If there is just one new thing you should adopt in your business this year it should be to start using a contract for all your client work.
Do you use a contract?
Put your hand up if you have ever had trouble getting paid by a client.
OK – I can’t see you right now so I don’t know if you put your hand up but I’ve asked this question at countless meetups and let me tell you that almost everyone puts their hands up including myself.
Why do we get ourselves into this position? Why didn’t we have a contract in place?
Sometimes we’re caught in the moment and sometimes we’re desperate for the money.
Strategy and Qualification
It can be difficult to pull back and think about where your business is going, what type of clients you should be working with and how you can work with them to obtain the best results.
That is strategy and qualification and it comes with experience either through trial and error or if you are lucky enough, from a business mentor.
More on business strategy in another post.
Use a Simple Business Contract
Having a simple contract in place with a client before you start any work can save you from being burned in the future.
It will put in place a level of protection for yourself and your business.
It’s a tweaked version of the open source Contract Killer from Stuff & Nonsense.
One thing you’ll notice is that it’s written in plain English. No legalese gibberish that both you and your client have no idea what it means.
Clear, plain and simple.
Your clients will love your new business contract because they will be able to understand it.
Will it Work For My Business?
If it doesn’t fit your business model then change it so it does.
Our business contract is open source which means you can use and modify it for your own needs.
If you’re still on the fence about using a contract before you start any client work, I urge you to watch the video “F*ck You. Pay Me.” by Mike Monteiro.
Warning – just in case you didn’t get it from the title, the video contains strong coarse language!
Have you been in a situation where you wished you had a business contract to fall back on?
Let me know in the comments below.