5 Tips To Help Protect Your Business From Fraud
If you had to spend a week in a court or a casino, which do you think would do your business more harm? The answer is both, because both houses win in the end. The ultimate goal for a small business operator is to make money for your enterprise – and not the legal profession. There’s no foolproof way of protecting yourself from sharks and charlatans, but getting things down in writing is a good start and an even better deterrent. In 2002, my business partners and I made the fatal mistake of not doing all the paperwork and asserting our rights when we entered into a deal with a consultant. Had we done so, the crook would have run a mile. After ten years of pure hell soldiering through the Australian courts, I can’t stress enough the importance of clear written agreements.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Contracts
A contract is simply a big list that details what the job is and what you expect. The best contracts are in plain English and are watertight (they can be both). Contracts apply to your customers: make sure they have in writing exactly why you’re taking their money. They apply to your suppliers: when are you going to pay them? When are they going to deliver? They apply to your business partners: they may be trusted, good mates, but we all need to know our roles and responsibilities. And they apply to your staff: it’s not easy telling someone you want something done your way. It’s confronting. It’s demanding. But people like having clear guidelines on what’s expected of them. And they’ll remember those guidelines better if they’ve read them as part of the ‘idiot’s guide’ to your business—the ledger available to all that contains the boring (but essential) stuff.
Keep Up With The Tech
Technology is your friend. It’s not meant to befuddle. It’s not meant to irritate. Its whole purpose is to make your business easier, faster, more successful and more secure. Cyber crime is rampant but don’t panic. And don’t pay an IT consultant squillions to firewall every nook and cranny of your organisation. Do some homework and you’ll soon find cost-effective tech solutions are easy to come by—and they’re getting cheaper and easier all the time. If you invest just a fraction of your working week in learning about your IT systems, you’ll not only better understand a fundamental part of most 21st century businesses, you’ll also be able to communicate with your nieces and nephews.
Work For Yourself First And Foremost
Why did you start your business? Sure, to capitalise on your expertise and fill a gap in the market. And of course after decades of working for others you were due for a change. But you also started your business because you’re selfish and driven and that’s a good thing. Don’t believe what you’ve seen or you’ve heard: ego is not a dirty word and if you’re not putting you and your business first, how do you expect anyone else to? A touch of self-obsession goes a long way and keeps the baddies at bay. Think of it as your business’ own personal CCTV. However, there is a downside to obsession …
Take Your Dividends
It pays to be conscientious and lead by example, but don’t go overboard because working for yourself can be a sad licence to overwork if you’re not careful. Burning the midnight oil is fine, but there better be a reward in the morning. So forget self-flagellation for its own sake and take your dividends. Spend them, save them, reinvest them into the business, but remember: you can’t take any of it with you, and you don’t want the taxman getting his hands on any more of it than he’s entitled to. So treat yourself from time to time: you’re in business, not a monastery, after all.
Get Your Business Valued
The old saying ‘if you’re not making a profit, you’re not in business’ is true no matter the size of your organisation. Sit back and reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. There are plenty of hobbies you can pursue in your spare time (and plenty that will make you money), but the litmus test of any ‘business’ is its sustainability and its value. So take the plunge, talk to a financial expert and get your business valued. Be real. You’ll find out what’s at stake and how much insurance you need. You’ll also find out if it’s truly a business, or just ‘a job’.
Alan Manly is the Managing Director of Group Colleges Australia and has over thirty years experience in business management in industries including technology and education. He is the author of the book When There Are Too Many Lawyers … There Is No Justice ($24.95) now available online at https://alanmanly.squarespace.com/
Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?
Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.
Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.
JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.
Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.
Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?
A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.
The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.
According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.
Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.
“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”
How did JungJin get there?
JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.
Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.
And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.
With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.
“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”