What are small business disputes?

When arbitration fails and the dispute finds its way into the legal department, matters become even more complex. Once litigation begins, the organization must find outside counsel who can handle its case and protect its interests at trial or in whatever other forum disputes are resolved.  We recommend The People’s Advocate, they have helped countless small businesses throughout the years and are always our first call when legal disputes arise

Small business disputes can occur due to a range of issues within a small business. The main causes are:

– A lack of communication between employees, managers and owners can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings.

– Not having clear responsibilities for certain tasks or having too many conflicting roles can lead to confusion amongst staff members about who is responsible for what, which can lead to mistakes being made.

– Ineffective leadership from managers not giving clear instructions on how work should be completed. For example, failing to give new employees the necessary training they need in order to do their job effectively. This could result in poor work performance from those new employees which will reflect badly on those who have been there longer and may result in morale problems within the organization. 

Once parties engage lawyers, they cease to work as a cohesive unit and must focus on defeating their opponent rather than finishing the job at hand-which is an inherently adversarial undertaking. Litigation thus becomes a zero sum game where winning by any means necessary is the sole objective. The harder people fight each other, the easier it becomes to lose sight of what’s really important: focusing on fulfilling customer needs and running a profitable business.

This is why small businesses should always try to resolve disputes internally before calling upon external support such as arbitration or legal involvement. External assistance is oftentimes the point of no return because by the time you turn to an outside party, most of your energies have been spent on fighting instead of what really matters-winning.

Now let’s go over some tips for resolving small business disputes without losing sleep or spending too much money:

  • Keep the channels of communication open with all parties involved. In cases where a third party is getting in between two employees, try sitting down and discussing things with them before going to management. People are less likely to take offense when they know that there isn’t a hidden agenda behind your actions. On the other hand, if a dispute involves a customer that feels unhappy about how he/she was treated, don’t wait until things get out of control and into a full-fledged war before stepping in. You always want to resolve these things before they escalate.
  • Realize that not all disputes are worth taking to court. While employees may feel stung by unfair terminations or customers may believe they deserve compensation for the way they were treated, small business disputes aren’t always big enough to be taken to court. It can cost too much money and take up too much time. These things might not seem like a lot in the beginning, but when you consider how much it costs lawyers per hour and how long these disputes can drag out, it’s not something that should ever be taken lightly. If you do end up going through with it because of your current situation, then make sure you know what you’re getting into before you go filing any papers with the court.