Business Deals Gone Wild! Part 1

By Jamie Moore Marcario

To be a successful business owner, it’s essential that you know how to make good deals and navigate conflict when it arises in the midst of a deal.

If you find yourself in a dispute over a deal or business agreement, the costs of “a fight” can be enormous.  Think litigation costs, reputational damage costs, not to mention the loss of your own energy and passion for your business that results from engaging in a dispute.

So if your business deal goes wild, what do you need to know to mitigate the damage and the cost?

Above all else, remember that most business fights happen because the agreement process was not handled well in the first place, making a dispute over details almost inevitable.  So to avoid these types of damaging conflicts put the possibility of them on the table from the get-go. When you’re in the midst of drafting the agreement, make sure all the parties talk about their expectation and boundaries in a clear, straightforward way (with no sugarcoating). The best time to avert a conflict is at the beginning of the relationship when everyone is still in the honeymoon phase. It’s easier to talk about tough stuff then than when you’re in the middle of it. The ideal time to surface conflicts is at the beginning of a relationship by creating clear boundaries and expectations, using the agreement process.

Ideally, the process of reaching a business agreement will involve attorneys representing each party so that the parties are fully supported in sharing their otherwise “secret” hopes, desires, pet peeves, deal-breakers, and seemingly silly questions (that are not so silly when they determine whether or not the parties end up in court over a minor disagreement).  Having good attorneys involved also ensures that tough questions are asked that the parties may not have even considered.

When we take on the task of negotiating our own agreements, we often have a difficult time discussing the “not-so-pretty” aspects of the deal asking challenging questions of our new-found friend.  That’s why it’s helpful to have a trusted advisor on your side, supporting you each time you enter into a new agreement with anyone, whether it’s a new team member, a new business partner, or a new strategic partner.

When you rely on a tried and true process for developing your business agreements before you finalize any aspect of a deal, you greatly diminish the odds that you will wind up in expensive litigation time and time again.

But what happens if you have a great agreement development process and the business deal goes wild anyway?

We will answer that question in Part 2 of this article next Monday!

No one wants to end up in a business fight or a lawsuit. Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to reduce the chance of encountering an expensive conflict in the future.  The first step is to find a trusted legal professional who will help you put protective measures in place to avoid the most common mistakes businesses make in the deal-making process. Thrive Law, PA can be that trusted advisor. We are here to help!

At Thrive Law, we help business owners negotiate deals, contracts, and settlements so they can channel their time and energy toward growing their business instead of putting out fires. We begin by scheduling a strategy session with you to plan how you can put in place a robust legal, insurance, financial and tax foundation that will streamline your business operations and minimize your risk of encountering contract and other business disputes.

This article is an educational service of Thrive LawTM, a business law boutique. It does not constitute legal or tax advice or imply an attorney-client or accountant-client relationship. At Thrive Law, we offer a full spectrum of legal services for businesses and are equipped to help you make the wisest choices about your business dealings while you’re alive and well or in the event of your incapacity or death. We also offer a Healthy Business & Creative Checkup for ongoing ventures, as well as outsourced company counsel plans for businesses who need a legal team on speed dial. Contact us today to schedule: 727.300.1990 or hello@thrivelaw.com. We cannot wait to meet you!