This is a question I ask all the time
Is it because you don’t know the risks without them?
Maybe you have never had an issue……….yet!
It costs too much?
This is a common one but this looks to me, like you don’t value your business enough to protect it?
“I have had someone not pay me because my service wasn’t to the client’s standard”
When you don’t have anything in writing specifying details around a client disputing the delivery of your service, why are you not surprised that a client will use this as an excuse not to pay you?
Whenever I am passed a case for debt recovery, 9 times out of 10, the reason for non payment is they are disputing that product or service. It then turns into a “battle” as all I hear from both sides is “he says” “she says”, which is an absolute nightmare!
Do you want to run your business this way?
I have to have 30 day terms but it sometimes means I don’t get paid for 60 or even 90 days.
It’s your business so you can apply whatever terms you want. If you set these boundaries from the start you WILL get paid on or around that due date. Why do business owners wait until that due date is passed to contact the account payer for them to be told “oh we only do payment runs at certain times of the month so am sorry it will be the end of next month”!!! This happens a lot but you are allowing this to happen.
If you have terms and conditions, with your payment terms highlighted from the beginning, you can then have a discussion on when you expect to be paid.
I dealt with commercial customers only in the past but I now deal with consumers.
It is imperative that you have your current contracts updated regarding consumers. If not and you end up with that “difficult” consumer, you can end up being questioned by Trading Standards.
How are you storing your client information?
Do you deal with third party companies who do work for you?
Have you got an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) in place? Again you should be protecting yourself and your clients, especially if you are giving our your client information.
Are you asking for a deposit?
What if something goes wrong can you give back that deposit? If you don’t have a contract in place, you will have to give that deposit back to your client, but what happens if you have already used that deposit for cash flow?
How do you map out delivery to your clients?
Do your clients know what to expect from you – are you clear in your instructions?
What happens if I copy someone else’s terms and conditions?
You’re putting your integrity and trust at risk. Every business is different, even if we work in the same industry. Be unique and be You!
There are a large number of documents which can be used within your business to protect you as a business and especially as a business owner. Here are just a few but the list is endless.
- Terms of Business (offline) (for any industry) – Business and Consumers
- Terms of Business (online) (for any industry) – Business and Consumers
- Privacy Notice (don’t have website)
- NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Shareholders Agreement
- Partnership Agreement
- Loan Agreements
- Intellectual Property
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Retainer Agreements
- Sponsorship Agreements
- Affiliate Agreements
If you would like to more about how you can protect your business feel free to ask.