If you are in business for yourself or with partners, then you work hard for your customers and clients. In turn, you expect to be fairly compensated for those efforts. You have likely worked long hours, weekends, and even holidays. You have experienced shortened vacations or no vacations due to the demands of your business. When an employee fails to show up, you pick up the slack.
Bottom line: All the problems and customer complaints land on your desk to be resolved.
We often explain to ongoing and new clients that it is critical to have an outside team of professionals to ensure you are benefiting as much as possible for all of your hard work and long hours. Your outside team should include, at a minimum, an attorney, accountant, and insurance representative. Of course, each of these professionals is an expense for your business – but in the long run, you will avoid many of the pitfalls that unprepared businesses suffer every day. While you certainly do not want to over-use your team of professionals, the costs of these professionals will be greatly outweighed by the savings and benefits you gain when considering the true costs of lost production, time and effort required to overcome problems that could have been avoided with effective engagement with your professional team.
One bad contract decision can haunt your business for years, as can failure to have proper and adequate insurance. Failure to successfully navigate the complex world of taxes means wasted money that should have been available to you for expansion, staffing, or simply increasing your revenue.
At Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC, we often help business clients who are simply trying to get paid for their products and/or services. Without good contract language in your documents with your customers and clients, you may find it is impossible to make a full recovery. It is amazing how good contracts make for good and long-lasting business relationships.
It is also vital for business owners to sign their contracts in a representative capacity, yet we frequently see clients failing to do so, even owners who have been in business for many years. You might get by with doing it wrong for a while, but the odds are such mistakes will catch up to you eventually. This can lead to personal liability that should not exist and can dramatically undermine bargaining power in negotiations of disputes. The net effect is an inferior outcome from what could have been possible if the attorney had been brought in early on for advice and guidance.
None of the foregoing diminishes the importance of your in-house team, meaning your partners and employees. Without your staff and other employees, there may be no business at all, or certainly less of a business.
The world of contract and employment law becomes more complex each passing year. To ensure you are properly interacting with your employees, it is important to consult your attorney for advice.
To reach one of our experienced attorneys at Davies, Barrell, Will, Lewellyn & Edwards, PLC for help, be sure to contact us online or call (540) 825-6000.