At some point in your business you’ll realize that it’s high time to have your clients sign contracts. Maybe you’re forward-thinking, just starting your business and are yet to take on your first project. Maybe you’ve been in business for a little while now, but contracts just never dawned on you until now. Maybe you had a not-so-pleasant encounter with a client and suddenly it hit you ‘maybe a contract is a good idea.’
Today I’ll walk you through my oh-so-simple process for contracts. I found an online tool I absolutely love, and I’m positive you will too. While I share many online tools with you here on the blog to help take the headache out of running your business, this one is up there for an absolute favourite. If I sound like a contracts-crazed-fan-girl, it’s because I am now. And you’re about to be too.
Before the day is completed, you my friend can be all protected, legal, not to mention rather sleek and professional looking with this wonderful e-signable contract system.
I was recommended Hello Bonsai by some fellow online business owners and am really so thankful to have been given the tip-off on this tool.
Hello Bonsai is an online contracts and payments system. (I’m going to focus more on the contracts side of things today, but I’ll give you some quick details on the payments too.)
The contracts are written with designers, developers, photographers, videographers and writers in mind. The contracts were written by lawyers, so you can be safe in knowing they’re legitimate. The contracts are customizable so you can make them fit with how you run your business. Bonsai gives tips along the way when making contract customizations to help advise you in the right direction of which option to choose.
And my favourite part.
They’re able to be e-signed online.
Hallelujah! I don’t know about you, but my printer and I never get along.
My clients love the system too, they have never taken more than 2 minutes from the time they open the contract email to having signed it.
Bonsai contracts were a game-changer for me to feel more protected in my work and finding a system that worked perfectly along with the values of my business. I want to offer my clients a website design experience from start to finish that is headache-free and simple. Bonsai helps me do this.
1. First visit hellobonsai.com and an account.
2. Begin by clicking New Contract and selecting the type of work you’ll be completing.
Pssst – If you don’t have a specific client or project needing a contract at the moment, you can still make a example one, and then just duplicate and swap out the clients name in the future.
3. Select the drop down boxes and select the appropriate options for you.
Notice there are little boxes that appear to the right with tips to help you make the right decision for your business.
4. Decide to utilize the invoice feature or not.
I personally run all my sales directly through my Squarespace website, so I don’t use the Bonsai invoicing and payment processing. However, if you are in need of a payment processing system, this can be a fantastic option to create professional invoices, make the process of sending them passive (Bonsai sends reminders on due dates for you), and pay minimal fees.
5. Review the contract and edit more if desired. Then e-sign online in seconds.
6. Input your clients email address and click to send.
Bonsai will deliver your contract by email. If your client doesn’t sign it for a couple of days, Bonsai will notify you by email and you can easily click a button in your email to trigger a reminder to be sent to your client.
Now if you’re like me and have some studio policies you also want your client to be aware of and agree to, then you can add this info as an addendum. (That’s a fancy legal term for an additional section.) My policies maybe be found on a page on my website, so the Addendum (additional section) in my contract provides the link. You could also attach a PDF to the contract which Bonsai will also send to your client.
From my clients perspective, they pay for their website package online on my site. Then they’re advised by my auto-delivered Welcome Package that a contract will be on it’s way shortly. They then receive the contract by email and can sign online. They don’t need to send me an email to let me know they signed it, Bonsai notifies me for them.
From my perspective, a client makes a purchase on my website, I duplicate an old invoice, edits the dates, client name and fee, and then input my clients email and the contract is sent. I get an email when the client opens and reviews the contract and when they sign it.
So. Darn. Simple.
Now you have your contracts taken care of, what’s one of your biggest business hang ups? What process or task are you dying for a system to take care of simply and easily?
I am not a legal professional. This post should not be considered legal advice.
*I like making money. (Who doesn’t?) You bet your bottom dollar there’s affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post! If you make a purchase through some of the links in this site, I make a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks gal!