Your contract is like a Leatherman

Leatherman multi-tool

I live on a canyon where fire is a real threat.  That means I’m learning to take precautions and be prepared.  Not a bad idea, no matter where you live.

My canyon is beautiful, lush green, filled with wild life ( the deer and turkeys practically live at my house). It’s magical to look out over it to see the horizon.  I don’t think there will ever be a fire.  However, I don’t want to tempt fate.

Plans are of little importance but planning is essential. Churchill

 

Planning makes me feel  safer, even if I never use any of it.  I’m a planner, I proudly proclaim.  That’s what reminded me of my Leatherman,  a great multi-tool. I’ve never used it, but just having it makes me feel so much more prepared and confident I could handle an emergency.

Leatherman

Founded in 1983 by Tim Leatherman, a Leatherman in a pocket multi-tool.  Really, the ultimate in gadget for anyone who is a DIYer, camper or survivalist.  For instance, there’s a Leatherman designed for bikers that includes two kinds of spoke wrenches and a bottle opener.  (openers are a necessity in my book!)

I fell in love with the simple utility of the Leatherman(and because I love gadgets.)   It’s small, unobtrusive yet so powerful.    It works when you need it, otherwise it’s out of sight. Mine lives in my glove compartment, ready to break the glass or release me from my seatbelt should I ever be trapped inside the car.  Yes, I know those things aren’t likely to happen.  But, I’m prepared so I can turn my attention to other important things like where to eat lunch.

Your contract as a Leatherman

You already know I think your contract is an essential business tool.  I’m gonna keep saying that until somebody makes a t-shirt!  It’s so true.   Your contract is an amazing tool.  Just like a Leatherman, it’s a multipurpose tool that will guide you and your business.

Your contract can assist you to:

  • Signal your professionalism
  • Legitimize your business in your own eyes
  • Set client expectations
  • Set client responsibilities
  • Express how you like to operate
  • Share the best way to communicate and when
  • Explain your payment policies and consequences
  • Set the tone for your ‘partnership’ with client
  • Start awkward conversations
  • Explain your stance for problem-solving

What a great tool!  You see the resemblance  right?  Just like the Leatherman!  I’m sure I missed a tool or two.  I’d love to hear what your contract does for you.  It’ll be fun to see the variations in the comments.

Churchill had it absolutely right, although planning isn’t the right word.  It’s process, I think.  The process of writing  your contract is essential to your growth as an entrepreneur. It reveals who you want to be as a business owner and allows you to plan around your weaknesses. As your values and communication skills change, so should your contract.

Your contract is a beacon for your business that keeps you on course and attracts your best clients.

What do you think of this approach to contracts?

 

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