I recently have been working with a number of clients on matters and deals that went “sideways”…That is, things did not develop, unfold, or go as planned: software wasn’t developed, was defective, or wasn’t delivered in a timely manner, logos were not provided in accordance with an agreement, goods received from the manufacturer were defective, etc. Frankly, this is the type of work that keeps us busy at the firm, but is surely not the type of work that clients want to deal with, or where they want to spend their money.
So, I want to touch base on how you do business with folks, and how you protect yourself against issues that might come up, while also collaborating with others.
Just being realistic, know that issues come up. Inevitably something won’t go as planned. Be ready and have good agreements in place and understand your responsibilities under them. I am talking about your business from top to bottom: software contractors, the phone company, your business partners, employees, vendors, landlords, etc. Know where you stand and what your rights and remedies are — and know from a practical standpoint what’s worth your time, energy, and money from a business perspective.
What this means: Understand and know the different types of agreements and deals you enter. Will you be liable for the actions of one of your contractors? Do you own what a contractor has created for you? If an entire batch of products is defective, who’s responsible for that? Is it you or is it the manufacturer? Can you be indemnified should an issue arise?
You want to make sure that you’ve gone through all of the different concerns and iterations of what these agreements can look like to know exactly where you stand in relation to the people that you’re doing business with, and to ensure that you can provide the best products and services to your customers and clients. And of course you want to do all of this in the least burdensome way possible. That’s a lot to figure out, but doing it up front (if possible) is always better than addressing the issues that arise later.
For more information about how to protect your business, contact me.