Welcome to 2017!
The first of the year is a great time to look not only internally at our health and habits but also those in our business.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I tend to take my health for granted - I RARELY get sick, eat well (*most* of the time), workout, and overall have been lucky. But when I do on the occasion get knocked out, I am quickly reminded how easy it is to take my health in general for granted.
Knowing that I can go to a doctor has definitely given me a sense of relief during my bedridden days. What if I didn’t have any protection in place? Of course I could go to an ER but no doubt the bill would end up being way more.
I see getting a flu shot, having insurance (and healthy lifestyle) as a foundational layer in protecting ME! It’s something I can control - because what I can’t control is the woman on the airplane sneezing all over me.
Business is the SAME. There are ways to put foundational layers in place to protect your business for when flu season (aka that bad client) comes knocking - you can’t control it, but it will happen. So today I’m going to go over a few things to check to make sure your business is legally healthy!
So what can help keep your biz healthy?
CONTRACTS! Having a 1:1 client agreement in place is foundational to any service-based business!
If you are running a service-based business with 1:1 clients - this is the most important piece to have in place to protect your biz health!
Having a 1:1 client agreement in place that has all of the following clauses in writing goes a LONG way in protect your business. Here are the different areas your agreement should cover and a bit about what they mean.
TERMS: Terms of the service they are purchasing (what exactly are you providing, when, and in what ways?)
REFUND POLICY: Your refund policy (what happens if they miss a payment? If they aren’t happy with your services?)
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: When and how are payments due?
IP: Protection for your intellectual property (who owns what? What happens with the module you created? The logo your VA designed for you?)
DISCLAIMERS: Disclaimers of liability (protects you from claims and advises your clients that you are not a doctor, therapist, magician, etc) Super important for coaches, web freelancers, consultants!
JURISDICTION: Where is YOUR business and what law controls the contract?
DISPUTE RESOLUTION: what happens if you guys disagree? Courtroom? Arbitration?
While there are some other important clauses included in contracts, this the *meat* and it’s important to have these SOLID.
Other Contracts to Keep Your Biz Healthy
In addition to 1:1 client contracts, what are other types of contracts you may need to have in place to protect your business?
Well, ANYTIME $$$ is involved, you should have a contract. Here are just a few examples of when you should be using contracts:
-Working with a VA
-Having a website designed
-Social media manager
-Collaboration for a program
-Live events or retreats
-Facebook Ads manager
Not only are these protecting your business and income, but they provide boundaries and expectations for the relationship. What if your web designer thought they were including 5 pages, and you thought 10? What if your Ads manager runs up a $1000 bill in a week by mistake? How are you splitting profits for your event with your partner?
This list could go on and on...the bottom line is, thinking about these “what ifs” now can save you so much time and heartache down the road! Is your biz as healthy as it should be? If not, let's chat!