Kallen Diggs offers legal perspective on the entrepreneur lifestyle.
Entrepreneurship has many paths. My entrepreneurial path may differ from yours. However, there are some factors that apply to all forms of entrepreneurship.
In most places around the world, a standard has been set for entrepreneurs. Most of us know the obvious things like having a website, social media presence and an email list. Any entrepreneur who tries to run a business without these things will not be taken seriously and will face problems building and maintaining a customer base.
Moreover, there are some “not so obvious things” like having a lawyer.
Many new entrepreneurs forgo the services of a lawyer because of their desire to run a lean business and optimize their small budget. Lawyers are often not cheap. So, many people believe that they can do just fine without one.
A lifestyle entrepreneur may argue that it would be a wasted expense to have a lawyer when their business is nothing more than a podcast that is monetized with promotional sponsor advertisements.
A serial entrepreneur may argue that it would be a wasted expense to have a lawyer when their business is nothing more than a portfolio of niche blogs that are monetized with affiliate marketing links.
Those are just a few of many examples, where entrepreneurs may argue that it may not be cost effective to hire a lawyer.
No one’s business is bulletproof. It only takes one unhappy customer to file a lawsuit against your company.
Surely, you can mitigate your chances of subjugating your business to a lawsuit. However, no company is immune. This is why it is pertinent to spend some time to search and interview lawyers before picking one to be your source of legal counsel.
Do not be the entrepreneur who is trying to look for a lawyer after their business has been sued. Not carefully selecting the right lawyer can increase your chances of losing the lawsuit.
If you are not still convinced that you need a lawyer, here are three reasons why every entrepreneur should have one.
1. What if your product contains a defect that makes it hazardous?
As an entrepreneur, it is a great feeling to create and sell a product in the most ethical manner. Moreover, it is expected that entrepreneurs go a step further and stand by their product in the event of a defect.
If you are a food manufacturer, it is your job to recall any products that could have been at risk of being contaminated with E. Coli or Salmonella. Failing to do so will endanger your customers to falling ill and bring on a lawsuit.
However, there are isolated incidents, where a customer will sue your business for a perfectly legitimate reason. Do you already have a lawyer standing by? Or will you be scrambling in trying to find a good lawyer to handle the case?
2. What if your employee becomes a victim of medical malpractice and sues your business?
As an entrepreneur, nothing more is satisfying than having a team of happy employees. Their happiness is contingent on the work experience that you provide them as their employer. Work benefits play a significant role in maintaining employee satisfaction.
You cannot control every tidbit, but you can mitigate problems by giving your employees the best that you can offer them. As an employer, you can opt to give your employees the best healthcare plan. Alternatively, you can try to cut costs by giving your employees a lackluster healthcare plan.
Cutting costs on your employees’ healthcare benefits could be one of the worst decisions for your business.
Employees expect their health to improve when they seek medical treatment. In some cases, the very opposite can happen. Did you mitigate your chances by offering your employees a healthcare plan from one of the best healthcare providers? Or were you so fixated on trying to save money?
If your employee feels that your thriftiness is more important than their well-being, they might not only sue the hospital for medical malpractice but also sue your business for subjugating them to a lackluster healthcare provider.
Do you already have a lawyer standing by? Will you be scrambling in trying to find a good lawyer to handle the case?
3. What if your customer sues you for giving them bad professional advice?
As an entrepreneur, it is wise to have business insurance. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs run their business without obtaining an insurance plan.
Like product based businesses, it is just as important as a service based business to have a lawyer on standby.
Let’s say that you are a health coach. What if one of your clients implements your health advice and feels much worse before consulting with you? If their condition is severe enough, they may feel justified to file a lawsuit against you.
Do you already have a lawyer standing by? Or will you be scrambling in trying to find a good lawyer to handle the case?
As an entrepreneur, it is in your best interest to spend some time searching to interview lawyers before picking one to be your source of legal counsel.
Contrary to popular belief, hiring a lawyer is quite affordable. You can choose to look for lawyers that work on no-win, no-fee arrangement, which means you do not pay until you receive compensation from the court case.
Do not be the entrepreneur who is trying to look for a lawyer after their business has been sued. Start looking for one now!
Another version of this article appeared on The Huffington Post
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