Having a contract for your services is extremely important. Contracts make sure you are paid for the services you provided and that there was a legal exchange. Unfortunately, there are people out there that will just ghost you and not pay you and you can’t do anything about it unless they signed a contract. As a small business owner, they payments are your paychecks. Not sure where to start when writing a contract? Well, there are 3 points that need included and then you can build off from there. You always need to include the following:
You and your client both have something to offer. You are offering your services and they are offering their money. You need to state exactly what you are giving them, so this includes the service but also it should include the amount of time you are putting into your work. Then your contract needs to state the amount of money expected which is the amount they will be offering to you as payment. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a contract either, you can send an invoice to them which would require a signature.
This branches out from the offers. You both have to agree and accept what the other and the acceptance can easily just be done with signatures. This step could also be where someone decides they do not want to move forward. Don’t let this discourage you, it can and will happen occasionally.
The exchange is where the client and yourself get what you want, but you need to have it stated in your invoice or contract. A good example for this section is stating the timeline the client has to pay you. The exchange also needs to include how the exchange will be done. What type of files, documents, or products will you be giving them? How will they be paying you? With an app, with check, or with a money order? It’s good to know everything that will be happening through this process.
No matter what, no matter the person, you need to always have a contract or invoice. This will ensure that you will have payment for what your offered them and they can’t just take advantage of you. Anyone could do this, so just be prepared. If someone is offended that you don’t trust them, just explain about how this is just to cover yourself and it is in no way a personal issue. If you are lenient for one person then others will expect it too. In the end, you need to take care of yourself.