As the owner of a small business, you undoubtedly run a tight ship. In order to keep your bottom line in check, you strive to be financially prudent. One way savvy business owners can keep a firm grip on the company's purse strings is to not waste funds on "avoidable" litigation. Such litigation is that which could have been "avoided" if certain preliminary measures had been taken. These measures are akin to playing good defense. By adopting a good defensive strategy, you can potentially save your business potentially thousands of dollars in lengthy litigation and keep your focus on running and expanding your profit margin. Since, as any business owner is keenly aware, time is money, there are a few basic rules that should be a part of any business owner's defensive playbook:
- Golden Rule: Everyone has heard of the "Golden Rule" of "treat others how you would like others to treat you". Although this rule may seem elementary in its simplicity, it can help you avoid a multitude of business problems. If you treat your customers (and your business contacts) with the utmost respect and courtesy, you should have happy customers, and happy customers do not bring lawsuits. Often, litigants sue not because they feel they need to be vindicated in court, but because they were treated poorly by the defendant. The nicest thing about this rule is that, most of the time, it does not cost a dime to use.
- Be Vigilant: If a problem arises take care of it today-not tomorrow. Often litigation could have been avoided if only proper steps had been taken in the beginning rather than waiting and hoping for the problem to go away.
- Keep your eye on the prize: If you find yourself in a disagreement with a business contact, keep reminding yourself of your business needs. Often people can become so enthralled in disagreements that they end up fighting on principle-which can be a costly position. A savvy business owner knows when to compromise, even if it means swallowing some pride or bending a little even when you are in the right. You would not spend $10,000 on a $10 ring at a store, so make sure the same logic holds true in your business dealings.
- Always put it in writing: As a business owner you want to avoid verbal agreements. As the old saying goes, an oral contract is "not worth the paper it is written on". There is a lot of truth behind this saying. A verbal contract is much more likely to lead to litigation than a written contract. Parties might have a dispute as to the existence of a verbal contract in the first place. Tons of time and energy can be spent just determining if indeed there was "meeting of the minds," before the conversation turns to enforcing the actual terms of the contract. A written contract can avoid unnecessary litigation in not only that the terms of the parties agreement is set forth but also what should happen in case of a breach by either party. Unlike a verbal agreement, a written contract is also reviewable by an attorney. Standard language in forms or purchase orders is a common way to make sure favorable language is in writing in every contract.
- Be proactive: If you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure what to do, it is often a cost effective strategy to consult with an attorney early in the process. The money spent consulting an attorney at the outset is money well spent if it helps to avoid potential litigation.
If you are searching for an experienced business litigation attorney in Kansas who will fight hard to protect your business, contact the Hyland Law Firm, LLC today. For more than two decades, veteran attorney Charles Hyland has been representing commercial clients located throughout the greater Kansas City area. Call 913-498-1911 to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 9:29 am and is filed under Business Litigation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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