I love contracts. Some might even snicker at how excited I get at the possibility of putting a big deal together and using some creative drafting to make sure everyone is happy with the Agreement. Yes, I am a bit of a contract nerd. Contracts are a beautiful thing. The ability for you to strike a deal with another business and have assurances that they will follow through with their promises is a wonderful thing.
But there are a lot of bad contracts and agreements out there. This might sound familiar to you: A business owner signs an agreement to sell machines he manufactures to a customer for 5 years. He is required to build and sell .so many machines per month and the customer will pay him a set price for each machine. In year 3 of the deal, the cost of the business owner’s raw materials drastically increases and if he continues to build and sell the machines under the agreement, he will lose money. How do you get out of a bad business contract? This is just one scenario. There are thousands of other ways to be tied up in a bad contract.
When starting a West Michigan small business you plan everything out. When trying to grow your small business you put available funds toward advisers such as coaches, marketers, consultants, and branders that allow you to see that growth. When small businesses are planning and growing they don’t consider a customer not paying for an order, a product injuring someone, an employee stealing business from you, or even another business you are working with not following through with their duties. These issues are very common for small businesses and most are taken by surprise when they creep up. So you are involved in a dispute, what do you do?
While most small business owners are very used to wearing multiple hats in the running of the business, the first lesson that should be learned if your small business is involved with a lawsuit is that you cannot represent your company in court. Unless you have passed the Michigan Bar Exam you are not permitted to practice law in the State of Michigan. Going before any court and representing your small business is considered practicing law, so you are going to need to hire a lawyer to represent your business.
We are all tired of hearing about how bad the economy is. It seems that every article we have seen over the past five or six years has included some theme about the down economy and how it impacts our various industries. Some have proven to us that times are tough (as if we didn’t know that), some have told us how to survive, and some have told us how to use it to our advantage. Well as a sign of a new era, West Michigan is entering a time with a new problem.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million construction jobs were lost when the recession hit. West Michigan was not immune to this and the result was a lot of small construction firms and subcontractors were hit hard and many companies went under or had to cut crews to match the amount of work they had. With other industries like health care, education and multifamily markets coming back, this has trickled down to an uptick in the construction industry in West Michigan. So much so that those small construction firms and subcontractors are being stretched thin because there is so much demand.
The chances are you are very much like most West Michigan small business owners. Cash flow and business development are always on the forefront of your mind. Sometimes money can be tighter than others but through the ebb and flow of the good times and the bad those concerns always remain prevalent to some extent. That is why it is so important to avoid disputes and find alternatives to costly litigation.
Whitehall, Michigan is a small community in Muskegon County near the lakeshore. There is an ongoing dispute over a Wal-Mart store that developers want to put in near US 31. Many local business owners and community members do not want to see the super store spring up in their community. The dispute is still in its infancy period but there is one thing that those fighting the store are discovering: this fight is going to be very costly.
It’s something that no Grand Rapids small business owner wants to see. It’s something that some West Michigan businesses avoid at all costs. It’s the dreaded lawsuit. The cost of litigation terrifies many business owners. The potential damages and the cost of representation can really have a big impact on your cash flow. Whether you are put in a position that you need to sue another business or an individual or your business is being sued, there are some basic tips you should follow.
First and foremost if your business has been sued do not procrastinate or hesitate to contact an attorney. There are time restrictions that require you to respond to the complaint in a certain number of days. If you fail to respond in that time you will be defaulted and without a good reason for failing to respond, you are basically admitting to liability in the eyes of the court.
Whether you are a Grand Rapids entrepreneur that is developing the next big thing or you are at a point where you want to be self-employed, you need to think about forming a business entity. Whatever your business plan is forming a company or corporation is important. So West Michigan, how do you start a small business?
Forming a new business is simple and complex at the same time. It is simple in that if you know the right steps to take and are experienced with the process it is pretty straightforward. If you are unfamiliar with the formation process you can probably stumble your way through it but that does not mean it will be done correctly or go smoothly.
Every day from even before your Michigan small business is formed, you as a small business owner are making decisions. These decisions are big and small but they all have an impact on your business. So if you make a few bad choices you are stuck and your business is doomed, right? A few bad decisions will not kill your small business but failing to take the steps to correct these choices will doom your business.
It was announced that West Michigan based business, Schuler Books & Music will be closing its downtown Grand Rapids location. Schuler’s owner Bill Fehsenfeld said that the location was not hurting the chain but it was not experiencing the growth that he expected. With Schuler’s lease terminating soon, Fehsenfeld has decided not to renew it.