Mediation for Small Businesses







Small businesses, like corporations, can find themselves in conflict with neighboring businesses, employees, customers,vendors, and even with their business partners. Therefore, unlike corporations, small businesses often do not have the resources to deal with these conflicts.  Thus, the question then becomes: When there is a dispute, does a small business mediate, or go to court?

What is Mediation?

Mediation involves the use of an independent third person, or mediator. Who works with both parties in the dispute to informally negotiate their agreement.  Because this is different from arbitration where a third person hears the evidence contested between the two sides. Therefore, by acting as a judge, renders a legally binding agreement.

Mediation Can Be Effective

Mediation can be an effective way of resolving disputes, eliminating the need to go to court.  And for a small business, a cost effective way. Above all, as much as it can be an efficient and flexible process for resolving a multitude of disputes such as:

  • A result of employee conflict.
  • A contract performance disputes.
  • A disagreement between owners.
  • A dispute with neighboring property owners

In the end, mediation only works if the two parties want it to work.  It is purely voluntary, and the option is always open to go to court if one side or the other still feels that the issue remains unresolved.

Why Not Just Head to Litigation?

Litigation is costly and takes considerable time.  It redirects resources that could better be applied to running the business. Add the interruption to the “quality of life” for the small business owner who is often a member of the local community. Where the vast majority of conflicts arise, and conflicts taken to court can become a nightmare.

Also, a court decision will be “black or white”.  There will be a winner and a loser, probably resulting in long term damage to personal and business reputation. Furthermore, going to court should be a last resort, and that is where Don Swift and Associates come in. Offering high quality and professional mediation services to help weave your way to a solution in an amicable, positive environment.

A Case In Point with Mediation

An employee claimed pay through a contract,which was contested by the employer.  Termination of the employee will not settle the conflict, nor does the employer wish to lose who is an excellent employee. And the employee wants to resolve the issue in a positive environment. Therefore, they agree to head to mediation, and that is where Don Swift and Associates came in. As a skilled negotiator and mediator, Don Swift follows a robust and respectful process for resolving disputes Listening to the arguments of both parties. Don Swift and Associates is able to sort out what is the intention of the contract, what the contract says, and what both sides believe. 

Knowing Facts

Knowing all the facts, it became apparent that the contract did not clearly outline what the parties had said was their belief of an agreement, mediation won. Coming up with a solution in this situation was clearly done on the basis of what both parties wanted.  They wanted to carry on with what was agreed and resolve the issue on the basis of their original agreement. Though the contract was not exactly clear in that effect.And that is the value of mediation.  It is purely a voluntary process that allows the parties to come to an agreement on the basis of what they want and may be happy with.  In this case, the dispute was settled, the employer kept the employee, and the employee was glad to continue to work.

Don Swift and Associates

Call on Don Swift and Associates to help you with leading-edge mediation services in the Wichita Falls, Texas area.   Don Swift is involved in bringing the parties to a positive resolution in many disputes. Discussing his role in mediation, Don Swift states, “A large focus is allowing the emotional energy to take the parties to a positive resolution.”  Don continues with, “There is a tremendous amount of emotion that gets built up between parties.  My approach is to let people express themselves openly. I peel back the layers of the onion and reconstruct the story in a thoughtful and logical way to expose the issues and possible solutions.”In his work, Don remains the thoughtful mediator, not taking sides. Building a path to resolution that respects the businesses.



Don Swift

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