A small business owner has worked for years to make the big jump into owning their own business. Knowing that tech isn’t their strong point and how critical a good website is for a new business, they ask a friend from college to design it for them. The business owner has seen the friend’s work, and it’s awesome, plus, he’s a friend and will do it at a discount.
The business launch date comes and goes and the website is nowhere near being done. Now the friend is asking for more money to be able to finish it. What do they do? This is where a client service agreement would have been beneficial. Anytime a service provider and client are doing business, there should be a legal agreement in place.
Here is why it is essential:
It outlines the terms of the contract: A client service agreement should include the schedule for the project, payment, expectations, and any details that pertain to the project. It keeps both parties accountable.
It sets the tone for the business relationship: Small business owners tend to want to help each other out as much as possible. These friendships-turned-business can be difficult to navigate. Setting client service agreements from the beginning of the professional relationship will set the tone of how the relationship will play out. It will draw clear boundaries between the personal and business sides of the relationship.
It protects both parties: If things escalate to court, a client service agreement will be a great starting point to settling the matter at hand. It will be easier to see who defaulted on the terms and will help provide a framework for the legal proceedings.
Being a small business owner has a lot of responsibilities, so we see how it’s easy to assume the best and trust others, especially friends. However, as much as we want to trust, we also need to protect our businesses. Contact Schweizer and Associates to set up a client service agreement for your small business.