From the point of inception and through growth, small business owners often encounter a myriad of challenges. Ask the most successful entrepreneurs, and they’ll tell you that the success of any business lies in your ability to avoid and maneuver through these challenges. But lawsuits are the worst blows that anyone can throw at you. A single lawsuit can potentially bring your business to its knees, from glory to shame.
And one thing to note is that you don’t even have to be doing or associated with anything illegal/illicit to encounter a lawsuit. Your worst nightmare could stem from something as ‘little’ as a dissatisfied customer, an injured employee; misconduct in the workplace or a staff member who went rogue and committed fraud. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons businesses get sued, but the main point is avoiding them like the plague. And on this note, here are a few tips to avoid lawsuits that can ruin your business.
Business insurance covers you from a wide variety of issues. Of course, there are many types of business insurance policies designed to fit the needs of different types of businesses and professions. Some popular examples include workers’ compensation insurance, professional liability insurance, motor vehicle insurance, business interruption insurance, property insurance, renters’ insurance, general liability insurance, and product liability insurance, just to name a few.
While professional liability insurance protects you from lawsuits that may involve errors or omissions that may unintentionally during the provision of services, product liability insurance can protect you in case a product you provide as a business or developed as a manufacturer turned out to be defective and causes injury to a consumer. If you deal with drugs or medical devices like hernia mesh implants, you’d want to click here to find out the possible complications of its defective version. There’s a 99% chance your findings would convince you to get product liability insurance ASAP.
While it doesn’t mean that an insured business is lawsuit-proof, insurance protects you from liability in a plethora of ways. Of course, the kind of cover you need will depend on the industry you’re in and the liability risks faced by the various departments of your business. For this reason, it’s important to talk to a reputed insurance consultant to find out which liabilities you face and the kind of policies that could protect your business. This way, insurance covers you and your business can stay operational without even feeling the pinch from a related lawsuit.
- Prioritize Workplace Health & Safety
Regardless of the size of your business, health and safety are paramount to its success. This means ensuring your own health and safety, as well as that of your staff and your customers. And needless to mention, most of the lawsuits that ruin businesses tend to revolve around the employer’s or business owner’s negligence regarding the safety, security, and health of their employees or customers. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to make your workplace as conducive as possible as far as health, safety, and security are concerned. This may include installing non-slip floor coverings, providing protective clothing for your customers and employees, having safety procedures in place, maintaining hygiene and sanitation, and providing training on the same, just to mention a few crucial measures.
- Make Your Employees Your Friends
Depending on the region you’re conducting business in, most places have Employment Laws and Acts in place. These protect the rights of both the employee and the employer. However, these laws always have loopholes that a member of staff can take advantage of. To protect your business, it’s best to ensure you remain compliant with employment law if you have a few staff under your payroll. In addition to this, it is helpful to cultivate your relationships with your staff, handle their issues promptly, and treat them with respect. As hinted earlier, an angry employee can easily bring your business down.
- Know the Importance of Contracts
When getting into a deal with an employee or service provider, it’s important to always have a contract drafted by a legal practitioner before getting into business with such a party. Contracts are legally binding and may protect you in the event of a lawsuit that results from certain disputes. It’s a binding agreement that outlines what is expected from each party or entity involved.
In addition to the above, you’ll also want to offer exceptional customer service to minimize the chances of having to deal with dissatisfied customers, some of whom could get so enraged to the point of filing lawsuits. Accurate recordkeeping can bail you out of difficult legal situations. All company procedures and policies should also be well-documented and implemented to keep your business on the safe side of the law. The list of things you should do could go on and on, but the above few pointers depict some of the most important tips to help you avoid deleterious business lawsuits.