Why legal protection is a stepping stone to happy clients

Close up of peach colored peonies

Tell me, why did you start your own business, and what’s your ultimate end goal? No one decides to dive into the world of business and self-marketing and the nail-biting reality of freelance income without some kind of compelling reason, right?

Maybe you…

  • … had an attack of wanderlust, and going solo was the best way to indulge your desire to visit far lands and immerse yourself in different cultures.
  • ... needed greater work flexibility to stay home with family members — your kids, or another loved one who needed care — and a “work for the man” style job just wasn’t going to cut it.
  • … discovered your passion for a certain type of creative expression, and when you realized you could also make a living by doing what you love, there was no going back.

Ultimately, your business objective is earning enough profit through your business to pursue your ideal lifestyle, regardless of your original motivation.

But there’s another goal we all have, even if we don’t recognize it.

As creative entrepreneurs, we strive to provide quality service and make our clients very, very happy.

Successfully doing this results in what I call the Endless Circle of Happy Business Building:

Doing great work that gets your clients more results and more profits makes them happy

→ Happy clients refer friends and colleagues your way

→ The more referrals you get, the higher you can price your own services

→ Getting paid what you’re worth makes it easier for you to do great work for your clients!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – part of making your clients happy and satisfied is managing their expectations about what will happen when they work with you.  

But managing expectations is sometimes easier said than done… believe me, I know!

I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories where a service provider said they’d do one thing, but their client heard something else, about project timelines that got delayed and stretched into the next decade, or payment terms that suddenly became negotiable.

So how can you be clear with your clients upfront, making the responsibilities on both sides clear, and avoiding the nightmare situations that earn less than glowing reviews on your Facebook business page or LinkedIn profile?

Here’s the secret you need to make sure your clients are happy customers: use a well-written, detailed client contract!

Inside that contract, make sure you have:

  • Clearly laid out services and deliverables - What exactly are you promising to do and provide for your client? Clear cut numbers and descriptions are key and will reassure your client that they’re getting their money’s worth.
  • A project timeline with dates - Keep in mind that this applies to anything your client needs to provide to you in addition to the deliverables you’re promising to them. Does your client need to get you project-specific information, dates… a deposit? Put together a timetable so that both parties know exactly what is expected of them and when, alleviating any doubts they may have.
  • Fail-safes - What happens if your client suddenly cancels their project, or if you can’t complete the work for some reason? What if they don’t make their deposit on time, or they ghost on you? Figuring out what to do in these situations is way easier if you’ve already done the groundwork of predicting the “what ifs” and laying out what will happen in each situation.

Here’s the thing… it may feel suuuuuuper awkward to put all these things in black and white. In fact, you may feel like you’re being too harsh with your client… I mean seriously, who wants to assume that their client is going to disappear?!

But in reality, using a contract means your client can look over everything, decide what they can and can’t live with, and communicate thoughtfully with you from the start, instead of having to respond to each little thing as it comes up later.

This kind of legal protection (and expectation management!) should be part of your overall business strategy – not just an afterthought!

You’re already used to thinking ahead when it comes to customer service, social media and content strategies, and plans for future business growth. Including contracts as part of the overall picture will help you create a solid foundation for your business… resulting in that lovely cycle of happy clients, referrals, and lots of money so you can pursue the lifestyle you want!

What is the biggest hang-up you have about using a contract in your business? Let me know in the comments!

Want more tools and tips for growing your business? Of course you do! Join me and other fab business owners for more awesome sauce in the Law Law Land Facebook group!

Click here to download the FREE ultimate legit + profitable business guide TODAY!

Why legal protection is a stepping stone to happy clients | The Contract Shop | #creativeentrepreneur #smallbusiness #contractsforall #entrepreneurs #legaltipsforcreatives

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