If you’re a business owner, one of your main priorities is protecting your investment from risk. It comes with the territory. Securing your intellectual property, customer and employee information, and your ideas are important to your success. You’ll want to eliminate vulnerabilities and limit liabilities as much as possible.
What happens when you’re the one doing business and being wronged? Who protects you in those situations?
Unfortunately, when you do business with others, you have to be prepared for the risks involved. Be ready to protect yourself from errors that can arise from doing business with another business. What do you do when you want to protect yourself from the abuses of a business – accidental or not?
Here are a few ideas to help you safeguard your business
What happens when you’re injured and it’s not your fault?
Noone likes to discuss injuries that happen in the workplace or in your business. But what happens if you are injured while doing business with another company?
For example, you receive sever containers of product from a vendor. One of the boxes has a piece of sharp metal that has punctured through the packaging and cuts you as you unload the boxes. Someone’s at fault… but who?
Don’t try to navigate this alone! Whether you are injured as a result of poor safety management or a defect in the packaging, you’ll want clarity on who is at fault for the incident. There are dedicated lawyers who can help you better understand who retains liability. And if applicable they can also help you receive compensation and support for your injuries.
What happens if you’ve ordered inventory or supplies and they arrive broken or damaged?
As a business owner, you’re likely to try to rectify the problem with the supplier/vendor. But what do you do if they’re not willing to replace the damaged items or they refuse to assist you in any way? This is where Consumer Protection laws come in – despite your role as an entrepreneur, in this situation you’re also the consumer.
Tip: When ordering supplies, inventory, or fixtures, be sure to get all terms in writing. You want to have a solid understanding of any implied warranties. It’s also important to know how returns, exchanges, or damaged products are handled. Be sure to also do your own due diligence on the front end of the transaction. Research business to business reviews of companies that you are looking to do business with.
What if a business discriminates against you?
As a woman-owned business, this is something that you will need to look out for. If you feel that you’re being discriminated against by another business whether as a customer or in business dealings, know that you are protected under the Federal Civil Rights Act. You’ll want to speak with a local civil rights attorney to be sure that you have a valid claim and to better understand what action can be taken against your offender.
Bad behavior is just that… bad behavior. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have any repercussions against the offending party. Know your rights and whatever you do don’t let discriminatory behavior go unchecked.