Do you have terms and conditions for your business?
If not, go sort them out now!
Not only will this help protect you in the future in case of any dispute but they make you look more professional and can help you gain business. Your clients need to know exactly what they are getting and feel protected from their end also.
Today, I was in the process of booking a photo shoot with a photographer who asked for a deposit up front. I was more than happy to pay this but requested T’s and C’s with contract first. And then came the silence …….
They didn’t have any! This made me feel very aware that I was handing over my money with no protection on my side. What if I needed to change the date or cancel? How long would it take to get the photos after the shoot? What if the photos weren’t good enough?
Hasten to say, I didn’t pay the deposit and cancelled the shoot.
As a bare minimum, your terms and conditions should include:
- The scope of the work with a clear definition of what products and services will be provided.
- Timelines for the work to be completed,
- What it is going to cost and your payment terms
- What happens if either party is unhappy and/or wishes to cancel.
Without clear terms and conditions, confusion can occur with the client thinking they may be able to pay at the end of a service but you need payment up front. Or it may be that they think the service will be delivered to a different timescale than you can work to.
Have you ever encountered any problems with clients in the past? What was that problem? Think how to incorporate terms and conditions that will stop this scenario happening in the future such as a client having to supply you with information required within a given period (this is a huge problem for web designers where they are sat waiting for info before they can complete the project and get paid!).
There are plenty of templates online to use such as at SQL Legal but do make sure that you read them carefully to ensure they cover all you need for your specific business.