Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes, Part I

A large part of being a successful company owner is knowing how to make deals and mitigate business conflict when it arises.

When in a dispute over a deal or an agreement that has been made, the potential costs are endless. The potential cost of litigation, the potential cost of loss of reputation, the potential cost of the energetic drain from the conflict.

What do you need to know about business conflict to mitigate these costs?

First and foremost, remember that costly conflict most often arises because the agreement process was not properly handled to begin with. Indeed, a rough estimate of the time and money necessary to resolve a conflict in court that could have been addressed during the agreement process is approximately 30 months and 30x the proposed cost of the original transactional work.

The ideal time to surface conflicts is in the beginning of a relationship by creating clear boundaries and expectations, using the agreement process.

The best agreement process will support both parties to share the parts of themselves they may typically hide while making an agreement, while at the same time, asking the hard questions they may not ask.

It’s often difficult to see the things we are hiding when making agreements, or to ask the challenging questions, and that’s why it’s so helpful to have a trusted advisor support you each time you are entering into an agreement with anyone, whether it be a new team member, a business partner, or a strategic partner.

When the agreement process is used to create each of your agreements, and before you ever finalize a deal of any type, the number of expensive business disputes you will have will be greatly diminished, if not eliminated completely.

But what happens if there is a conflict?

In Part 2, we will cover what to do once a business conflict has happened. Look for that next week.

No one wants to end up in a dispute. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of conflict in the future. To start, find a trusted legal professional who will help you put protective measures in place to avoid the most common mistakes businesses make. That’s why a Creative Business Lawyer® is there to help you face the challenges of owning a business.

We help small business owners negotiate settlements and channel their time and energy toward growth and potential instead of putting out fires. We’ll begin by sitting down to discuss how you can implement a robust legal, insurance, financial and tax system that will streamline your business operations and minimize your risk of encountering contract disputes.

This article is a service of A. J. Yolofsky, Creative Business Lawyer®. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.