Running a business comes with a lot of hard work, but also some great rewards. If you operate a business long enough, however, it will also come with some type of dispute. This could be a dispute between you and another company, you and a customer, or even you and your business partner(s). If handled incorrectly, conflict in business can cause huge problems, cost lots of money, and if serious enough, even result in the closing of the business. Knowing how to handle a business dispute ahead of time will help ensure the conflict is resolved quickly and without any further issues.
Sit Down and Talk
Most conflicts can be resolved by getting the impacted parties together in one room and talking it out. To the greatest extent possible, leave emotions out of the discussion. Don’t look at who is right and who is wrong, but rather, look for what is in the best interest of your business. When people are in the same room and focused on finding solutions, it is often possible to work things out more easily than through email or on the phone.
Use a Mediator
If the issue is one that can’t be resolved by just talking it out, consider bringing a mediator or arbitrator in to help. These are professionals who will act as a neutral third party. Their goal will be to help facilitate a resolution that everyone is happy with, even if nobody gets 100% of what they wanted. Depending on the situation, you can even give the mediator the legal authority to settle a dispute so you are sure that the conflict will be resolved.
Go to Court
If all else fails and the other party is being completely unreasonable, you can take disputes to court. Just keep in mind, even if you win your case in court, you’ll often end up spending a lot of time and money, which might not even be worth it in the end. Additionally, going to court can cause harm to your business reputation, which can have long term impacts. While it is sometimes necessary to bring a dispute to court, it should really be the last resort.
Talk to an Attorney
As soon as you know that there is a serious dispute that you need to address, it is a good idea to discuss the situation with an attorney. They can help you decide what your best options are for resolution and provide clear legal advice on how strong your position is. A good business attorney is invaluable regardless of which method you choose to resolve your business dispute. Please contact us to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your specific situation.