So you got your first paying 1-on-1 client and you’re SO excited to get started! But then you realize you don’t have a client contract to send her. What’s a girl to do? Wing it and copy and paste something offline? Try to piece something together? Or just say, “I’ll worry about that later!” and get started. Well, you know what I’m going to tell you. That’s what I’m here for! To empower you to feel comfortable and confident working with your clients because you’re backed with my DIY client agreement.
I hear from so many of you with questions about client contracts and what needs to be in them. So today, as part of a new series I’m going to run, I’m covering the most frequently asked questions re: client contracts and agreements.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and my most common responses : )
What to know about client contracts
Q: I just got a new client! Do I need a client contract in writing?
Yes, if you’re a coach/entrepreneur, you should have a contract! Well, at least I’d say so. You never want a client to be able to come back and dispute the terms of your agreement. You want to make it clear that they understood you were a health/fitness/life/business coach and not a doctor/lawyer/accountant/etc. Since it clearly states that in your agreement, you’ll have it signed and in writing that your client understood that before deciding to work together.
You also want to make sure you get paid, don’t have to take unnecessary returns, or that you can enforce your company’s policies re: cancellations or no-show appointments. There are also a number of really important legal protections built into the client agreement, too.
Q: I got the client agreement template, now what do I do?
Great question! I recommend that you go through your client agreement template you purchased and fill in the information that doesn’t change first. For example, your name (the coach), your business’s name, what’s included in your coaching package, etc.
Then, save that document as your master client agreement template. Each time you get a new client, make a duplicate of the client agreement and add in the details specific to your new client: price, any additional bonuses included, the date it’s being signed, name, etc.
Q: Can a client agreement be e-signed or does it have to be signed on paper?
The short answer? It depends! Most U.S. states accept electronic signatures as being perfectly valid and enforceable, but not all do. So check where you live before investing in any e-sign software (like HelloSign). Here’s some key advice, though: use HelloSign software or a program instead of just using cursive font in a Word doc. Esign companies like HelloSign can provide you with metadata that shows your actual client signed the agreement from her computer or IP address in case it’s ever disputed.
Q: Who should my client contract be between, me and the client? My business and the client?
Your legal entity and the client. For example, if Sally Smith was my client, my contract would be between Sam Vander Wielen LLC and Sally Smith.
Q: Should I include client expectations?
Yes! I actually like to include client expectations and coach expectations. These are different than the items included in your coaching package or services. This is more to let the client know what you expect from them and what you plan to provide in return, like being present, prompt, and professional.
Those are just a few of the most commonly asked questions! If you want to learn more about what your client agreement needs or how you can use it to protect yourself and your business, schedule a solo BizStorming session* today!
If you know you need a client agreement, download your client agreement template now. Instead of copying and pasting from others’ contracts (which is not OK!) and not even knowing whether it covers you, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Plus, my how-to video tutorial easily walks you through each step along the way.
So what questions do you have? What’s your biggest challenge with creating or using your client contracts? Tell me in the comments below!
*BizStorming sessions are no longer active as of 2020