It does not matter what type of small business you open, you want business growth and achievement. There was one piece of advice that I was given in my youth that I sometimes followed and sometimes didn’t. Whenever I did not follow that advice, my small business suffered and business growth was curtailed. That piece of advice is: “Get everything in writing.”
Get Everything in Writing for Family Business Advice:
My father was in a partnership with my uncle in a ranch. The brothers seldom put anything in writing. When my father passed away unexpectedly, I was a 16 year old girl who suddenly inherited a ranch, a business, and a partnership. Because my father did not write anything down, I had to place my trust in my uncle regarding the partnership. I, in turn, made the same mistake and never wrote anything about the partnership down. Ten years later, when we decided to dissolve the partnership, there was nothing to guide me on what we had said and, again, I had to place my trust in someone else. Always keep a written record of any business dealings you have with family members. You may be lucky and have great family members, but your memory may not jive with their recollections of the agreement. By having things in writing, you have something concrete to negotiate any discrepancies that come up through the years.
Get Everything in Writing for Small Businesses:
When you are operating a small business, you will be dealing with contracts, customers, vendors, and all types of people. Most people are out for themselves and do not care about you the small business owner. Therefore, if you enter into any type of business, be sure to take the time to write out the details of a transaction before you agree to anything. If someone presents you with a contract, be sure to read all of the fine print. For example, if you own a video store, have a rental agreement typed up that each customer can sign when they rent a movie player. This way, if someone damages or steals the movie player, you have something, in writing, to take to court if necessary.
Get Everything in Writing for Small Business Employees:
When you hire someone to do a job for you, you are expected to pay them. To protect yourself from lawsuits, draw up an employment contract. Outline what duties are expected and what compensation you will pay. You will also need to have all the forms available for things such as direct deposit, W-4 forms and any insurance forms. By having the details in writing, if there is ever a question about your employment practices, you have something to refer to which will protect you from a bad employee who is just out to make a quick buck with a lawsuit.
It may seem like overkill to keep track of all the details, but time is a funny thing as are people’s memories. What you think you remember and what they remember are usually two entirely different things. If you have written things down, you have evidence and proof of what you agreed to. Hopefully, you will never need your proof, but that is one thing you cannot go back and do. So, take my small business advice seriously and get everything in writing.