Do your terms and conditions (your terms of business between you and your client) sit in your contract and only get issued once you have closed a sale?
If this is how you are using them, then you are missing a lot of the benefits of having them. And you may find yourself being asked to add extra things like more liability cover without the opportunity to change your quote.
Plus you may find customers saying they never saw them, or have overwritten them with their own terms.
Create a link to your terms and conditions
While it is great to have your contract terms signed (electronically or by hand) this is way too late in the business cycle to get the full advantage.
- Put your terms and conditions in a dropbox/sharepoint/googledrive folder so ou can create a sharing link. You can do this by simply downloading them. This has the advantage that if your laptop or hard drive dies, you will always have access to the KoffeeKlatch terms you paid for.
- Upload your terms to your website (either as a document or cut and paste the copy if you are a Premium purchaser)
Top tips on the where to share your terms and conditions
Having done this create a link to your document/web page so you can use it in the rest of these locations.
- Create a document to save on your desktop and put a copy of the link in it. That way you can always refer rapidly to your core terms and conditions if a client wants to ask a question. You don’t have to go hunting around for them.
- Create an email signature that goes out on all your emails. It will need many things in it, but make sure it has a clear statement “All our work is conducted in accordance with our terms – click here to view the link” And make sure the link is to your terms and conditons. Make sure this is done automatically so you don’t even have to think about it.
- Make sure your link (and the same statement) is on your proposal template. It does not matter whether your use an email template, a document template, or a proposing system. Make sure your link says – All proposals are on the the basis of our terms – click here to view the link (and link to them).
- If you use an automated calendar booking system for your discover calls make sure you link to your terms and conditions there.
- If you offer packages that are set out on your website or in brochures or pdfs make sure they say the same thing and that people have a link or a way of getting to your terms and conditions
- Add your link to your quoting/invoicing system or to your invoice template. Again use a phrase like “All our work is conducted in accordance with our terms – click here to view the link” Payment terms are [x days or whatever your normally do]
- Add your link to your Booking form master. That is the form that comes with your KoffeeKlatch documents where you put everything unique to your business or this particular project. Your master will then have the right link (along with your business name and details) ready to complete the client details. So when you send your booking form out for signature you send a link to the main terms.
- Add a link to your credit control and invoice issuing emails (just as you did to your invoicing template)
Your terms and conditions are part of your business
The way you work is a key part of the price you charge. From how much liability you are prepared to absorb, to how long you are prepared to wait to get paid (or not). Your rate for the work must always include your terms and conditions.
Many a small business has agreed on a contract rate, then sent their terms and conditions and had the client come back and say – no we want longer to pay, or more insurance, or more work. If you have made it clear from the off that your terms are part of the package, this gives you the opportunity to renegotiate. And KofeeKlatch terms and conditions offer customers some great ways to handle this without upsetting the client.
Your terms and conditions are the envelope in your negotiations
I went on a negotiating course years ago and the leader said there are three things you can negotiate in any deal:
time, money and the shape of the envelope
Most business owners are focused solely on negotiating the money. We forget about the time and the shape of the envelope. The shape of the envelope is all the other factors that go into your deal. The number of rewrites, how long you wait to get paid, what happens if you are paid late, who owns the copyright if you are not paid, who can sign off on extra expenditure, NDAs, data privacy and a lot more.
When you are pitching and proposing or even just chatting about what you can do, you are setting out not just your rates but your ‘envelope’. And the more often you do so, the more often it simply becomes part of the fabric of what you do. Not just for you, but for your clients too.
What if you run into trouble?
And if you run into trouble, at the negotiating and sorting out contracts stage, or later, your KoffeeKlatch customer support is there throughout your support period to help you do all you need to make sure your terms are used as the powerful tool you rely on.
Which terms and conditions are right for you?
We have a whole range sorted out by industry. Have a look here
If you need help deciding please use the chat button next to this page and we will point you in the right direction.