to scratch. However, it’s much more than just the space that you provide that needs constant monitoring; it’s how your staff are operating on a day to day basis, how they’re lifting loads, how they’re sitting at their desks, how much time they’re spending in front of a computer (if this applies) and so much more besides. Any deviation from the rules could see you again being faced with a lawsuit from your staff for negligence. Compliance with the rules could see you succeeding with your business rather than falling at the first hurdle.
The more that you can focus on the space that you are offering to your employees (and yourself!) and what the work you are providing to them can benefit from it, the more that you are looking at the bigger picture for both you and your business. There is a lot that can be gotten from the space that you are working in. The whole office setup, from the size of the tables and the windows to the seating plan, can really make a difference in the performance of your employees. Whilst you can hire people in to design an office for you, if you are already established and are just considering an office move, it is best to speak to those already under you employment to see what they would like to get out of it. Whilst some suggestions may seem silly – there have been reports of offices with ball pits and dedicated candy dispensing machines for its employees – there is a distinct correlation between worker productivity and the amount of enjoyment they get from work. If they are coming in to a hostile working environment which is dull and offers no form of release, they are less likely to provide a good service throughout the day – meaning that you’re not really getting the most out of the money that you’re paying to them.
Making sure that you are keeping up with all of your policies and taking out the right ones is a big issue that a lot of companies are facing right now, not to mention that certain types of cover, .e.g employer’s liability insurance, are often mandatory if you have employees. Insurance companies are tightening their policies and less and less people are getting through the net for things that might crop up which aren’t covered. Certain things may not be covered, and it’s these things that you need to be on the lookout for. If you have a dedicated HR team, there should be somebody within there who will be able to thoroughly scour through the policies to ensure that everything that needs covering is, and to maximum capacity. Don’t skimp on paying for your insurance just to save a couple of pennies throughout the year; the bigger policies usually command a higher price, but they cover so much more. Freak accidents like fires and floods can devastate a company, and whilst they may not be at the forefront of your mind, you need to consider them happening.
These are just a few examples of the main things which aren’t totally thought about until the last minute – and it’s at the last minute that things start to really go wrong. By taking all of these into consideration, you are at least a step further into finding out what works for your business and what to set aside for future work. Running your own business is a big learning curve, but keeping your options open as to how to go forth is a way to remove one of the hurdles.