# Monday, November 16, 2009
For many, many years I have been writing and reviewing contracts between my company and clients. As a result I have some insights into how things can be made to work more simply.

First up, this is not legal advice, just me sharing some experiences. You should always run your contracts by your lawyer to ensure you aren't painting yourself into a corner you did not intend.

Second, I have always tried to standardize contracts as much as possible and educate prospective clients up front as to what our process was for setting up contracts. Often the client will have their own ideas and their own contracts, but life is much better if you get the majority of clients to use your system rather than having to make a project out of every deal. I find that the more reasonable my process and contracts the more likely the client will accept my contracts rather than insist on using their own.

Third, you must always remember that contracts are to govern the relationship between you and the customer when things to wrong. They almost never come up when the project comes off to mutual satisfaction. They are insurance if done well and they are a death sentence if they are done badly in cases where the project goes off the rails.

Fourth, contracts are not personal, they are just part of business. If you are doing business with someone you like and trust then there is a temptation to skip on the contractual completeness or correctness. THIS IS A MISTAKE! Always think in terms of what would happen if the project went sideways and the person you had to deal with was not the one with whom you set things up. This has happened to me on a regular basis and the only defense is to have solid contracts.

I hope to post more information like this in the future.

Monday, November 16, 2009 11:15:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [40]  | 
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