As a brand-new small business owner and operator, you may have started researching key aspects of running a company, from SEO skills to marketing tactics and more. However, you may not yet know the ins and outs of business contracts. Whether your business is based in New York City or Los Angeles, California, mastering contracts is a key skill that you can master with these tips.
1. Understand the Importance of Contracts for Operating and Protecting Your Company
At some point, it’s likely you’ll need to create a contract on behalf of your business. Contracts can allow you to reach agreements with other companies, sell or merge businesses, and more. They can be a crucial tool for helping you run your business efficiently and protect its interests.
2. Learn the Basic Steps Involved in Creating Business Contracts
According to one study, not understanding what to include in a contract is one of the most frequent mistakes that can end up costing small business owners dearly. Research the basic steps involved before creating your first contract. Remember to:
- Name all the parties involved explicitly
- State the responsibilities and rights of all parties in clear-cut detail
- Establish a deadline for when each party can terminate the contract
- Include provisions for procedures in case dispute resolution is needed
3. Find Contract Accounting Solutions to Help You Gauge Your Financial Health
Prior to entering any contractual agreement, it’s important to check your company’s finances and ensure any contracts you sign or deals you make are financially viable. You can easily use accounting software to gauge your business’s current financial health prior to negotiating contracts. Search for cloud-based bookkeeping software that lets you juggle all aspects of your finances on one unified platform. It may also be helpful to get real-time cash flow insights, which could aid you during contract negotiations.
We work with Law Depot when clients have the need for contract templates. While we refrain from offering legal advice, we’ve found it to be be a helpful starting point!
4. Master a Few Key Contract Negotiating Strategies
To get the best possible deal for your business, you’ll need to learn how to negotiate. Make sure you:
- Understand your company’s goals and priorities before starting to draft the contract
- Prioritize the goals and include main objectives in the contract
- Understand the other parties involved, their possible motivations, and what you’re dealing with
- Do your research on related legal issues ahead of time
- Avoid rushing through negotiations, and keep contract details and inter-party agreements confidential
5. Use Several Professional Tools to Help You Edit and Present Your Contracts
Lastly, know that you don’t need to write contracts from scratch using pen and paper. Instead, you can craft the strongest possible contract by using all the tools at your disposal to edit, adapt, and eventually present your contracts to the opposing party. For example, you can use specialized contract software, word processors and spell checkers, accounting software, and even online legal services to put your contract together.
Before sending contract drafts to other parties involved, check all contracts, invoices, and other related documents for branding consistency. For instance, if you include a company logo, make sure it appears consistently on all documents. You can create a company logo and then apply it across several platforms by using an online logo creator tool. With this tool, you can simply pick the style and icon you like, add in tailored text, and choose from various logo templates with adjustable colors and fonts.
Knowing the ins and outs of business contracts — from negotiating strategies and using tools to help your contracts look ace —- is an indispensable skill for all business owners. These five tips could help you expand your knowledge.
W.D. Strategies can help your business leave a digital footprint through the use of web design, SEO, and smart social media management. Contact us today for your free consultation.