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What can I do about a disgruntled employee?

As a business owner, you must take the proper steps to ensure your employees are happy. However, despite your best efforts, some employees may still experience issues that may result in a negative demeanor and decreased performance. Knowing how to handle disgruntled employees is key, both for the success of your business and the morale of your staff. Entrepreneur offers the following tips to help business owners and managers deal with unhappy employees.

While it may be uncomfortable, it's best to clear the air as soon as you learn of any issue. Ask to meet the employee one-on-one in a comfortable location away from other employees to have a frank conversation about their issues and concerns. Meeting with the worker in private increases the chance that he or she will be forthcoming about the issue and will also help you reach a genuine resolution. To ensure everyone is on the same page, take notes of what was discussed during the meeting and present them to the employee to sign. This will also mitigate some liability issues in the event that the employee has a different account of events.

Handling litigation as a young business owner

Many ambitious young people decide to start successful businesses to pursue their dream of a better life. Not only do young entrepreneurs encounter a multitude of successes, failures and daily hardships, but their entire life may be affected by the financial health of their business (for better or for worse). Unfortunately, many things can go wrong, such as legal action that arises over a misunderstanding or unintentional wrongdoing. After all, those who may have started a business for the first time may not have a great deal of familiarity with various aspects of business law, and these lawsuits can be especially overwhelming for young business owners.

It is imperative to deal with a lawsuit properly and realize that the outcome of litigation could affect your business in a lot of different ways. If successful, you may be able to move on from the incident and view it as a learning experience. On the other hand, an unfavorable outcome could be very costly, and it could even force you to shut your business down altogether. Therefore, it is critical to examine every details of the case, whether you are being taken to court over contractual disagreement, an employment dispute, a consumer complaint or any other cause of action.

What can I do about intellectual property theft?

If you discover that your valuable intellectual property has been stolen, it's crucial that you take the right steps in a timely manner. These crimes can have a significant impact on your business and its profitability. Fortunately, there are avenues available that allow you to report issues and pursue the perpetrators that you believe breached your sensitive data. The U.S. Department of Justice recommends the following steps if you or your business is a victim of intellectual property theft.

Upon discovery of a potential breach, many businesses perform an internal investigation before reaching out to others for assistance. In such a case, recording all information related to the investigation is paramount. Document everything, even if it seems unimportant. This includes all documents related to the protection of intellectual property, interviews of suspects or witnesses, where and how the breach was first discovered, evaluation of items believed to be derived from the stolen information, and any other findings from the investigation. The more evidence you're able to present, the easier it will be to resolve your case.

What should I do if my business is sued?

Being served with a lawsuit is stressful, even if you believe the claim is without merit. In many cases, the actions taken by the business owners to defend against a suit can determine the outcome. That's why it's so important to act swiftly, as explained by Business News Daily.

First and foremost, do not ignore the issue in the hopes it will go away. You often have a limited window of time to respond, as little as 30 days in some cases. Once you receive notice, talk with your legal team immediately to determine what the suit is alleging and the merit of their claim. You should also compile any documents related to the matter; these will be useful in your defense, should the matter go to trial. Even if a piece of information may seem unimportant, it is prudent to retain it anyway if it pertains in any way to the lawsuit.

Helping make your partnership a success

Taking the time to find the right business partner can make a big difference. If you have a business partner who does not have a great deal of capital in the business, a partner that might not be as invested, or a partner who is still looking for other opportunities, then it may be harder to keep the partnership together. Partners often look for what is going to benefit them the most, which means they are going to go where the greatest perceived opportunity is.

Choosing a partner

Turning a parent's clever idea into a real product

Many of us have vivid memories of something unique our mother or father created. Maybe it is an improvised gadget that eases the burden of a chore, or a modified tool that can be used for multiple jobs. The idea might even be rooted in their own history.

It is easy to take the ingenuity of parents for granted when still a child. Only as an adult do you realize just how clever that burst of parental creativity actually is, especially when friends come by and mention how they would have loved to have had one in their own home.

How can intangible assets be protected?

Intangible assets are ideas or concepts that are highly valuable to a business. These assets are often under constant threat due to how easily information can be breached and potentially disseminated to direct competitors. As such, protecting intellectual property is of the utmost importance, as explained by CIO Dive.

Among the 500 largest publicly traded companies, 80% of their value is comprised of intangible assets. Unlike physical property, which require an immense undertaking to remove from a company's premises, intangible assets can be accessed and dispersed relatively easily. While you may elect to file suit against those responsible for the breach and the recipients of the information, the litigation process often requires a lot of time and money before a resolution is reached.

Construction companies, wage disputes and litigation

Although construction companies face a variety of challenges in regards day to day operations, there are times when operations can become particularly difficult for owners. For example, when a construction dispute arises, especially if it involves current or former staff members, the disagreement can be very challenging from various points of view. In some instances, a dispute may even lead to litigation, which may bring additional strain into a construction company owner's life. These lawsuits may arise for all sorts of reasons; in this post, we will take a look at wage disputes.

Wage disputes arise in different forms, whether someone claims that they were not paid wages they were owed altogether, an employee alleges that they were denied overtime, or if a staff member was paid less than minimum wage. In some instances, workers have valid claims and are entitled to wages that they should have received. In other instances, workers fabricate these allegations or do not understand that they were paid in full. Wage disputes can be incredibly tough for construction company owners, not only because of the potential financial repercussions of a complaint or lawsuit but also because of the damage these accusations can create on the reputation of their business.

Tips to protect your intellectual property

As an innovative entrepreneur, you most likely would want to promote your new product or service and share it with the world. While protecting your product is a necessary part of doing business, it can also pay to protect what you have worked to create and develop. At Wang IP Law Group, P.C. we often help clients secure their IP rights in the U.S., Asia and Israel.

Forbes reports that there are several effective ways to protect your intellectual property. One of the less common methods is to not file a patent. By their very nature, patents provide a virtual recipe of how you created the product or service. Once published, an individual could create a workaround so as not to violate your intellectual property rights. If you do not file a patent, the recipe cannot be re-created, only approximated.

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