No matter what type of small business you own, you will probably need to send out a contract at some point. Having your own contract forms is essential if you want to successfully run and grow your small business, especially for a service-based business. The question is, are small business contract forms something you can DIY, or should you get a professional to write them for you?
Why You Need Small Business Contract Forms
The purpose of small business contract forms is two-fold. First, to ensure that the client knows exactly what to expect from you. Second, to protect you and your business.
Let’s break down the first reason. In any client based business, clearly communicating exactly what your client can expect from you is essential. This is where a contract comes in handy. While details can get lost in email threads and forgotten from video conferences, a contract is always there to lay out every detail of the job at hand. It should detail how you work, payment, the details of specific tasks, what you need from the client in order to complete the tasks, deadlines, revisions, cancellations, and liability.
Having all of this on paper and signed by your client protects you and your business from any issues that may arise down the line. As long as you deliver exactly what you outlined in the contract, there is no room for the client to then refuse payment, demand extra work, or cancel on you without warning. That binding agreement will also protect you from any legal action the client may choose to take.
The DIY Route
Now for the big question, can you write your own small business service contract templates? You can, but as a business coach for women, I recommend you don’t. Many small business owners will start out by writing their own contracts based on a small business contract sample. While this may clearly outline the task at hand, it may not protect you when you need it most.
I recommend having a legal professional work with you to create your contracts. This way you can be sure that both you and your business are completely protected by law.
Hiring a Legal Professional
While most legal professionals will be able to draft up a simple contract for you, there are some that specialise in small business contract forms. Shalini Nandan-Singh from Legally Shalini is the insanely talented lawyer and contract specialist that I go to when I need a contract drafted up. She is all about supporting women in business and helping you out with the legal side of your business.
Check out Legally Shalini if your legals need some love.
For small businesses, contracts are a must. They are the only way to ensure you are as protected as possible and they have the added benefit of improving communication and setting realistic expectations with your clients. To learn more about how you can grow your business make sure you check out my Blog & Podcast.
Have an awesome day,