When I first went into business for myself, I was a year into my Associate’s degree, and we began to talk about contract protection in my project management class. We were given a stack of contracts, and were told to create a contract using these as a template. My final contract was about half a page long. I thought this contract was the best contract in the world, and I was now protected from all the unnecessary evils of the business world. Boy was I wrong. I had a lawyer read over it for me. Now granted he wasn’t a contract lawyer, he was an immigration lawyer, but even he said, “You might want to beef it up.” Throughout the years, I have beefed up that contract, but only because I’ve had bad experiences. If it wasn’t for those bad experiences, I would have never knew that there were cracks in my armor.
Your Contract Protection is like a Knight’s Armor
Imagine a knight riding into battle without his armor, if you see this, your first thought is probably, “This guy is toast.” A business without the proper contract protection will lose more than money. All contracts have specific attributes. Each attribute in a contract has certain protections. For example, your terms and conditions section is designed to develop a basis or standard between you and the client, so that nobody is left in the dark about what is happening in the life of the project that you are working on. Maybe if you’re like me, you’ll make it a point to have a services and prices section in your contract, so there is no confusion about these things, when you send your customer your invoice. Whatever the terminology you use to bring attention to a certain aspect of the operation of your business, it all serves its purpose.
Building Contract Protection Through Experience
Like I said before, if it weren’t for some of the bad experiences I had while running my business, I would never knew to protect for these problems. It is a hard pill to swallow, but most us have to learn the hard lessons, by actually going through them. I don’t welcome them, but I’m thankful for them. If nothing in the life of your business ever went wrong, there would never be a need to re-evaluate so you can do things better. Adversity in life causes us to grow. Same thing in business and the good thing in business is that if you grow mentally, then your pockets are likely to grow as well. This is a great benefit of choosing to not be defeated. You will take your lumps and bruises in business, but those lumps and bruises will cause you to guard yourself in the future.
Without Proper Contract Protection Businesses Fail
Businesses have been around for thousands of years. Even when written contracts weren’t always the standard practice, oral agreements were made. One day though, someone got smart and decided to write the agreement down, and have both parties sign it. This signing is a declaration of proper work values and expectations between the contractor and the person receiving the services. This contract also keeps both parties honest without tipping the scale. Granted there are some contracts made to manipulate or exploit the ignorance of the buyer, but most contracts are made to keep both parties protected. Good contract protection will not allow the contractor to jerk the customer, and will not allow the customer to jerk the contractor.
Without proper Contract Protection most businesses will fail. Unfortunately, it usually takes a business to hit a couple of rough experiences to learn how to protect themselves. Fortunately though with the proper contract protection, most businesses will be covered under many circumstances, and will proceed to see ongoing success. Proper Contract Protection is a small part of the big picture, but it is a necessary tool for the progression of your business. Along with submission of your contract, we must follow up with customers about our expectations, and have good business practices, so that we give no opportunity for anybody to try and come against our businesses.
Feel free to discuss, and as always God Bless!