Although many business owners neglect them, a client agreement is a vital business tool for managing your business.
A client agreement is much more than just a legal document!
A client agreement is about gathering business intelligence so that you can refine your processes, find the right clients, make money with ease and grace, and grow your business in line with your wants and needs.
A client agreement helps you to identify, develop, and refine four key areas in your business:
1. Who you are and what you do
A good client agreement will state these two points succinctly in its opening paragraph.
This is an often-missed opportunity to educate your client about the depth and breadth of the business that you have so lovingly crafted and continue to develop.
2. Your services and ideal clients
Each time a client engages you and you create the scope of work within the client agreement, you have a perfect opportunity to examine who your client is, and what service(s) you are providing to solve their problem, and then reflect on your processes.
This allows you to regularly confirm that you’re doing the best possible job of delivering your service to meet the client’s need through a process and a price that works for you.
3. How you charge and get paid
Getting paid is one of the big ‘whys’ of business. Yes, you love what you do, but you also need to get paid so that you can keep doing what you do and so you can feel expansive and abundant in your business.
A client agreement is the perfect chance to examine your pricing and how it stacks up with the work that you’ve described in your scope of work.
Take this opportunity to gather intelligence about whether you’re charging what you’re worth and whether what you’re charging for your service is meeting the market in terms of demand for your service.
Importantly, your client agreement educates the client about how you charge, as well as when and how you expect to be paid.
Confusion or lack of clarity about payment expectations and processes is a common cause of strain in business relationships.
If you don’t spell it out, you risk late payment or disputes.
4. Your existing clients and their obligations
A good client agreement will make your working life easier, because it will educate your clients about their obligations in a working relationship with you.
This part of the client agreement is such a fantastic opportunity to tell your client how to be your ideal client—but so many entrepreneurs miss it.
Your ideal client only becomes your ideal client for real once you have educated, supported, and trained them so well in how you work to serve them that they keep coming back for your magic over and over again.
But they don’t know this until after they have started working with you and you have educated them about who you are and how you do business.
Your client agreement is your business super tool for
- Gathering the business intelligence you need to refine your services
- Ensuring you get paid
- Finding and retaining your clients
- Educating your client on how to become your ideal client
- Growing your business
A good client agreement, together with the legal clauses to protect your business will:
- Accurately reflect your business’s personality and purpose
- Speak always to your ideal client
- Define your services every time
- Clearly communicate your payment processes; and,
- Make the client aware of exactly what they need to bring to the relationship for you to be able to deliver your best service
In short, your client agreement is a highly important business tool
Do you have one?
If you do, does it reflect the above-mentioned points?
If you don’t have a client agreement yet (or you have one that isn’t ticking all the boxes above), feel free to book in for a free 15-minute consultation with me to get a new client agreement organised.
I’d love to chat with you about what you need.
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.