How To Get a Contract Signed
No matter what business you are in, you need to know how to get a contract signed.
Whether you are building websites, blogging, are involved in the planning of someone’s content marketing campaign, doing social media marketing, or running a brick and mortar business, it doesn’t really matter.
Knowing how to get a contract signed, and when to ask for a contract are necessary skills most colleges will never teach you.
Ladies and Gents, I cannot stress the importance of how essential it is to have a binding contractual agreement between yourself and the client with anything you do in business.
If you are serious about doing real business, protect your interests and your client’s interest and simply always make sure you have a contract!
Don’t start anything serious before you know how to get a contract signed.
And a duly signed and properly dated one!
Cause if it’s not in writing, you simply don’t have a deal.
Sorry (pro bono work aside), for this marketer a verbal promise or a handshake just won’t ever do!
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Write Your Own Contracts
Unless you are doing a big deal and dealing with large corporations or unions, no attorney is necessary to draft contracts.
You can write your own contracts.
And do them very well.
I have been writing my own contracts for a long time for various brick and mortar businesses, from my interior design business, to my pro entertainment company, and now doing web design services for others.
Over the years they have saved me time and money - time and time again.
Even my own self-made contracts have stood up to time the very few times I’ve been forced to go to civil court. Once, the judge asked me, “Who does your contracts?”
When I told him they were self-created, he was practically in disbelief.
Last night I spent several hours “shoring up” my new web design contract by revising the copy to cover not only the standard schedules (“basics”), but many possible contingencies.
If you prefer, you certainly can pay for online contract templates. Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Form Swift are only a few of the myriad online services available at your fingertips that you can pay a fee to provide contract templates.
I would definitely recommend to use these online services if you can afford them.
However, if you are on a deep budget as I was and have the time, IMO there is absolutely nothing wrong with obtaining and using a simple draft of a related product/ services contract in your industry that addresses similar provisions and then making your own custom modifications to it.
Just make sure you know your business inside out and do your own due diligence in researching what the minimum requirements are in the contract, then you can modify it to suit your business needs.
When I started my interior design business a long time ago – even before websites were popular (lol!) - this is how I did it; in fact, I was able to get my hands on a hard copy of an established and reputable interior design firm’s business contract and used it as my template draft.
My girlfriend at the time worked for that interior design firm and was able to somehow get a copy of their contract. I remember how excited I was when she brought that draft copy to me!
Now you can find anything on Google. This process is so much infinitely easier.
A Contract is a Contract
It really doesn’t matter what business you are involved in.
Once you know and thoroughly understand your business inside out, your knowledge of your business can be applied to fine tuning any contract.
This is provided that you are looking at contracts in a related industry.
You can achieve this through:
Most of the work will already be done for you.
Given this information, here are the most standard parts of a product/ service contract:
*Note: This is not an exhaustive list by any means.
This is only an introductory to the basics of contract writing for your own small business.
Conclusion: How to Get a Contract Signed
Take your time, use your imagination and brainstorm as many possible scenarios as possible.
Much can happen in a business transaction between you and the client, just cover EVERY possibility in your contract.
Protect your interests. In doing so, also protect your client’s interests.
Think how your client would feel if she by accident lost something owned by your company that she borrowed.
She would be thrilled later when finding out she was “off the hook” as per the language you added in the fine print of your contact.
I will tell you, she will indebted to you with a big “Thank You” and will continue to be your repeat customer.
Realize that you won’t get this perfect, for few contracts are 100% bullet-proof and comprehensive, but as a starter you will be well on your way to getting your business right out of the gate!
So before you start your next business, always make sure you know how to get a contract signed.
It is the only way to succeed in the long game.
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