Businesses don’t stay static. With each new client and new project, you learn and do different things that will help you learn about how to better your service. What if you get into a sticky situation regarding duties and requests?

The answer–Refer to the contract. Its for this purpose that your contract terms and conditions should be carefully crafted, preferably by a lawyer familiar with your industry and/or customized to you work processes. People forget or sometimes have selective memory, including you as the service provider, so having a detailed, clause heavy contract that spells out what you will or wont do, the people involved, the costs and a term. Additional details will include payment terms, non-disclosure or non-competition agreements or other legally binding terms. By doing this, you protect your client and you protect yourself.

What if you have bad communication and either you or your client said things that weren’t recorded in a contract? You may be able to talk out any disagreements but the best thing would be to be as detailed as you can in your contract. If necessary, amend the contract with terms you can both agree on.

Sometimes you come upon situations where things get legal. The best thing to do is not to panic. Gather contracts and any supporting documents and written correspondence and notes. Secure a lawyer or arbitrator and try to resolve things peacefully, if at all possible.

In whatever situation you find yourself in, while scary, approach it as an opportunity to learn how to do things better, including qualifying leads before signing them. Grow and adjust where needed because the problem may present wholes in your processes and execution of services.

Work hard to stick to your contract, spell out everything in your contract, and communicate well so that both parties in the business relationship walk away with what they need.

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