Mums running businesses rock!
No matter if you are a virtual assistant, designer, writer, farmer, teacher, free lancer or whatever else works for you, AND a mum you most probably juggle more tasks than a regional manager. This is where some things might slip away from your radar…but there is one that truly makes a difference.
What’s the one thing that can make or break a business?
The simple but key ingredient to success is contracts.
“That’s it?”, I can hear you ask and I’m truly sorry that I don’t have anything sexier for you but we need to cover the basics first.
In theory, all the mumpreneurs I speak to agree that contracts are key to running a successful business.
When asked why, they point out reasons like….
….keep track of the business.
….establish trust relationships.
….avoid being taken advantage of.
….feel and look professional.
….make sure you’re paid your worth.
But in reality many of them don’t have contracts for half the services they provide!
Would you be okay to work a few weeks on preparing a plan for huge project and never getting paid for it?
Well, this happened to a social media manager and mumpreneur that created a whole 6 month social media strategy and plan and never heard from the “client” again once she submitted it for review. And needless to say she never got paid for her work!
I’m quite sure you’re a nice person but not everyone out there is, dear.
Ignorant individuals that see you as weak, dependant and easy to influence because you are a one-woman-show will stop at nothing to get your hours for free. And that’s just ugly, isn’t it?
People will take advantage of you if you don’t protect yourself.
I’m not saying that everyone out there is coming to get you but if there is one that is? And that’s the first huge contracted you’ve landed? Going broke isn’t a relaxing perspective especially when you’re a mum.
So what are we gonna do about it?
Here are my top 5 tips to make sure you and your family are protected and your business thrives instead of miserably dying before it has even taken off:
- Always send your clients written proposals.
- Ask your clients and customers to confirm agreements in written form (email is fine but if you can make them sign, you rock!)
- Send them written task descriptions and amendments of those upon you reach agreement – you know what they say “if you want it put ink on it” (or was that “put a ring on it”)
- Draft a simple but solid service contract you can always present to your clients
- Read carefully the non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements clients want you to sign
A professional company will always ask you to sign a contract with them. If not, ask for one – there might be something fishy there.
If you work with individuals, never miss step 1 to 3 and you’ll be fine in most cases.
So go and draft a contract, dear, and don’t hesitate to ask for help!
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