How to handle business disputes when you’re Self Employed

Running your own business can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of your life, but it’s not without its challenges. One of those is dealing with disputes, whether that is with customers or employees. Below, we’ve put together some tips to help you out…

Make sure you’re insured

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do when running your own business is applying for insurance so that you’re protected should something go wrong. Digital businesses can benefit from professional indemnity insurance, whereas bricks and mortar stores will need a more comprehensive cover. Remember that insurance is a business expense and will lower your tax bill – please don’t overlook this vital step when starting out.

Be professional and courteous

Whatever the difference between you and your client or employee, it’s important to treat your dispute in the most professional and courteous manner – even if they can’t do the same. A bad customer experience can ultimately harm your reputation – they could leave a bad review online or tell their friends and colleagues about it. If you respond in a friendly and sensible manner at all times, you’re less likely to run into any PR difficulties down the road.

Keep a record

Whether it’s something as simple as a dispute over product delivery dates or an employee feels like they’ve been unfairly treated, it’s important to keep a record of your communication for future reference. The best way to do this is to handle everything over email, as you’ve got proof of correspondence, but if that’s not possible, make notes after you’ve spoken and let them know that you’re documenting the issue to protect both parties. Getting them to sign any records or documents can work in your favour should they consider legal proceedings.

Try to talk it out

One of the best ways to overcome disagreements is to talk it out. Sit down with your client or employee and ask them why they’re unhappy, and try to find a way to overcome it together. Resolving an issue in this manner is more comfortable than having to involve third parties.

Work with a professional

Finally, if you’re worried that a dispute is going to get nasty, make sure you’re working with a professional who can assist in your case. Choosing someone who can assist with local laws and legislation is wise; too, so if you’re trading in the UAE, then it pays to find a lawyer in Dubai, for example, as they’ll help you overcome any cultural, language, and legislative challenges. Though this can be more expensive, it could save you money in the long-run.

Do you have any tips? Let us know and check back soon for more

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