True story…. Got a call from one of my colleagues…. Roxanne!!!!! What do I do? I need your help! I have a client that I did some work for. Absolutely FREE. Now they are trying to sue me alleging that I did not return their item. My response…. Was there a contract in place? A one-minute pause…. Hello? Are you still there? “No, there was no contract in place”. Well… sorry to tell you, but there is nothing that I can do.
I cannot tell you how many calls I get like this. Contracts are ESSENTIAL. Yes! They are a must. Even if you are providing a product or service that is FREE, such as what I call a “Betta client”; which in exchange for a case study or review, you provide a service. Again, a contract is needed. I always share with my clients, if you do not document, it never happened. Here is why:
▪ Contracts will outline the expectations for you and the party you are working with. It gives a clear scope of work to be executed. Trust me… you do not want anyone to claim a misunderstanding down the road.
▪ Contracts in place will protect your brand, your business, and the other party if those expectations, “Aren’t met”. (There are always scouts out there ready to take you out!)
▪ Contracts will “Lock-in” any remittance to be paid for your product or service (if any).
▪ Contracts are legally binding and enforceable. If you ever get sued or are taken to court, a contract can literally save you.
As previously stated, make sure that you develop a simple contract even if you are not planning on charging for your product or service. (If you need help, speak with an attorney or give us a call if you need guidance).
In addition to having a contract in place, make sure you schedule a meeting; whether virtual, via call, or in-person to review the contract and ask questions. “Tell me what is your understanding?” Recap your conversations and allow for the other party to tell you what they understood as well. Have the client sign, you sign, and issue them a copy. Always remember, The Blueprint to Success is You! ™