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Close The Deal With A Contract

Lesson 4 from: Business Management 101

Tara McMullin

Close The Deal With A Contract

Lesson 4 from: Business Management 101

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

4. Close The Deal With A Contract

Redefine what a successful contract looks like. Establish clarity for a productive client relationship with Tara’s guidance.

Lesson Info

Close The Deal With A Contract

I think with contracts, people are so afraid of the legalese and they're also afraid that putting a contract in front of a client is gonna make you look really corporate, make you look really uptight, but it does exactly the opposite. A contract is the perfect way to start a really mutually beneficial relationship with your client. Alright now that you've learned how to put together a great proposal on fiber workspace, the next step is a great contract. A good proposal easily translates into a fair and clear contract. It's all about getting those client relationships started off on the right foot contracts really are a key way to set up a fruitful and fair relationship with your clients. Why use a contract first and foremost, everyone knows what they're responsible for when there's a contract, they know this is what I need to pay, this is when I need to pay it, this is what I'm going to receive. This is what the time frame looks like. All of that stuff is baked into a good contract so ...

that there don't need to be a lot of questions as the relationship moves on. A good contract of course also is going to protect you and it's going to protect the client because it's not just putting in writing what the client owes you, it's also putting in writing what you owe the client. And so that protection piece, That mutual protection piece is really key. And then finally a good contract is going to help you set the stage for a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship. Every client relationship has the potential to get testy to get um sort of a little conflict the right, but when you have a contract, there's a set way to handle the things that might get a little off track and you have a clear document that you've both agreed to that allows you to point back and say, hey this is this is where we started, this is what we agreed to and this is what we need to stick with moving forward. So that's why you use a contract, but you may still be nervous about contracts. So again, I want to emphasize to you the contracts, signal confidence and commitment to your client. I think a lot of folks think that contracts are sort of really corporate and it means that you're going to approach the relationship really transactional. E I think the exact opposite is true. A contract really sets up a relationship so that everyone involved knows what's what and has that feeling of the relationship being mutually beneficial. Second contracts do not have to be legalese to be effective. An agreement can simply be, you know, a bullet point list of these are the things that we've agreed to. Is it the strongest contract in the world? Is it what a lawyer is going to write for? You know, But it's better than nothing. Uh and it can be a great way to approach a new relationship with uh that clear headedness, that mutual agreement that you really need without feeling like you're sending over a document. That means absolutely nothing. And then finally asking for a contract does not mean you've sold out. It means you take your business seriously. It means your client needs to take your business seriously. And that is a great way to start a new relationship. You might be wondering Alright, contracts terra this sounds good. I'm ready. I I know I need a contract, but do I need to talk to a lawyer? So full disclosure. I am not a lawyer. I'm friends with lawyers. I am friends with lawyers who answer these questions, but I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. However, I can tell you that a template contract is typically better than no contract, which means you don't need to speak with a lawyer. Fiber workspace has a template ID contract built right into the software and that is a fantastic place to start. There are also template id contracts for sale through different law firms that specialize in small and micro businesses like yours. And often they have templates that you can add into fiber workspace or whatever software that you use that might be more suited to your specific kind of business. So for instance, a template that's specific to marketing agencies or a template that's specific to coaches or consultants. So that might be something to look into, especially as your business grows. But again, a template contract is typically better than no contract at all. Now when do you want to consult a lawyer? I'd recommend consulting a lawyer to get a custom contract. If one you deal with especially sensitive information whether that's corporate secrets or whether that's someone's health information or other kind of private personal information, that's something you're gonna want to make sure you get lawyers eyes on to make sure that everyone in the relationship is protected. Secondly, if you are dealing with I. P. Intellectual property and especially if there might be questions about who owns what intellectual property. That's another time when you want to get lawyers eyes on what you're doing and how you can protect yourself and protect your client third, if you offer any sort of in person component to your work, it's a good idea to get a lawyers take on that as well. That doesn't necessarily mean you know, sort of liability insurance. What it really means is, you know, things happen, uh plans change, schedules change and you want to make sure that that kind of stuff is built into your contract as well. And then finally, if you offer any sort of guarantee, if you are guaranteeing results of any kind, I'd highly recommend talking to a lawyer about that and just making sure you understand what your liability is in making that guarantee. So now that we've talked through why you want to present a contract to your new client. Let's take a look at how that actually happens in fiber workspace. Remember contracts are all about starting off your client relationship on the right foot, so everyone knows what's expected of everybody else and you're ensuring that there is a fair and mutually beneficial relationship from the start. So again, starting off in fiber workspace, we're going to go over to the left and click contracts. Then we're going to click new contract exactly how it was when we started the proposal. We're going to enter in the basic information first. So maybe we do client project, we select that client that we created earlier. Again, you can change the start date or the end date and again you have the option to create a proposal and contract together, which is awesome. You also have the option to create a proposal only or a contract only. Uh for this demo, we're gonna look at contract only. Again, just like when you created the proposal, you're gonna have the opportunity to put that broad strokes definition of your service into the space here. So we're gonna use podcast production. Again, I'm gonna enter the monthly fee and then I'm just gonna add a really short description here, just so you can see what it looks like that's the services piece and then building schedule. Again, it's the same as what we did in the proposals demo. Um so you can add your deposit, you can add your timeframe and then you can select the start date for the project. Once you've entered in that basic information, you're going to go down to the bottom right and click create contract. Now from here you're gonna see something that looks like a contract. Once you're into the contract, each of these sections is editable. So if you do have uh you know a template that you're using that a lawyer has created for you or you have a custom contract that a lawyer is created for you, you can edit that in here to make sure that it is representative of what the contract that you're actually working with. But the great part is it's in there for you and so you don't need to edit it beyond you know, dates or time frames unless uh you know, you do want something more customized so it's right there ready for you to use again, you're gonna sign it first click confirm, signature and then just like with the proposal, you've got that email built in, ready to go, ready to hit send, so I'm gonna hit send now once that contract gets signed it's time to get to work. And so in the next lesson we're gonna talk about how you manage projects and do so without pulling your hair out

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