Good Contracts Will Protect Your Assets
In this article you will learn how writing good contracts will protect your assets. Some contractors claim that they can only use a one-page contract because their clients won’t read anything longer. Others say that long contracts scare their clients off. The truth is that short contracts will cause you more grief than almost anything else in this business.
Some people will go to great lengths to keep from having to write a contract that will protect their clients and their business. But when properly prepared, your clients will read anything that you put in front of them.
Contracts and Customers
Short contracts will cause you more grief than almost anything else in the construction business. They are usually written by someone who doesn’t know the value of a well written and detailed contract. Keep this in mind, because some clients will judge the value of their jobs by the weight of a contract. When you add a little “meat” to your contracts, your clients will perceive that as an indication of the value of your service. The heavier your contract, the more it justifies your value.
A majority of the decisions that clients make on their construction projects are often influenced by their salesperson. If you spend a few minutes during your first meeting with your prospects explaining the benefits of a well researched and well-written contract, you will eliminate any objection to a detailed contract before it becomes an issue. When you present the contract for review and signature, your clients will understand that they’ll need a little time to go over the contract before they sign on the dotted line. In fact, they will be expecting it.
The Importance of a Detailed Contract
People buy when their fears have been addressed and all of their questions have been answered. Unless you do simple handyman jobs, never use pre-printed contract forms (you know, the ones you can buy at any office supply store where you simply fill in the blanks). Those forms are illegal in almost every state, therefore they give you legal right to collect. Many states even carry severe penalties against a contractor who uses one, including fines and jail time.
How Contract Language Can Help Keep You Out of Trouble
The language in a contract defines what you will and won’t do. It should be clear and to the point. The wording used below are examples to show the gist of topics you should cover in your contracts. Your attorney will put it into language that is legal where you do your business.
Define Your Terms
Change Work Orders
Pets on the Job
Final Payment Expectations