With lockdown looming around the corner during the Coronavirus pandemic. It can give you that extra edge in your business by reviewing your contracts, processes and organizing a bit of your admin.

The best way to deal with problem situations is to be prepared. Know what you need and how to implement it. This is what success is all about. I find that too often we stare at being prepared with Social Media, Marketing and getting new business, that we actually get wrapped up in it.

The problem is: with any successful business it doesn’t just have the winning factor of marketing but it also has the balanced combination of managing the business and dealing with complaints, debtors etc. It is a package deal when having your own business. Yes, I know that the complaints and contracts are not always the fun stuff – but having your own business means dealing with all of the components to make it a successful business – that includes the not-so-fun-stuff.

 

Prevention is after all the best cure! And you need to be reviewing your contracts on a regular basis. I have compiled a list of checks for your business and your contracts to make sure that you are all covered and ready when business is back to normal. Download my free checklist. This is going to help you review your contracts on a regular basis.

 

Contract Checks:

1. I have all the contracts I need?

This is the starting point for all contracts. You need to make sure that you know which contracts you need and then have them in place. Next week in my blog I will deal with finding out which contracts you need.

2. My Contracts has at the least the following clauses:

Yes, this is also a little check for you to do. You need to check which clauses are in your contracts in order to make sure that you are properly covered. Here are a few clauses to make sure you have. This is by no means ALL OF THE CLAUSES YOU NEED. But it is a starting point.

  • Payment

  • Breach

  • Cancellation

  • Limitation of Liability

  • General contract interpretation clauses (don’t overlook this!)

3. My method of signature is easy to use for my clients?

Can your clients sign their contracts easily? This is super important from a practical point of view. If your clients are going to battle to sign the contracts then they won’t sign them and won’t send them back. It affects your client satisfaction and the legal side of things. Think of all of the online subscriptions of other companies and how their ts & cs work – It is easy to agree to and doesn’t feel like a hassle.

4. I have a system to file contracts for each of my clients?

You must have a filing system. One client with one contract is not a problem. But having multiple clients and contracts will become problematic. Especially if your contract gets updated and some of your clients are still on the older version. Also have this in a format that is easy accessible, you never know when you need to remind a client of a clause.

5. I have a place to make notes about new issues with clients that need to be changed in the contract?

I know you probably never thought that you would be making notes of contracts. But this is what will give you the edge and will make sure that your contract stays relevant. Make a list throughout of problems, concerns and queries. Also just the things that don’t work for you. Your process or business might change and you need to adjust.

6. I have scheduled a 6 month review for my contracts?

Don’t be lazy – just take that minute to put it in your calendar and then in 6 months’ time you can review your agreement and incorporate all of those notes that you have made in the past 6 months.

Business Check:

1. I have a discount policy?

I am not going to be diving into this, not for this blog in any case. But you need to make sure that you have this in order. You can read more about writing your own discount policy in my blog. Or download my free discount policy.

2. I have a standard email reply for clients requesting discount?

Same goes for this point.

3. I have a letter of demand if a client breaches my agreement?

You can get a letter of demand from my site. Also getting the procedure in place and understanding what needs to happen is just as important. I have dealt with this in length in my blog.

 

4. I have a procedure that I follow when clients breach?

You need to have a procedure, even if it is just in the back of your mind. This helps you to not freak out when that moment arises when you will need it. Most likely in your business career you are going to have to face this problem at one point or another.

 

5. I am managing my debtors and have a procedure?

Most businesses manage their debtors. It is a myth that successful business do not have debtors at all. Big corporate companies and businesses alike will have debtors, they just have systems in place to manage it. Managing debtors is a key element because whether it is the economy that your clients are facing or the Coronavirus – there will always be non-paying clients. It is important to have a system where you can manage this. Whether by just having a follow-up reminder system. But you can never just leave this without dealing with it.

 

Reviewing your contracts is an integral part of your business and making sure that you are on top of your game for any situation.