Running a business in any sector is rarely smooth-running. Sometimes, it feels like you’re spending more time in the day putting out fires and dealing with emergencies than you are on your designated tasks. That’s where contracts come in. It’s easy to underestimate the importance of business contracts, especially if you’re launching a new venture and you want to get to opening day as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, avoiding contracts is a mistake that puts your business at risk, whether it’s been operating for decades or it’s just about to launch. Here are all of the reasons why contracts are essential for every business.
A Record of Commitment
All contracts are, at their very basic, a relationship between two parties. Those parties will agree to collaborate in some way, and if that relationship is well-managed, then it can extend to a mutually beneficial long-term collaboration. That’s where contracts come in. They are an official record and representation of that must-have partnership, and a well-written contract will ensure that both sides of the agreement are accountable for the terms that have been set out.
Put simply, if you want easy to manage business relationships with clients, suppliers, and investors, then contracts that define your relationship are essential.
Reduces Conflicts and Risks
All contracts need to be read thoroughly before being signed, especially if there has been a lengthy negotiation over the terms and conditions of that contract. In strong and positive business relationships, both parties in a contract will have equal representation in terms of getting a good deal.
So, while new technologies are often called the most important resource for businesses, the fact is that having legal representation to ensure that your contracts and business relationships are equal is vital. By having a clear and beneficial contract, you reduce the chance of misunderstandings which will lead to conflict. Those conflicts can put your business at risk, which should always be avoided.
The Challenge of Compliance
One of the hardest business areas to keep track of is compliance. That’s especially true in the current political climate, where new legislation can be passed quickly and without warning. Most businesses will not have their own dedicated legal team, and that can make keeping up with compliance demands very difficult.
Having a specialist business lawyer in charge of your compliance needs is the smart move because they can draw up a contract between your brand and a new business relationship as needed. That means you’re even more protected from mistakes made by the less law-focused members of your staff.
Improved Revenue Generation
When contracts are a legally binding agreement that promises the exchange of payments for a service, that means they need to be written up, processed, and adhered to. The right level of speed is only good news for your revenue. When contracts are left abandoned or even simply unsigned, then that’s not just a risk to your business’ future, it can also create an immediate revenue roadblock.
Contracts need to be created and signed quickly, so putting off the signing or the processing of a new contract is a risk that’s simply not worth taking. Using a legal team that specializes in business and contract law is vital, with firms like www.cololawyers.com who are specialists in contract management.
Blunders, Mistakes, and Misunderstandings
Having a formal, legally binding written record of your agreements with other parties means that you and they will have clearly defined expectations about your relationship. A well-written contract will leave no room for misunderstandings and can help guide the way that you fulfill the promises of that agreement.
When it comes to contracts, both parties involved must understand expectations throughout the working relationship. Should a question arise about the service being delivered, even a quick look at a good contract can help resolve those queries quickly. Contracts can act as the foundation of a long-term business relationship, and avoiding legal contracts is simply a way to leave yourself exposed to blunders and mistakes.
The Guarantee of Payment
When you have delivered a service with the expectation of being paid, then finding out that the other party has now decided not to pay is incredibly frustrating. It’s also extremely dangerous for your business, especially if you have no way of getting that expected revenue back. When contracts are signed, that means a legal agreement has been made that ensures both the provider of the service and the customer know their responsibilities during the term of the contract.
If you do get a supplier, customer, or even an investor backing out of paying you what you expected, then your contract will be the proof of that agreement and can even guide you on what happens in the event of a non-payment. This can be very valuable should a case go to court.
Protecting Your Rights
From your branding and your USP to any patents or unique business ideas, you must maintain ownership of what makes your business unique. A contract will ensure that your rights will always be protected, which means that they are safer from theft or misuse. This is an especially important factor for any business in the creative sector, like photographers, graphic designers, or media firms.
When your business relies on standing out from the crowd you must retain ownership of everything that makes your business unique. If contracts are dismissed for any reason, then those USPs and branding elements are not secure, and that can weaken your business significantly.
Contracts are legally binding, and every party that’s involved in the business relationship will need to sign their agreement to it. If you or they are found to violate that agreement, then legal action is immediately an option. That makes a good contract a safety net for your business. It’s the single document that you can take to a courtroom and immediately have evidence of past agreements.
If you’ve been avoiding contracts or you have found a new client who has said that they don’t like to use them, it’s time to rethink. When it comes to every business relationship, get that relationship in writing, and you will avoid some major business-related headaches in the future.
Interesting related article: “What is Compliance?“