After helping over 320 entrepreneurs and micro-businesses with business legals here the 9 authentic things I’ve found to be true about entrepreneurs:
1. Show Your Ideal Client, Who You Are
To stand out from the online presence of numerous entrepreneurs doing similar work you need to show your ideal client who you are, what you do and how you operate your business in a legal document (not just a sales page) customised to your business in clear language that they can access anytime.
2. Which Law Applies When Working Internationally?
Having an online presence means your ideal client can be from your hometown or across the world so you need to protect yourself in your client relationships by making it clear to your clients which laws (yours) apply when doing business with you.
3. Trust And Transparency Is Key
Trust means everything in business and people will work with you if you are transparent about your processes, your legal obligations, your clients’ legal obligations and safety and security for both you and your client.
4. You Are Everything in Your Business
As entrepreneurs, whether working alone or with a very small team, you are everything in your business – practitioner, marketer, sales person, accountant, and bush lawyer (someone who has good knowledge of the law but without legal qualifications). You need terms and conditions unique to your business so you are not trying to remember what you said and to whom, your client isn’t expected to read your mind and that you have a solid platform for negotiation in your terms to fall back should any issues arise.
5. Customised Documents are Essential When Working With Your Client
The more your legals look like you have taken them from a generic template the more disconnected it is from your business and less likely for your client to embrace it or indeed for you to feel confident in offering it as it could expose you to potential issues. Issues which could have been easily avoided with a properly crafted customised document so best and smart to get your legals crafted specifically for your services and written in the voice of your business personality, speaking directly to the heart of your ideal client.
6. Connection First – Then Service Details
Talking with clients is where you build trust and connection – in genuine and warm-hearted conversations. The last thing you should talk about is the practicality of working with you as an entrepreneur, for instance, your service details, bookings, payment and refund conditions and who owns the creative work you produce. Just to name a few very important terms your client should understand. These absolutely need to be addressed, just not in the first minute of starting your conversation.
7. Demonstrating Your Value
Being transparent and fair with your terms and conditions allow you to:
- demonstrate your values as a business (and a person)
- show your generosity and sense of fairness
- explain why you may do something differently from others
- invite questions so they understand your legals
Your legals and the information you are sharing is personal to your business and says a lot about you and how you operate as a responsible, fair and caring service provider and entrepreneur.
8. Standing In Your Truth
Standing in your truth about how you want to show up in YOUR business takes courage. Your ideal clients will respect and be drawn to you for your thoroughness, fairness, transparency and it will cull those that do not share your values.
9. Care About Your Clients
Bothering to create quality terms and contracts shows your clients that you care about them and you are committed to providing the best service you can. It’s about doing business consciously!
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Lawyer, Contract Specialist, Speaker & Advocate for Women in Business.
Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience as a lawyer and a woman in business, Shalini Nandan-Singh helps Australian service-based entrepreneurs protect their businesses and their bottom lines with empowered legal advice and contracts.
Encouraging listeners to #loveyourlegals, Shalini firmly believes that business legals should be an authentic extension of your business. Her goal is to educate audiences that, rather than confusing legalese, business legals should be an authentic extension of your business, creating positive business boundaries that support you in working with your clients with compassion and understanding.
Disclaimer: This blog is written to support business owners to consider legal requirements and issues that may arise in business. The information provided is for general and educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice for your individual circumstances. Please consult your lawyer for advice specific to you and your business.