It seems as though every year I get a slew of questions that lead back to licensure. Certain professions require a license. Licensing is important because there are requirements in order to get the license and standards in order to keep the license.

In order to keep a license there is usually a continuing education requirement and a scope of practice. Recently body workers have come under fire. Body works are not licensed massage therapists. Many cities and towns are not allowing for body workers to open businesses.

There is next the scope of practice issue. Licensed professionals have a scope of practice they must adhere to and not go beyond that scope. For example a physical therapy assistant cannot bill their services to an insurance company and they have to be under the direct supervision of a physical therapist.

What if the consumer has an issue? Frequently consumers hire unlicensed contractors to work on their homes and businesses. Also frequently are the issues that arise due to poor workmanship and incomplete work. If the contractor is licensed then there is actually some recourse through the state. If the contractor is not licensed then that ability is lost.

It is important to use licensed individuals as there is some protection provided. It is also important for those licensed to stay within their scope of practice to limit legal issues.

I am snow weary. Usually this condition does not hit me until the end of February, but with two storms the feeling started early.

“The snow brings out the worse in people,” said a plow driver.

This is true- patience is lost.   Here are some other issues that the snow brings:

  1. Timing. If you have contracts or due dates on projects then be advised to make sure you have an understanding about date flexibility. The postal services are not running on time, in fact a form I sent to the court was delayed. I called until I was told it was received and recorded. If date and time is important, then you may want to consider a courier service.


  1. Liability. Yes, sidewalks, parking lots and common areas should be clean, but please recognize that in many locations there are 30+ inches of snow with no place for the snow. Think about using technology to avoid driving or at least to be understanding.


  1. Prepare. I do have the ability to work from home, but this means in order to do so I must back up my computer files. This is important for not only security reasons, but so that you can complete your work as seamlessly as possible, especially if due dates are immovable.  As an adjust professor, I have noticed that my students have not kept up with the reading on missed classes, but the classes will continue and with online classes they will be made up with many students behind.  No need to get behind if you keep up with the work and remain prepared.


Most importantly, it is a time to be able to use collaborative negotiation in order to solve issues, looking past positions to find out what truly are the issues, keeping in mind it is usually timing, liability and preparedness. Do not be stuck in your way (in ice or snow), but collaborate to find a solution. It will not melt the snow faster, but it will make it bearable.



A snowstorm is a good reason to stay in and I can always find something to do.  This time though I caught back to back episodes of the Property Brothers.  If you have not seen this show on HGTV then you are missing out on Jonathan and Drew, twins that help find and remodel homes (in Canada).  In each episode there is doubt by the buyers that the house can be remodeled to the way they want it—they cannot see what Jonathan sees.


It is the same with mediation.  Unless you have been involved in a mediation, then it is difficult to understand and see what is going on.  Most people are familiar with courtroom dramas and judges making a decision.  Most cases settle using mediation or negotiation where you are part of the decision, have more of a say and can usually keep the business relationship intact.


For the new year why not try a new perspective?  Think about using mediation for your disputes or before entering a contract negotiate and get negotiation coaching from True North Business Consulting.  I understand that you know your business, but I frequently see that people do not know the legalities of their business. Take the time to take a new look and avoid problems later. I also offer a UDEMY class for those who want more information on alternative dispute resolution, which is the opposite of litigation.


It was time for an update at True North Business Consulting.  We are still providing contract review and creation, mediation services and educational seminars on business topics.  Is it time for you to look at the legal side of your business?

A Perfect Example:

Partners in a business recently came to me.  They have been in business for 10 years and are in debt.  They do not know if they should continue.  They had created an S-Corporation, which means they created a separate legal entity with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  They did this to protect their personal assets.  However, they never created a partnership agreement, which would give them guidance on what to if they decided to split up. A contract of this kind should have been the first step.  Instead they are confused and do not know what to do.

Clients Are Impacted:

Whether the business continues with one person, the partners or is dissolved, there is going to be an impact with their clients.  They had not changed their client contract since they started their business.  There was some updating needed but their main issue was they cannot assign the contract to another business who may buy them.  This means that they have to honor each of the contracts, even though they may sell the business!

Mediation Can Help Them:

Are they heading for court? No.  They want a quick resolution, and most civil cases can take up to two years to get to litigation.  This is after a large investment of money, which neither can afford.  They also may not be happy with a judge or jury’s decision. Mediation provides an alternative where they can come up with their own solution, and still remain good friends.

When was the last time you updated your contracts? Are you involved in a dispute and it is heading to court?  True North Business Consulting can help you.

Need a place to start, then start with our free videos at:  You Tube Channel  or browse through this  blog  for helpful hints.

Like me when you download or sign up for something on the internet you do not take time to read the fine print. You scroll to the bottom and check off the box that says that you read it. You didn’t though and everything is fine until there is a problem. The problems may be minor, but may also result in a lack of privacy or your content being owned by another company.

If you treat your contracts with vendors or clients in the same way that you treat your online ones, then you could eventually affect your livelihood. Here are five tips when reading over a contract:

1. Money- how and when will you be paid?
2. Time- how long is the contract for?
3. Talk- if you talked about it, then it needs to be in the contract or it doesn’t exist.
4. Risk- what happens if you do not perform or the other party to the contract doesn’t perform?
5. Where- if you have to go to court (and you should think about alternative dispute resolution) then what state will it be in?

As always, you should have contracts reviewed by an attorney. At True North Business Consulting we create contracts and review them to fit your business needs.