Well done you have taken that first step in deciding that you want to get your legal stuff sorted. Now it is a matter of figuring out your terms and conditions that you need to be in your contract.

 

You have actually already done the most difficult part – deciding to get a contract in place. Yes – I am not lying, that was the most difficult part.

 

It is important to remember that you have a relationship with your client, whether you like it or not. Every time you say ‘yes’, when actually you wanted to say ‘no’. Or do something that is actually not part of your service that you are delivering – it sets a principle. If you don’t have a written agreement then all of those little principles become the verbal contract that governs the relationship. If you don’t have a written agreement you will most likely always be on the losing end because your client’s expectations will not be kept in check and as a result they are either going to abuse your service or complain if you start putting your foot down.

 

What I am getting at is similar to training a puppy: if you do not train your puppy, the puppy is going train himself. But training is inevitable.

 

To manage your relationship with your client, set the boundaries and manage the expectation is where the terms and conditions come into play. That is why I said that you probably already have all of your terms figured out, because you know what is not working for you, which problems you are facing because of not having an agreement in place etc.

 

There are a few steps you can follow to figure out your terms and conditions. The easy part is that you probably already know all of the answers to complete these steps.

 

Step 1

Stay calm and breathe, and think of all the things that bother you when you deal with clients.

 

Step 2

Look at the following parts of an agreement and answer the questions:

1.Payment:

  • – Does your clients need to pay a deposit?
  • – How does the payment work? Instalments?
  • – Are there additional costs like travel expenses?

 

2. Delivery

  • – How does the delivery of the product or service work?
  • – When do you deliver and how?

 

3. Client’s Obligations

  • – What does your client need to do?
  • – What must your client not do?

 

4. Your Obligations

  • – What are you promising to do?
  • – What will you not do?

 

5. Cancellation

  • – Is there going to be a cancellation penalty?
  • – What would you consider early cancelation?

 

6. Protection

  • – Do you need a copyright clause?
  • – Confidentiality?

 

Now that you have answered all of these questions you need to make sure that they are in your contract along with all of the other general clauses that always go with a contract.

Read more about Why Small Businesses needs contracts.