Relying on a gentlemens agreement and handshake is costing Midlands businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in expensive disputes, a Cirencester-based commercial lawyer has warned.
Commercial conflict costs businesses in the UK £33 billion every year through lost business, time taken sorting out a dispute and solicitors fees, among other things.
But Nigel Musgrove, commercial lawyer at Cousins Business Law, believes that companies could avoid costly conflicts in the first instance by being more alert to potential dangers up front and ensuring details are recorded on paper.
He has compiled a free on-line guide aimed at helping family-owned and owner-managed businesses, which stresses the significant cost to business of badly managed disputes and provides practical advice on how to avoid conflict in the workplace, as well as steps to take should a dispute be on the cards.
The bulk of the cost to businesses is the damage caused by the conflict, in lost production and management time, the breakdown of business relationships and, for some, complete business failure, said Nigel, who has more than 30 years experience practising in the commercial sector.
Although there are those who suggest that in the cut and thrust of the business world some conflict is inevitable wed argue that these minor skirmishes dont have to turn into full blown war.
Our guide includes six essential tips for avoiding disputes with customers, suppliers and employees as well as a series of steps you can take if conflict seems inevitable.
Many disputes can be avoided by getting the paperwork right in the first place, and making sure that everyone has a common understanding of what is expected of them and what will happen if things go wrong.
The Definitive Guide to Solving Business Disputes can be downloaded for free from the Cousins Business Law website or requested in hard copy format by emailing email@example.com