I’ve always thought that drafting a contract is like doing a jigsaw puzzle; you know how you want the end picture to look, there are lots of tiny pieces that need to come together in the right sequence and there will always be those pieces (usually of the sky!) that require some extra thought.
Although I don’t do many jigsaws these days I do love putting a good contract together. Taking all of those tiny pieces and making a picture that all of the parties to the contract are happy with is something that I really enjoy.
It can be overwhelming when you need to have a contract drafted as you’re not sure that you even have all of the tiny pieces or whether some of them fell out of the box.
The best thing I can recommend is this…
Get a pen.
Get a clean sheet of paper.
Old fashioned I know but stick with me.
Choose whether a flow diagram, mind map or list works best for you.
Picture your ideal client coming to your door (virtual or real) then write or draw the interaction that you will have with them throughout the lifetime of your relationship. To get you started consider the following:
- What date will the relationship start on?
- What will you be providing your client?
- What does your client need to do?
- How do you get paid?
- What happens if there is a disagreement?
- Can either of you end the relationship?
- Will you seek feedback or a testimonial from your client?
You’re not trying to decide what to do at every stage so if a decision has yet to be made, for example, you’re not sure if you will offer a money back guarantee, then simply make a note of that on your page.
This exercise will provide you with a map of your business that can be useful not only for drafting contracts but for cash flow, marketing, sales etc.
If you feel like this exercise is beyond you at the moment as you’re not sure what the interaction will look like, or you feel that you’re missing half the pieces, that’s when you get someone like me to help you. I have one of those brains that can spot the gaps in processes and I enjoy doing it.
If you’d like to know more about borrowing my brain please take a look at my Work With Me page. You can also grab a copy of your free Legal Health workbook, I designed this workbook to help you get clear on the legals you need in business, so you can begin to create a solid business foundation – and never have another sleepless night wondering if your legal ducks are in a row.
Disclaimer: This article is an educational resource designed to make you aware of some of the legal needs of your business. The information provided should be treated as a guide only and should not take the place of hiring a lawyer. Reading this article does not create a lawyer-client relationship between us. If you have a specific legal issue you need help with, you need to hire a lawyer.