You’ve been a business owner for a few months now. And although the transition from being employed to being a full-pledged entrepreneur was challenging, you’ve been able to manage that change and everything else in your business. You were able to give your customers what they want, hire the most skilled staff and improve business processes along the way. You’ve been very careful in every decision that you make for your business because you think that this will be the best way for your business to grow. Your resources are still scarce, and you can’t take any chances yet. Aside from this fact, you’re also very cautious because you don’t want to experience business litigation. You know that this can be a very expensive and tedious process and you don’t want to be placed in that situation. Aside from the precautions that you’re doing in your business right now, the tips presented in this article can also help you prevent business litigation.
Remember, however, that these are merely suggestions as to how you could potentially avoid a business litigation. To fully prepare, it’s recommended that you seek the services of an attorney who is experienced in cases involving business litigation.
1. You should always do a good job and be professional
One of the most common reasons why business litigation happens is because customers are unsatisfied with the product or service you’ve given. If they felt offended or abused in any way while doing business with you, they may opt to file a lawsuit against your business. And although the issue involved is typically simple, you can never control how customers think. If they believe that they’ve been treated poorly, they will take measures to sue the business. To prevent that from happening to your own business, make sure that you’re giving excellent customer service every single time. If you’re operating in different branches, superb service should be consistent.
2. You should communicate
Communication is vital regardless of how small or large your business is. Yes, you might own the business, but that doesn’t mean that your business is a one-person show, right? You need staff to accommodate customers daily, as well as other shareholders to keep the business alive. There are a lot of people involved in running a business, just different levels of authority. To ensure that everything will be running smoothly and has a chance to avoid business litigation in the long run, communicate. If disputes are happening internally, take the time to talk to the parties involved and don’t wait for lawsuits to happen. If customers are complaining about your products or services, talk to them privately. Ask for forgiveness if needed. Remember, prevention is always better than cure – yes, this still applies in the business context.
3. You should document everything
An employee can agree with everything that you’re saying during the company orientation, but once court hearings happen, that employee can easily deny being aware of any information coming from you. Worse, they can even say that your company didn’t have any orientation for new hires at all (and this can be bad news for your business). Information or instructions which are given out verbally can be opposed or can end up siding one party. And this is why documents are essential. Before you hire someone, make sure that person agrees to a contract. Let him understand what is written there so both parties know what to expect from each other. Aside from recruitment, documents should also be present in other business processes such as your employee manuals, collective bargaining agreements and any other agreements made between your business and third-party entities. These documents will help when your business is called to court.
4. You should terminate with care
Your staff, no matter how much you cared for them when they were still working with you, can file a lawsuit against your business once they feel that they were dismissed inappropriately from their job. And if this employee has strong evidence, your business can be affected adversely, and can even die in the long run. As a business owner, you have the prerogative to terminate a staff member if they’re unable to perform their job but when you do, make sure that you’re following due process. Don’t terminate staff just because you feel like doing it, be sure to terminate staff for just reasons. And always allow your staff to be heard before making big decisions such as employment termination.
Managing and running a business, especially when you’re still new in the industry, can be stressful. And the stress that you’re feeling right now might intensify if you’re put in business litigation. If you end up involved in the business litigation process, you’ll be required to divide your time between court hearings and your business – and you don’t want that to happen, right? If you had the choice, of course, you would only want to focus on improving your business to ensure that it’ll operate for a long time. And you can only achieve that goal if you strive on preventing business litigation.
Monika Hall is a businesswoman and has been a law writer for the past 12 years. She is currently writing a new law piece and hopes to impart her knowledge to others in her writing. Monika is forever a creative spirit. She always expresses herself with creative pieces such as poetry whenever she has the time.