Service contracts are essential for service based businesses of all sizes. They provide both the business and the customer with a clear understanding of the services provided, the payment terms, and the timeline for the project. Contracts also protect both parties by outlining the responsibilities of each, and can provide the terms for dispute resolution should unexpected issues arise. Having contracts in place helps ensure that both the business and the customer can confidently work together, knowing that the terms of the agreement have been clearly established.
Set the scope of your project
Contracts help you set the scope of your project by specifying the rights, responsibilities, and expectations for both parties involved. Having a clear understanding of these details can help ensure that your project is completed in a timely manner and that the final result meets the expectations of both parties.
Establish timelines and payment schedules
A service contract should establish payment schedules for services provided, goods purchased, or any other type of agreement. When establishing payment schedules in a contract, it is important to clearly outline the due dates, payment amounts, and any late fees or penalties that may be associated with missed payments. It is also beneficial to include a timeline for when all payments must be completed in order to avoid any misunderstandings or delays.
Help you establish boundaries
Business boundaries are the rules that help keep business relationships professional and successful. They’re like an imaginary fence that keeps you from crossing over into inappropriate or unproductive territory. It’s important to keep these boundaries in place to maintain a productive and healthy work environment. By outlining the specific services provided, duration of services, payment terms, and expectations of both parties, service contracts can help to ensure that everyone involved is aware of the agreement and what is expected of them. Having a service contract in place can help to eliminate any confusion about roles and responsibilities of each party, and can help to provide a better overall experience for everyone involved.
Help you appear more professional
Service contracts are a great way to appear more professional when providing services to clients. They give the impression that you are organized and have an established process for delivering services and goods. Freelance contracts also demonstrate that you take your business seriously and are willing to put in the effort to ensure that the services you provide are of the highest quality. Service contracts make sure the business is seen as professional and reliable.
Protect your intellectual property
Contracts are a great way to protect your intellectual property. Service contracts can be used to ensure that any contractors or third-parties you engage to help you with your IP have agreed to certain terms and conditions that outline how they will use, store, and protect your intellectual property. Service contracts can also be used to ensure that any contractors or third-parties you work with do not disclose or misuse your IP. These contracts can also provide legal recourse in the event of a breach in the contract.
Establish how conflicts will be resolved
Part of a service agreement contract between two parties includes how conflicts will be resolved in the event of a dispute. A contract should describe the process for resolving conflicts, such as mediation or arbitration, and any applicable laws or regulations that must be followed. The contract may also specify how and when a party can terminate the agreement in the event of a conflict. By establishing clear expectations for resolving conflicts, contracts help protect both parties and ensure that any issues that arise can be addressed quickly and fairly.
Every service based business should be operating under service contracts with their clients. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer to draft you a contract to meet your specific business needs, there are many sources for contract templates that range from free to a few hundred dollars. You can read about some of our favorites here.
Matthew Ogden is a Minneapolis-based copywriter and content writer and editor. He’s written for national retailers and lobster roll companies alike. When not writing he can be found nose deep in a book, writing and performing music, or nerding out about guitar tone.