The longer you run a business, the more likely it becomes that you will find yourself in a contract dispute at least once.
They can seem like the end of the world when they happen, but taking a step back is crucial to find the best solution. While litigation is sometimes necessary, it’s to be undertaken with caution. Equally, while the other party may jump straight to threatening you with litigation, they may not really want to go there any more than you.
Here are some things to consider when faced with a dispute:
Is there a simple solution?
Yes, your supplier might have let you down, but is it worth making a drama about if you can just ring a number and get someone else to deliver what you need for a few days?
What does the contract say? Do you even have one?
A lot of people forget what is written in their contracts, or rather they misremember it. Contracts can also go out of date. Taking the time to review your agreement helps you to understand where you stand and to negotiate on a solid basis.
What does this relationship mean to you?
There are a multitude of reasons why someone might be unable to deliver as agreed in the contract, and if they are otherwise reliable and good, then making allowances can be worthwhile.
Remember, unnecessary litigation may damage your relationship with the other party. It may also damage your reputation with others. Few companies will want to do business with someone who reaches for litigation the moment anything goes wrong.
That said, getting legal help to assess your situation is wise to allow you to make informed decisions about what to do next.