“I need a contract for my business”
The words that make me cringe…”I found this contract on the internet…” almost always followed with, “can you look over it for me?”
Is using a contract off of the internet always going to land you in some terrible spot? No. Of course not. Let me, however, tell you why I would always recommend you get a contract written for you.
1) Contracts should lay the groundwork for your business and your services. A contract, at minimum, sets out what you expect the other person to do for you and how you plan to repay them for their actions. It also sets the tone for how you like to do business with others. It is your opportunity to receive goods, payments, or services in the ways that fit with your business and business model while allowing you to be flexible in areas that you foresee growth, change, or in areas that you do not feel as strongly about.
Having your own contract in place shows potential business partners that you have really thought about your business and its future.
2) Contracts should protect your particular needs. Let’s say that seatbelts were not adjustable. Each car’s seatbelt is set to protect the average person. Would you feel safe? What if the seatbelt was either gaping on you and you could slide out OR what if the seatbelt was way too tight and you could not buckle it? You do not get into an accident every time you get into your car. You have the seatbelt there in case something goes wrong. So, it should be fine to buy a seatbelt meant to fit someone else, right? Most people would look at me like I’m crazy. I would look at me like I’m crazy. I would never buy a car if the seatbelt did not fit me!
If you would not buy a car without a seatbelt that fits you, why would you use a contract that does not fit you? Your contracts protect you, specifically. They have give, where necessary, but place clear boundaries to protect your business and your assets.
3) It will save you money. Are legal services an investment? Sure they are. They are an investment in your business. It is a small investment in your business that should help you close better deals, have better business relationships, and help protect what you have created. A good contract keeps you from getting involved in lawsuits with unreasonable people because you took the time and spent the money to really outline what you find acceptable and unacceptable. The contract forces you to have an honest discussion with your business partner(s) about what to expect.
4) More on why it will save you money. By using a contract you found on the internet, you will end up creating more work for me. I like to provide my clients with flat fee billing to help you budget. When I start from scratch or use my own templates, I can accurately predict how much time something will take me and can provide you with my flat fee billing options. I can provide you with more service and better quality service. When you present me with someone else’s contract from who knows where – I am not just “looking over the contract,” but then am also having to edit or re-write the contract. Since I do not know what the contract looks like what I will have to do to it, I cannot provide you with flat fees.
You end up unhappy because you get a big bill that you do not understand. I am unhappy because you are unhappy and because I spent twice as long doing something. Want more information on how to invest in your business? Contact us today!