Let’s face it—as a business owner, contracts might not be your forte. You might be better at coming up with good ideas, managing a team, or promoting products. This is why so many owners tend to lean toward using basic templates rather than having custom contracts that cover all of their bases. If you have been working with template so far and you find yourself wondering if you should switch to ones that are more comprehensive, then here are some problems you should look out for in advance.
Templates are meant to be changed
While it’s clear to some that templates that you find online or through a service should be modified to work for you, some business owners choose to leave them as is because they don’t have a legal representative to look at them or they don’t have to have to pay for the time to change it. This can have devastating consequences down the line, however, since clients can potentially sue if there are loops in the contract. It might seem like extra effort, but it’s often worth it to hire someone to go in and customize the contract for your business.
You’re leaving them to security issues
Your company is at a huge liability if you are not storing your documents properly and making sure that important information is password-protected and encrypted. In your contract lifecycle management, make sure that you have taken the steps to keep contracts safe as soon as possible. Of course, if you are sharing any essential information with another party, make sure they sign a non-disclosure agreement as well so you can rest assured that even if your relationship falls through, they can release information that is deemed your property.
You’re using vague language
The death of any contract is when the writer has made terms vague and they can be misconstrued. This could eventually lead to a battle in court if both sides disagree on what those terms were, or it can make things more difficult for you if a client is expecting a certain type of work only to receive something else. Along with your scope, make it resoundingly clear what you plan on delivering, when, and when the contract will be considered void if it is not renewed.
You are not including time for revisions
Every contract should be thoroughly looked over for any liability issues and to see whether there are any holes. If time isn’t included to fix any issues, then you could wind up with a client coming back to question you on certain actions or they might choose to drop the contract altogether. Like any project that you plan on handing in, make sure there is time to go over it and make changes if need be.
When your contracts are the basis of your future partnerships, you can’t afford to get them wrong. Running through any problems that they might have can keep you from dealing with difficult client relations later. Take the extra time and move beyond your templates!