I was the kid who wanted the crust off of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I didn’t think it was necessary. “That’s the best part” my mom would say to me as she took a bite! As an adult I understand what she meant, the proverbial crust is the best part sometimes. Similarly, cutting corners with your business is probably the last thing you want to do. Some people cut corners in other ways, especially when starting a new business. When starting up a new business or running an established one, there are so many important details to worry about. Ensuring you have a trustworthy lawyer should not be one of them.
Your business should be focusing on future growth, how to improve processes, and where to save money. It is challenging to determine the best place to save money. One place you should not try to cut corners is with legal documents. Choosing a template online legal document or do-it-yourself can put your company in serious jeopardy.
Here are four ways to help you cut corners without risking your business. You can call them “life hacks” if you like.
1. The Heart of your Business – Agreements
Business agreements are designed to protect your company’s most essential elements: removing your personal liability, personal and professional relationships, intellectual property, and trade secrets to name just a few. Moreover, legal agreements govern the rights and responsibilities of every party you do business with clients, vendors, employees, and contractors. If you have business partners, especially family members, a written agreement may be the only thing that saves your relationship if things go sideways.
Do you feel that it is best to trust an online legal site to protect your most valuable asset – your business? Using great agreements and having an integrated agreement process shows you care—and not just about the deal at hand, but about the other party and your business as a whole. Having well-drafted, well-structured, and well-presented agreements demonstrates that you believe in yourself and the people you work with, and these documents can greatly strengthen your business and relationships at every level.
2. One Shot at A First Impression
Would you want your future customer or client to have a bad first impression of your business? What do you think of someone else when there isn’t a favorable first impression? Then don’t risk having difficult-to-read documents or agreements put together by a DIY website for your customer. These usually incomplete documents not only make it challenging to read but also don’t make you look as polished and professional as you might present to your clients. Furthermore, it might question your level of professionalism and their faith in your business. This might deter a client or customer from engaging with you, or even worse, having them speak poorly about you and your business. Speaking of worse, more than once I’ve read documents that refer to another business’ name or different owners than the ones
If your contracts are shoddy and unpolished, what’s to say you won’t be just as careless and unprofessional with other aspects of your business? Indeed, the quality of your agreements is representative of the overall quality of your business. Here’s a secret I learned about working with attorneys from the “other” side of a deal – if there are typos, grammar errors, or citation errors, then it’s likely that something much larger was overlooked or missed.
Business deals with just a handshake are a thing of the past. Contracts are an important part of business, you should work with someone, who understands not just the legal parts of the agreement, but how to structure the agreement to build confidence in you and your services. Make sure you work with a lawyer who understands that your agreements—and their presentation—are a key part of your enrollment process. If not, you’ll most likely be leaving loads of money and clients on the table. Click the link here to schedule your free intro call or call us directly at (954) 237-4011.
3. Hire Slowly and Fire Fast
When hiring a new employee or independent contractor life can take an unexpected turn and the person that you interviewed might not be exactly the same person you thought that you hired. This can happen in many ways such as not providing the service that was promised or not living up to the expectations that you had envisioned.
The cost of team-member turnover could be one of the highest expenses in your business in terms of finances, time, and energy. In many cases, changing up your agreement process can help ensure you are hiring the right people. Ideally, they will be with you for a long time and grow alongside you and your business. Also, an employee happy to go to work is more motivated to be successful, which in turn means that your business will be more successful and potentially profitable for you.
Carol Loomis wrote a book called “Tap Dancing To Work: Warren Buffet on Practically Everything”. I recall watching an interview of Mr. Buffett on TV and he talked about enjoying his work-life balance. He said, “Whether you are a garbage truck driver or president of a company, you should be happy to go to work. Going to work should give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment in yourself. If you are not getting those from work, then you are in the wrong job.” Onboarding the right person for the right job will assist in the success of the employee and the company.
The two typical situations in most businesses are either a standard employment agreement signed by all team members or no signed agreement at all. Both of these create an opportunity to immediately lose. Every single person you hire, whether as an independent contractor or as an employee, must sign an agreement, not because it’s necessarily required by law, but because it’s going to save you from bigger losses down the road.
Your agreement needs to be as specific as possible about your expectations for the relationship, establishing key performance indicators (KPI) and time frames for achieving specific goals and objectives. When you share these expectations, metrics of success, and time frames with your new hire, you are setting them up to succeed from the very start. They also receive an opportunity to clarify if the expectations are clear and can be met. This will also give them a sense of comfort and confidence that you both are on the same page for their future. This is what sets the relationship up for success.
Once you realize someone is not the right fit for your team, do everyone a favor and end the relationship. Ironically, terminating someone’s employment actually gives them the chance to find the opportunity that’s best for them and use their talents to the highest level.
Do you want a customized your agreements to make it more personal, catered to your specific needs, style, and way of doing business? Having well-considered and customizable agreements helps you make better hires because it forces you to be proactive and think through your expectations for the relationship ahead of time. It forces you to consider what kind of things will make the relationship a thrilling success, along with what could cause the relationship to fail.
4. What’s Your End Game?
Using an online legal document company to create DIY legal documents might seem like a more cost-effective approach to saving some money. However, it might end up costing you more in the end because the documents you printed yourself and uploaded were not properly executed and therefore the document is now null and void. Trying to get a hold of a customer service representative from the website feels like swimming up the creek without a paddle. It is possible but you are still against the current of the water.
Save yourself time and money by doing it right the first time. Hire a human, not an algorithm. Whom can you call when you get an unexpected turn of events in your business? How can you navigate the legal world with just the click of a button? Give us a call to help you and your business plan for success and future growth. Click the link here to schedule your free intro call or call us directly at (954) 237-4011. Just at Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”.