In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a handful of messages and emails asking me if I could share some tips with new businesses just starting out. And one of the top ones I ask is if you have a contract for your business? This was by far one of my biggest mistakes when I first started out. I didn’t want to pay an attorney for one, didn’t know where to start, and didn’t think I needed one considering how small I was.
WELL, you all are super lucky that there are specific sites, options, and costs for getting yourself protected these days (so you have no excuse)! AKA: like The Creative Law Shop where I get mine.
Here is the thing…if you have a client who is not paying you, who isn’t happy with your work, or who have simply ghosted you, your contract will protect you. I can’t tell you enough how many times I worked with a client who wasn’t paying OR who kept doing revision upon revision to realize I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t have this magical piece of paper laying down the rules.
Not only that but having a contract helps you to understand your value, your artwork, your time, your talent..and how that all needs to be protected.
So, for those who are in the creative field you now have the opportunity to protect your business based on what exactly you offer. From designers, bloggers, podcasters, interior designers, you name it.
Yes, the last thing you want to do is hire or work with someone who just might take your ideas and run with them. These contracts will help lay out all the expectations for various collaborations.
HIGHLY recommend my friends! This will include your rates, your revisions, your late fee details, and especially your intellectual property and ownership of original artwork.
From Calligraphers and Stationers, Wedding Planners, printers, photographers, you name it You can get specific contracts that fit your services to a T (and then some). P.S. great for some of those more difficult brides ;)
And if you aren’t familiar with the new GDPR laws, you can read about it below and check out how to protect yourself HERE
But seriously, if there is one thing I recommend to EVERY SINGLE PERSON is protecting yourself and having a contract for your business. It’s literally worth every penny.
And with that, make sure you understand your own contract too and educate yourself on the terms you might not understand. — Which I believe you get a guide within those contracts above to help explain it all ;)