I have talked a lot over the past several months about the vision, mission, and values of your business. About being intentional and focused in your growth and creating systems to help you grow. Today, let’s talk about some business values I hold as essential. Hopefully, we can talk more about it. Maybe, this can help you as you develop yours.
We Are All in This Together
To begin, let me say that, even though we all do different things. Even though our businesses are in different stages. As entrepreneurs, we are all in this together. I believe business should work together to make the world a better place. That means, if you are B2B, you need to be in the business of helping your customers help theirs.
As entrepreneurs we solve problems.
Entrepreneurs believe everything must provide value and excellence must permeate everything we do. Entrepreneurs don’t look at something and think, I can’t do that because of x, y, or z. Entrepreneurs look at situations and wonder how they can improve on the model that has come before. In this conversation and in everything else I do for you, I work to make sure that is true for you. Whether this is your first business venture or your tenth venture backed public offering, you need to look at changing the industry where you are. Make things better. Solve problems and create ways to change the world.
Why We Have This Conversation Each Week
Having an understanding of how legal impacts your business can help you take bold steps in your business planning and allow you to try new and different things. Take bold steps and try something big. Who knows, it could be the first step in something that could really change the world. You can’t possibly achieve something amazing unless you start with the idea that you must first build something excellent. Just “okay” doesn’t cut it in the business world. People don’t talk about the startups that were “sort of” interesting, they talk about the startups and the business ideas that revolutionize an industry, the business ideas that changed the way people thought about a particular product or service.
Why I Practice Law
Having a relationship with your lawyer can help you take bold steps in your business planning and try new and different things. Take bold steps and try something big. Who knows, it could be the first step in something that could really change the world. You can’t possibly achieve something amazing unless you start with the idea that you must first build something excellent. Just “okay” doesn’t cut it in the business world. People don’t talk about the startups that were sort of interesting, they talk about the startups and the business ideas that revolutionize an industry, the business ideas that changed the way people thought about a particular product or service.
So, what does that look like:
Business Must be Authentic
If you aren’t building an authentic business. If your business isn’t designed around something you believe in. If you aren’t seeking to make the world a better place, no amount of legal planning can change that for you. If you are looking to legal to help you trick customers and make every extra penny you can because of a scant clause no one understands, these conversations won’t help you at all. I believe (and all of my advice centers around the idea) that contracts drafted should protect you and be fair to your customer. As the service provider, you have all of the power in the transaction. Because of that, you must be authentic to your customers. That means, your agreement must reflect the authentic nature of your business. Legal is not designed to give you wiggle room or let you be inauthentic during the sales process. It can. But that is not what I share here.
Business Must Be Scalable
Even if you never plan to scale, working directly with a lawyer requires systems. You need to know how you will do something to make sure your legal makes sense with it. If you are not building systems and creating a scalable business model, legal planning may not help you very much.
Business Must Be Fair
In the same way, you must be fair to your customers and your employees. You must make decisions about how you will handle certain issues in your business and what choices you want to make for your contracts. All of my content focuses on being fair and doing what is right. I believe that is part of being authentic in your business.
The same is true for your business partners. Though I will help you understand how to fully protect yourself, I do not believe in drafting legal documents designed to pull the wool over someone’s eyes, so I don’t teach it. That is disingenuous and it is the stuff lawsuits are made of. I will explain how to negotiate a reasonable and fair deal that makes sense for everyone involved.
Businesses Must Resolve Disputes Amicably
Things happen. No matter what kind of legal protection you create, you cannot stop someone from suing your company. There are times things cannot be resolved. But, most of the time, there is a solution. If something happens, no matter what your contract says, you should try to determine what the real issues are in the case (whether a lawsuit has been filed or not) and see if you can come to some resolution with the other side. This is about getting your business back on track. This is about making sure your business continues to do what your business does. And that is not litigation.
Sometimes, however, the other side is not reasonable. In that case, you should assess your options and make a plan for moving forward. You should always be reasonable and focus on reconciliation and doing the right thing. Negotiation is often a less abrasive form of advocacy. Though, your legal should protect your business. Legal should make sure your rights are protected. But, when it comes to resolving disputes, there is legal and there is right. If you are building a business to leave a legacy, the right thing should always be your approach.
My Take on Litigation
Litigation is not always best for your business. It is one thing to bring a lawsuit to collect on fees you are owed. Whenever you are brought into a lawsuit as a defendant, you need to consider the big picture of how it affects your business in the long run. Getting rid of a lawsuit quickly and efficiently can go a long way for your bottom line. It can also go a long way to making a difference in the world.
I don’t believe in settling for the sake of settling, but I do think it is necessary to evaluate your case by considering more than simply the claims in the suit and the numbers represented on paper. Lawsuits have a much broader impact on your business. It is easy to get caught up in the “principle of the thing”. This may or may not help your business grow. It may or may not be the right thing to do in the situation. Remember, you are not in the business of litigation. It is difficult to grow your business when your focus is on something not a part of the core values of your business.
It can be difficult to spread your vision, mission, and values and leave a legacy when you focus on your rights instead of doing what is right. But, it is well worth it to focus on doing what is right and building a business that leaves a legacy.
So What About You?
Now that you know more about my values in business, tell me more about yours! Just hit reply and let me know!