Trust in business can make or break any business regardless of how big or how small that business is. We have all heard the various business deals that have taken place on the golf course or over drinks at a bar. Generally the people who participate in those types of activities with one another are people who trust each other. Despite this bond, there still needs to be well drafted business contracts and steps taken to protect your business.
Bob Wheeler, Sr. owns a Kalamazoo small business known as Crosstown Auto & Truck Parts. Wheeler has developed a business model that has been built on trusting customers. He often times extends credit to his customers that cannot make their payments on time so he often times receives payments 60 to 90 days late or cannot receive any lines of credit from traditional lending institutions. He has followed this model since he formed his small business which made for some lean times early on.
In the end this trust has paid off. Whether times are lean or whether times are fat, Wheeler’s business has remained relatively stable. His business model has created a loyal customer base that often refer other customers to him. Wheeler has thus been able to expand his business and has invested in starting other similar businesses to his.
Wheeler admits that he has been burned on occasion though. He has been forced to take customers to court after they fall too far behind their payments. It is at these times that a business like Wheeler’s needs to have solid business contracts in place. These agreements can be used to help ensure that payments are made but at the same time if those payments are not made, these agreements can be used to easily prove liability.
At the same time, having an experienced Grand Rapids business attorney that has a working knowledge of your business and can help guide you through those situations helps too. If you have an ongoing relationship with the attorney that drafted your business contracts, he knows the contents and can limit any litigation costs because of that knowledge. Not only do those contracts make your West Michigan small business money by ensuring payment but they save you money when you have to enforce them. And what small business doesn’t want to make money and save money in fell swoop?
Source: “Trusting people helps big-hearted businessman through good times and bad” by Al Jones of MLive.com