I’ll cut straight to it. Every business relationship needs a contract. You’ve heard me say this a million times now, if you have a business relationship, you need to have a contract. Contracts are like armors, they shield your business in case of unexpected attacks and protect your valuable assets. Here’s how you can streamline your contract creation process and make contract signing easy in 3 easy steps.
Step 1 - Make a List
Start by making a list of all your business relationships; think contractors, affiliates, partners, employees, other businesses you work with—whether you’re doing a joint venture or just a simple project. Yes, you need a contract for each of them. If you’re feeling bogged down and think that you need to create a contract for every business relationship, then let me put you to ease right away. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every single time.
Step 2 - Create a Template
All you need to do is create a contract template. The basic terms of the contract for all your clients will remain the same. You’ll need to edit the scope of work, pricing and policies for the various programs or offerings you have. For example, if you’re providing services and have 2 programs/offerings, then you can have 1 contract template which covers the terms of the relationship, and have 2 attachments for each of the 2 programs or offerings outlining the scope of work, pricing and specific policies. You can then create separate files and save them to your computer or the cloud, and tag them with the names of the programs. So the next time you get a new client, all you need to do is pull out the right contract template.
Step 3 - Use electronic signatures
Gone are the days of fax machines, scanners and printers (at least for the most part). If you’re still emailing your contracts to clients who then have to print, scan and email back the signed document, then you my friend are too old fashioned and need to get with the times. You don’t need to sign a contract on paper in actual black or blue ink to be legal. Electronic signatures are so much cooler, less annoying, less time consuming and absolutely legal! This is the only way that you should be signing and getting your contracts signed. There are many electronic signature platforms like Hello Sign, DocuSign, Adobe Sign. These allow you to sign and send your document to the other party to sign electronically. They even store and manage your contracts. Usually, you can sign a limited number of documents per month for free, and then pay a small monthly fee if you’re signing way too many documents. Electronic signatures save time and could prevent you from losing a client who hates printers, scanners and old technology.
Now get on with it and get some help in streamlining your contracts process. Speak to a lawyer who’ll help create the right documents for your business.