There are many types of contract employed in commercial relationships. These contracts can include specific deadlines, deliverables, and standards that pertain to the understanding of any business agreement. They can include non-compete clauses.
The breach of any one, or all of the terms of a contract can lead to a dispute which will need to be resolved.
Mediation during these times is essential to keep disputes from escalating, and to allow the perspectives of the parties to be heard. Early intervention can save money, time and the relationships.
Big businesses usually have a clause inserted in their business contracts indicating how disputes will be resolved. Mediation is often the choice as it is private law, and the decisions are determined by the parties, to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
Arbitration, which is also private law, may also be the choice, but in this case the Arbitrator acts like a judge and imposes the solutions, and the decisions are legally binding. Litigation can also be a choice. This is seen as the most costly and least satisfactory dispute resolution mechanism, where relationships need to be maintained, in the interest of the parties.
Small businesses have different resources to large enterprises. However their needs in relation to dispute resolution can be identical. They can have the same range of difficulties, with the same risks for reputational damage and cost implications if their disputes are not handled appropriately.
Often a small business is owned and managed by one person, to whom it falls to resolve all of the issues of the business. Finding a trusted external mediator to assist when disputes erupt is vital. Early intervention is the key to a cost effective, speedy and satisfactory solution.