Ensuring quality legals is ensuring longevity and protection in your business.
If you are anything like me, you’ve crafted a beautiful business, you’re working hard on your marketing, you’re seeing clients, you’ve adopted a can-do mindset towards growing your business, and you’re developing an abundance mindset around your finances… but now you are at that point in your business where you need to take it to the next level.
You need to solidify your processes, perhaps outsource, maybe attract larger contracts or command higher prices. All of these require some risk. Without the risk there can be no reward, but there are certainly ways you can protect yourself and your business from the unexpected.
What I have learnt in providing my service to clients, is that as a business person, you really need to address your mindset around embracing legal requirements and processes in your business.
To a large degree, implementing legal agreements in your business is about developing the relationship you ideally want to have with your clients — a relationship that reflects your values and your work processes, educates your client, and is fair to both of you in the dance that is your business and your purpose.
How to adopt a mindset that helps you to meet your legal obligations and protect your business
First, you must develop these five thought patterns to protect your business and help it thrive.
1. Business is not about YOU—it’s about relationships.
Understand that being a business owner, while being a wonderful personal journey, is also a responsibility that requires you to honour your business relationships. A key aspect of this responsibility is to have relationships thoughtfully drafted and available to your client through your legal agreements so that your business relationships are defined, and direction is available for your clients, suppliers and collaborators about how the relationship is to be conducted.
2. Embrace negotiation
Embracing your legal requirements is about gaining negotiation skills, which are critical in business success. The meaning of ‘legal’ is more than seemingly complex agreements and rules—at its core, it’s about the negotiation of common terms and conditions that are shared between you and your client about your service, your business, and your client’s obligations.
3. Examine and articulate business relationships
Legal agreements in your business are a platform for negotiation, change, and discussion. Examining and articulating your business relationships in agreements, terms, and conditions provides you with a platform to work from when you have to deal with a difficult or unexpected situation in your business. Without it, you have nothing to work from or towards, nothing to reference, nothing that can provide direction, and no platform for negotiation.
4. Utilise legal agreements as quality control
Legal agreements are a quality control tool for your business. Implementing business agreements with clients and suppliers will require that you look at your business processes and your client interactions, to celebrate what is working, refine the ordinary so it becomes exceptional, and redesign or replace what’s not working.
5. Embrace responsibility
Embracing your legal responsibilities in business is an indicator of business maturity—it means you have up-leveled from a hobby mentality to that of a business person who considers their business worthy of legal protection and professional conduct.
Business legals you should consider to protect your business
Having business legals doesn’t necessarily mean having a legal document for every interaction you have in business—it could mean having:
- a client agreement for your client work
- business terms and conditions for general services
- disclaimers for outcomes
- terms and conditions on your invoices so people understand how you to pay you and what they can expect in terms of cancellations and refunds
- a contractor’s agreement or speaking agreement
- a joint venture agreement for collaborations
- a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement to protect your business ideas and discussions.
Whatever the business interaction, addressing the legal position means:
- giving thought to your interactions;
- quality assuring the processes involved;
- and articulating the processes, expectations, and the other party’s (client’s or supplier’s) obligations
- protecting your business and yourself
All of this information is made available in a document to whoever you’re working with so they are educated and informed about what’s going on in their interaction with you and your business.
Knowledge is power for thriving entrepreneurs and clients alike, and your business legals mean that both parties can be comfortable in business interactions, because they know their obligations and rights.
Do you need to get your business legals in order?
Book in a free consultation with me to discuss how I can help protect your business and help it thrive with the power of business legals.
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.