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Issuing Contracts: When your first client is your friend

The chances are your first contract will be issued to someone you already know. It could be a friend or former colleague.

It can feel embarrassing getting all formal and issuing paperwork when everything else you ever agreed to do was done on a handshake (or even a quick exchange of emails).

But if you want to keep your friend a friend you are both going to want to avoid misunderstandings. The quickest way to break a friendship is to have misunderstandings about money and work.

So how do you introduce a KoffeeKlatch contract to someone you already know (and may even be working with already?)

The first thing is to check through the contract and make sure you understand it. Your friend is going to want to ask you questions and if you tell them things that aren’t true it is going to make them uneasy. So start by going through your agreement and highlighting the things you don’t understand.

Go through the onboarding video (it’s about an hour long) and see how many of those things you understand. For the rest go to our customer support group and ask.

When you are fairly sure you know what you are sending to them, think about how it is going to feel for them to receive this document.

You don’t want to just email it to them and say – sign this.

That could feel a bit like a slap in the face.

Give them a reason why you need to get more formal.

Bonus Content – here’s what you can adapt to say to your friends

Since May 2018 when GDPR came fully into force in the UK we must get a lot more formal about data handling and who does what. This seems like a good moment to send you our new agreement. It is designed to protect you and us, and set out a clear way of working.

Apart from data handling, it sets out all sorts of things from payment terms, to confidentiality and copyright.

Please have a read through the agreement. If there is anything there that does not reflect how we are already working or what seems natural going forward, please get back to me and ask questions.

The idea is that we have a proper agreement to go forward on, so we can carry on happily without either of us having to worry too much about the legal.

You don’t have to use our words, but a sensible explanation of what you are doing and why will make a big difference to your relationship.

The truth is issuing contracts is not about whether you trust your friends and colleagues. It is about whether you both respect each other enough to protect yourselves from the predictable arguments and frustrations of working with people you’re close too.

Annabel Kaye

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