Making Your CSA Work
Let's talk about making this super practical in your business how do you get a clients of his agreement in the first place? So they're a couple ways to do that one ways to actually work with a lawyer to give an example of what those fees might be, I charge I think we charge about twelve fifty for a client service agreement, so to draft a custom client service agreement for one of my clients we charged twelve fifty we do flat fees only their most lawyers do hourly rates. I'm not a big fan of that. So that's not what we do, but you know, for an hourly rate you'd probably pay maybe a little bit more probably fifteen hundred dollars or something like that. If you're paying a lawyer three fifty an hour to draft a contract for you, you can count on it taking, you know, around five hours somewhere like that so that's how much it would cost now that's not necessarily out of reach for all entrepreneurs and all designers. Okay? And remember, these are the types of things that you want to build i...
nto the prices for your services. So when you're selling your services, make sure your accounting for all of these expenses that you have as a business order to run your business the right way you don't want to have a shop that sort of thrown together and you can't take care of yourself and can't handle your legal needs charge what you should be charging so that you can cover your legal needs is, well, so that's one way that's not the only way, though you can also find a reliable template and I find a reliable template. I do not mean go on google and just grab the first template that pops up. That is not necessarily a reliable template. I would even venture to say that it is probably definitely not reliable template. Okay, so you want to go to a source that you can trust, for example, professional organizations? If you are a member of a professional association of graphic designers, for example, they often will have reliable templates that they've hired lawyers to draft that you can purchase from them for, you know, a small sum. Another resource is, you know, my small business bodyguard legal kit, which I mentioned earlier that includes a client service agreement template so that's, another place where you could get it and there might be, you know, other lawyers who sell templates as well, but the key is to make sure that you're getting it from a reliable source don't just grab it from google. And then once you have won if you choose not to have a lawyer draft it for you just make sure that you're customizing it for your business and going through those steps that we invented right thinking about what are your policies and then once you figure out what you want your policies to be make sure that they're incorporated into your client service agreement so the other piece is once you have one how do you make sure that is actually incorporated into your business so here's what I want to see you do um when you are on board a new client you send them the proposal right like we talked about or you send them a statement of work and they agreed to a statement of worker to your proposal when they say hey yeah I want to work with you the next thing that happens is that you send them your contract I would even say send them your contract before you get paid or simultaneously at the same time as getting paid ok make sure that they sign your agreement so here's how you want to do it you send it to them electronically um and what I mentioned you know once you have your template either whether you get a purchase a template customize it for your business or hire a lawyer to customize it for you once you have it you can use that same template with every single client ok, and if you've got different ways that you work with clients, maybe you create two or three different templates for the tour to three different ways that you work with clients but you can use the same template over and over and over again case you only have to do this once. Maybe you would do it again later if you know your policies changed or if you grew substantially and something you want to revisit every couple of years but for the most part you do it once and you're done. Once you have your template you put it into eco sign or doc you sign is another service I personally use hello sign. I like them the best. So you use a service like hello sign it's an app and you load up your template into hello sign and you send it to every single client at the beginning of the engagement. Not a lick of work shall be done until your client service agreement is signed and having it sent electronically means that they consign it electronically. It comes back to you very quickly a service like hello sign or even doc you sign or any of these companies will actually store all of your contracts a cz well they store record of when it was signed and the email address that was entered so elektronik signatures are just as legit in almost every westernized country and even some developing countries, it's just as a legit, as you know, putting pen to paper so I would highly recommend using electronic signatures to make it easy because you don't want to send if you send them either a hard copy or you send them, you know, even elektronik copy. They have toe printed out. Sign it, skin it, send it back to you. I'm sure you've been through this. If you use contracts in your business or have ever done it, it's a pain in the ass and people for crestin e and then they don't get signed. I recently had a client who is an art director. I have this same exact experience. She had a client that she's been working with for, like a year now they had a six month contract and then she sent her another contract for the next six months. Guess what it was never signed. She sent it to her via fedex. It never got signed and then they had a dispute and the girl wanted to cancel in, like september and their contract went through december. And, you know, my client had already john all of this work and was sort of in the midst of delivering a bunch of stuff, and she tried to cancel in the middle of it. And her contract says that even if you cancel, you still have to pay for the entire six months of work that she's provided, and so they had a dispute about it. And so then my client had to decide, and I'm going to take her to court over, you know, about five thousand dollars that was left in the contract, or am I going to take the loss because I never got my contract signed? You don't have a lot of recourse if you send a contract and never get signed, you don't have a lot of recourse there. Yes, lawyers can get sort of creative and try to get it enforced, but it's a crapshoot. You don't want to deal with that, so make sure you always send it electronically and that's. How you'll make sure that every single client signs your agreement and you know the terms of every relationship with every client that you have because you've gotten all of them to sign your agreement. Ok, so that's, how you make it super practical and make sure it gets done.