How to Steer Clear From Spooky Clients as a Service Provider
Do spooky clients constantly have you in a fright? 👻
As a service provider, navigating the world of client relationships can sometimes feel daunting. On one hand, you’re thankful to have clients, but on the other hand you’re not sure if dealing with some of their antics is even worth it.
While it’s of course important to have clients, it’s even more important to have clients that you LOVE to serve!
And the ones that don’t pay their invoices on time, are constantly requesting edits and changes, and are always guilty of scope creep, aren’t always the ones that you look forward to working with – for good reason, of course.
This is why at The Boutique Lawer, we’re dedicated to helping you avoid all of those things (and much more) by having legal client contracts in place so you can confidently stand your ground and enjoy every single client that comes your way!
In this blog post, you’ll learn a few of our favorite ways to steer clear of those spooky clients who tend to make your professional life feel like a never-ending ghost story.
And to help you with that even further, this Halloween we’re dishing out all TREATS, no tricks with 50% off all contracts in The Boutique Lawyer Contract Shop!
October 24th through 31st you can treat yourself to the contracts that help protect your business from top to bottom and ultimately help you keep more of the money that you make in your bank account. 💸
SAVE THE DATE for the best sale of the year (no really, even Black Friday won’t be this good).
5 Ways To Create and Maintain Positive Client Relationships
- Define Your Services (to avoid additional work)
First and foremost, define your services! Sounds simple, but clearly outlining every single detail of your services is key to setting clear expectations from the very start.
This includes the specific deliverables, pricing, timelines and any limitations that may apply.
When you clearly define your services, you can communicate with potential clients easier and there’s never a question about what they can expect to receive.
As a service provider, it may be tempting to adjust your services based on a client’s needs, but the more you do that, the more overwhelmed you can become and that’s a path straight to business burnout.
- Establish Communication Channels (and don’t stray from them)
Once you’ve clearly defined your services, the next thing you want to establish are your preferred communication channels you’d like to use for client interactions.
Don’t leave this in the hands of the client. If you do, you’re more likely to end up with multiple communication channels, making your working processes more chaotic and confusing.
Instead, establish one or two channels that YOU prefer, such as email or Slack, and then allow them to pick what works best for them.
Additionally, make sure your clients are well aware of your response times, office hours, etc. from the very beginning and ALWAYS set vacation auto-responders when you’ll be out for an extended amount of time.
This helps your clients know when you’re available and when you’re not and when they can expect a response from you.
- Define Revisions and Changes (to avoid scope creep)
If you typically work on projects that require client revisions or feedback, establish how all of those things can be handled and make sure you clearly communicate your policies when you’re sending off deliverables.
This includes specifying the number of revisions they can make, when client feedback is due and other specifics regarding their project.
By doing so, you can prevent scope creep and continue to manage client expectations respectfully.
- Have Clear Financial Processes and Policies (and stand by them)
As a business owner, you know the importance of getting paid and getting paid ON. TIME.
But the reality is that your bank account isn’t top of mind for all of your clients. They’re busy too, so if your payment process isn’t simple for them, you run the risk of late payments and all the things that no business owner has the time for.
To avoid any payment confusion, make sure you have simple and clear processes set up for your clients AND make sure proper policies are in place, including the detailed payment terms, late fees and any other relevant financial agreements.
This ensures that both parties understand the financial aspects of the professional relationship.
- Get Everything In Writing (with legit and LEGAL agreements)
As a lawyer, my motto is that if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t stand – which is why I always advise business owners and service providers to have ALL of their processes and policies in writing and always, always, always have your clients sign and date the agreement before starting any work.
If you’re newer to business, you might view contracts as a stuffy, legal thing that you don’t want to deal with, but here’s the thing that I want you to recognize: contracts are NORMAL!
Not having a contract is considered a red flag in my book and I can almost bet that your clients would think so too – especially if they’ve worked with other service providers in the past. 🚩
For client contracts, I always recommend including:
- Scope of Services – aka the nitty gritty details of the service you will provide along with the specific deliverables, timelines and any limitations applicable
- Fees and Payment Terms – make sure you outline all of the financial aspects, including their specific payment terms, payment schedule, payment method accepted and any late payment penalties
- Intellectual Property – identify ownership and usage rights of the work created during the engagement and whether your client has the right to use it exclusively or non-exclusively
- Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure – always include a clause that protects the confidentiality of sensitive information exchanged during the course of the working relationship
- Term and Termination – define the duration of the agreement and any conditions for termination, such as notice periods or breach of contract
- Liability and Indemnification – address the limitations of liability for both parties and outline any indemnification clauses
- Dispute Resolution – include a clause that outlines the process for resolving disputes, such as through negotiation, mediation or arbitration
- Governing Law and Jurisdiction – specify the jurisdiction and governing law that will apply to the contract
- Miscellaneous Provisions – include any additional clauses or provisions relevant to your specific industry or the nature of the services provided
Legally Protect Your Business From Top To Bottom
During spooky season and beyond, I encourage you to consider implementing each of these and creating client contracts so you can avoid spooky clients from the very beginning.
If your business is missing one (or all) of these, take advantage of our scary good deal to get 50% off any contract you need October 24-31!
With the right contracts and legal strategies in place, you can enjoy a successful, horror-free business journey.
Here’s to making spooky season a little less spooky this year. 🎃