How to Legally Update Your Contracts & Send Them To Your Clients

How to Legally Update Your Contracts & Send Them To Your Clients

With all of this time at home, now is the PERFECT opportunity to spend some quality time taking a good hard look at your contract and finding some areas in need of an update. I’ve seen LOTS of questions regarding not only how to update your contract, but also how to then send it to your current clients AND explain to them why these updates are for your protection and theirs. So how do you update and effectively communicate those changes with your client? Well I’m here to walk you through the process on how to go through how to update your contracts, identify what needs to be changed, and when/how you go about sending out those updates to your clients as smoothly and successfully as possible.

The first step is...READ your Contract

Alright, being real here for a second, no contract is perfect. Due to the nature of the legal world things are updated CONSTANTLY which is why one contract will not serve you or your business well for the course of your lifetime. Things need to be looked at and updated on a regular basis. While that sounds scary, it’s part of the reason why whenever we update one of our template contracts here at The Legal Paige, we send out that update to EVERYONE who has previously purchased that item. We recognize the value and importance of these updates and want to make sure you have access to them.

While we’re not going to go into all the specifics of a full contract audit today (there will be an entire blog post, podcast, and live class out shortly to dive deep into that subject), it’s important that you take a look at your contracts and the clauses in them. Make sure to read through the contract in its entirety, and most importantly, that you understand what your contract is saying and how it applies to you and your clients. Understanding and being able to communicate what your contract says is incredibly important because you might end up having to explain to your clients what it means. Having the ability to fully understand your contract, and the services, duties, and liabilities/waivers it lays out identifies you as a solid business owner who has plans in place for all kinds of scenarios that can arise and knows what they and their clients are agreeing to (plus it can potentially save you from some bad client situations).

If you don’t understand something, seek out help to figure out what it means OR update that portion of your contract so you understand it. Chances are, if you don’t understand something your client won’t either. You’re also going to want to identify pieces that are missing in your contract, which is where a DIY contract audit comes in. This will tell you what’s important to have and what you are missing.

If you’re wondering what clauses should be in each and every contract, don’t forget to take a peek at my Contract Clause Checklist that goes through each and every clause you need in every service contract. Oh, and the Protection Clause Checklist to help you identify all the protection clauses you need in your contract as well. These free resources are a great starting point for you to get going on updating your existing contracts.

 

Ok so I’ve looked over my contract and added new items in, what now!?

 

Now that you’ve updated your contracts you want to decide whether or not to send the updated contracts out to your clients. It’s perfectly fine to decide to wait to use your updated contract for the next client you book, but you can ALSO choose to send them out to existing clients who’ve signed your old contract.

The key here is you want to be honest and clear with your clients about why you updated your contract’s terms and conditions, how these new provisions give your clients some new rights, and then point out specifically what they should look at before signing this updated version of your contract. Be clear and concise in your communication to them. Remember, you can't force your clients to sign onto a new contract. So, ultimately it would be their choice to sign the new version of your contract or keep the old one. But, remember that we sign updated contracts and terms and conditions EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. on our smartphones, so this is a super regular occurrence in business to update contracts. Don’t be nervous about it, just put your CEO hat on and protect yourself.

What’s the best way to clearly communicate any updates? EMAIL TEMPLATE INCLUDED!

Thinking through how to effectively communicate any contract updates, and hopefully convince your clients to sign a new contract can be tricky. Like I mentioned, you want to clearly lay out the new terms, why they’re important for your clients, and why they should agree to them. One of the easiest ways to do this is through an email template, which you can send out to ALL your clients.

I’ve come up with some suggested email template copy for you to take and adjust for your clients:

 

“HiXX,

Due to the changing nature of the wedding and event world, I’ve recently updated and improved the terms and conditions of my service contract in order to better serve my clients. Specifically, I wanted to make sure that my contract is more clear on , and fully addresses all the issues that could possibly affect my services. I want you to know that I have a plan in place and have your back under every “what if” situation.

I know you’re probably wondering what exactly was modified in the contract, so here are the specific new things you should be aware of:

  • Section 13: Force Majeure Clause
    • <explain what this clause is, how you updated it, and how it will affect your contract with your clients>
  • Section 11: Safe Working Environment Clause
    • <explain what this clause is, how you updated it, and how it will affect your contract with your clients>
  • Section 15: Updated Travel Fees
    • <explain what this clause is, how you updated it, and how it will affect your contract with your clients>

Now that you know what’s new in our contract’s terms and conditions, I would love for you to review the attached new contract and sign in the signature areas below. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to work with you!

Best,

 

Finally, remember some people may not sign your updated contract and that's okay.

Most people should be totally okay with signing your updated contract. But, remember, even if you’ve done your best in effectively communicating why and what you’ve updated in your contracts, not everyone will agree with the changes and want to sign. You’re going to want to prepare yourself for some pushback and honestly that’s ok. You can easily still finish out your services under your old contract with past clients, and then just send only your new clients your updated contract!

Best thing to know is that you’ve taken some really important steps to ensuring your business and your clients are protected, and at the end of the day you’ve made yourself a better business owner for it!

 

 

Links:

-The Legal Paige Shop - https://thelegalpaige.com/

-The Legal Paige Facebook Community - https://www.facebook.com/groups/602195700208827/

THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract.

See our full disclaimer here: https://thelegalpaige.com/disclaimer

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