Being self-employed has many perks, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. This is especially true if you deal with client contracts. It is crucial that you understand the legal obligation towards your client and vice versa. Making sure that you have a high-quality, fool-proof contract with help things run smoothly, and it will also mean that you both know where you stand.
Why are contracts so important?
It’s common for new startup companies to overlook contracts, but this can end up putting you in a sticky situation further down the line. Understandably, you want to get the work started and go full steam ahead, but taking extra time to draw up a watertight contract is highly advisable.
There will come a point in your career where there’s a misunderstanding for whatever reason. It could be that you and your client weren’t on the same page, or an invoice hasn’t been paid, or the client may simply not be happy with the service received. This is where a contract will protect you, and back you up if it ever came to court proceedings.
Protecting your clients
It’s about protecting both your business and your clients. If you can provide your clients with a reassuring contract, they will be more likely to do business with you because they know that they will be protected. Many clients get let down by contractors, so more often than not, they will want some form of protection.
Boosting your accountability
Contracts make you more trusting as a business, but they also ensure that you hold yourself accountable for what you have promised. If you know that you have signed up to deliver a project at a certain cost in a certain amount of time, you know that you have to deliver. This also works the same way for your clients. They know what they have to pay and when they have to pay for it.
It’s always advisable to get your contracts checked over by a legal professional, no matter how confident you are with it. Also, if a client appears to be edgy over signing a contract, it may be worth reconsidering working with them. Use your contract with them to refer back to if you encounter any problems; nobody can argue if it’s written in black and white. Doing business isn’t always straightforward, but having a legally binding contract can make it a little easier.
If you have recently set up a new business, take a look at our free e-book for tips on how to kickstart in the best way.