Do I really need a custom contract for my business?
In short - no.
In fact, you're not even legally required to use any contracts in your business (for the most part... sometimes you are - check your state law!)
However, every entrepreneur knows that contracts are necessary to protect themselves and their business.
But, extra-savvy entrepreneurs also know that contracts do much more than just protect their business interests – contracts are, in fact, vital to the growth and ultimate success of any online business.
Why? It's simple...
A custom contract makes you feel confident and at ease because it:
Is customized to your individual business and legal needs, and accounts for any unexpected future problems or legal mishaps specific to your business;
Is drafted to comply with the law, so you don’t need to worry about illegal or unenforceable terms;
Limits your liability and protects your profits;
Only includes the things that are relevant and important to your business, so you will never be stuck justifying or explaining away random and inapplicable contract provisions;
Looks clean, organized and professionally put together; and
Is written in plain English, so you can easily understand everything that is in it and you can confidently explain it to anyone else.
A custom contract makes you look professional in front of your clients, customers, and/or business associates because it:
Demonstrates that you are a serious business owner and that you invest in your business; and
Is a reflection of your customer service and shows your clients, customers, and/or business associates that you care about them.
A custom contract eliminates uncertainty, manages expectations, and reassures your clients, customers, and/or business associates because it:
Thoroughly spells out the terms and conditions of your offer, so they know exactly what they are getting, when, and how;
Familiarizes them with you, your company, and how you do business; and
Lets them know what is expected of them.
A custom contract makes enforcing your contract cheaper and easier because it provides for:
Alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation;
Additional legal remedies when money alone is not enough to make you whole;
Reimbursement of costs associated with enforcing the contract; and
Localized judicial interference, so you don’t have to defend any out of state lawsuits.
All in all, a custom contract is much more than just a protection mechanism. When everyone knows exactly what to expect, it is easier to work together and it builds trust. This in turn fosters relationship growth, which then leads to business growth.
"If people like you, they'll listen to you,
but if they trust you, they'll do business with you."