In a previous post, we talked about the importance of business contracts. I actually want to further emphasize the benefits a written contract provides both for our clients and us stay at home business moms, but there’s something more important that we have to talk about—the contract mistakes businesses often commit when creating and sending contracts.
For mom entrepreneurs like us, creating a contract can be a headache: there are so many things that must be incorporated and laws that must be kept in mind that it’s easy to make a mistake. This is especially true for those who haven’t created a contract before. Are you still sitting and pulling your hair out while thinking what your business contract should include? Well, you certainly shouldn’t include (read: completely avoid) the following:
- No research—if you don’t have any idea what to include in your contract, all your efforts in creating one might just end up wasted. Research contracts in your niche, look for samples, and use them as bases.
- No drafts—always start a contract with a draft, consulting with your contractor or client throughout the way. If needed, create several revisions. Never rush; it will only bring regret.
- Creating a contract based on assumptions—a contract is an agreement. Since it’s an agreement, then it’s crucial that both you and your contractor or client agrees on the contract’s content. Offer ideas and draft, discuss with your contractor or client, and negotiate whenever a
- Ambiguous terms and conditions—never use general terms; you have to be as specific as possible. Payment terms, damage penalties, and any other considerations must be carefully spelled out.
- Barely any details—if you pair ambiguous terms and few details, you’ll end up with a disaster of a contract. When creating a contract, clear and precise details are paramount. Never leave out any details, and explain anything that may have different meanings or be a source of confusion.
- Unspecified scope—how long the project will be, how many work hours, and the like must be included and emphasized in the contract.
- Not using an attorney—no matter how familiar you are with contracts, you still have to hire an attorney to go over it and make sure it’s legally binding and doesn’t violate any law.
Creating business contracts both for our clients and contractors can certainly induce headache, but think about it this way: your little headache today will save you from a chaotic migraine tomorrow and all the days after that. What’s a little sacrifice when it will safeguard you from any and all troubles in the future?
We’ll talk more about the different aspects related to contracts in the next post. Be sure to sign up for the daily e-mails so you don’t miss them.