SME BUSINESS TIPS

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS -

ALTHOUGH un­de­sir­able, dis­putes are part and par­cel of business life. Some­times lit­i­ga­tion is un­avoid­able and nec­es­sary and pro­ceed­ings are re­quired to be taken/de­fended.

How­ever lit­i­ga­tion is time con­sum­ing and brings with it an un­wel­come dis­trac­tion for all those in­volved within your business.

Un­doubt­edly, this is time that could be pro­duc­tively spent else­where. Th­ese tips pro­vide some ba­sic guid­ance of steps you can take to help to re­duce the risk of lit­i­ga­tion aris­ing.

This week, Jo-Anna Martin, from Kennedy’s Law, gives her ad­vice on how to avoid the risk of lit­i­ga­tion. ●● Do your home­work

Know­ing who it is you are go­ing into business with is one of the eas­i­est steps you can take to try to avoid a dis­pute aris­ing. Once pro­ceed­ings are un­der way, clients of­ten learn of oth­ers who have en­coun­tered sim­i­lar prob­lems with the party in ques­tion.

By that stage, it is of course, too late.

Con­tact­ing peo­ple for ref­er­ences, con­duct­ing some credit checks, ask­ing for a trial pe­riod or even in­for­mally ‘ask­ing around’ are sim­ple steps you can take be­fore you com­mit your­self to do­ing business with some­one you later wished you hadn’t. ●● Don’t overex­tend credit fa­cil­i­ties

Abil­ity of your cus­tomers to pay is cru­cial.

With one or two suc­cess­ful trans­ac­tions with a new cus­tomer be­hind you, some­times the orig­i­nal and care­fully agreed credit fa­cil­ity can be­come more re­laxed.

It may be ap­pro­pri­ate in cer­tain cases to seek fur­ther se­cu­rity such as the guar­an­tee of the direc­tors to en­sure per­for­mance of the con­tract and/or pay­ment.

●● Jo-Anna Martin

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