It’s no secret that lawyers, court battles or any matter of litigation is extremely costly not to mention time consuming regardless of circumstance.
It could also break your business and cost you almost everything you have if your ‘fine print’ is not apparent or set up correctly.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again, be wise, pay a little bit extra to get the right legal support and mitigation in the beginning, or at the start of your business to set you up for success and get you started on the right track, it could save you a lot of time, money and heartache in the long run.
But what exactly am I on about? Let me elaborate.
The legal battles I’ve already told you about were not the only ones I’ve had to fight. There were a few more times I had to go to bat for my rights and defend my business, and the decisions we make therein, in court.
And let me tell you, regardless of how many times you go through the process, it’s never a pleasant experience.
Again, I made the rookie mistake of providing services to customers without setting a standard of what to expect in writing, and yes, got sued.
So, here’s the deal:
Terms and conditions. You know what I’m talking about.
If you’ve ever seen a tv advertisement in the US for example, it’s that pesky, crappy, high speed rambling at the end of the add that tells you what the conditions are to the sale, as well as potential side effects etc.
According to the Business Dictionary, Terms and Conditions are explained as:
“General and special arrangements, provision, requirements, rules, specifications, and standards that for an integral part of an agreement or contract.”
You would have signed your fair share of T’s and C’s when you rented a house or apartment, got a phone contract, hired a personal trainer, and so on, and so on.
Why is that you ask? Well, because whether you like it or not, and want to believe it or not, every sale you provide, or purchase has a potential risk attached to it.
People can get hurt, potentially lose money on a deal, your product could be faulty or unsatisfactory to the client and so on, but then there is also the other end of the spectrum…
What do I mean by that? Well, at the end of the day, you are dealing with people and people are unpredictable and fickle, and don’t always have the same values as you do, unfortunately, and some don’t always have a pure and honest agenda.
People will sue you for honest reasons and then there are the ones who make suing to get rich quick, a career.
These types will seek any opportunity to do you in. Yes people, they walk among us! So be aware and cover your de rear.
Also, you can’t keep everybody happy, what works for one person, may not work for another, therefore you always have to be prepared for what may or may not come. Think about T’s and C’s as your business’ safety net.
By setting the correct T’s and C’s in place you set an expectation for all your customers. This let’s them know what the service or products’ boundaries are.
You protect yourself, business and your team against wrongful litigations and proceedings.
With all of this said, also comes mention of ‘The Waiver’.
No this is not a guy waving hello (laugh out loud) but rather the legal liability warning and protection notice that allows you to relinquish responsibility against customers experiencing any loss or damage to their property or person when using your services or facilities.
Having said that, remember that we live in a time where social media, online reviews and online presences are crucial for your business’ success.
But this also makes it very easy for trolls and people with mal intent to post gnarly reviews whether they be true or not on your sight, social media pages etc.
So, depending on what industry you’re in, what products you sell and what services you provide, you will need to set up a uniquely suited to your business, set of terms and conditions or terms of service agreements or fine print if you will, on your contracts, signage, paperwork, and so on.
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