TOP 5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT

TOP 5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT

TOP 5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CONTRACT

Congratulations! You’ve landed the work and you’re ready to get started! Not so fast. The pesky challenge of managing a business while running your business strikes again. While you’re excited and ready to get started on the tasks at hand and wowing your client, an integral part of that process has to be the development and execution of a contract.

Here are five tips to create a contract that will ensure success, not only for you but for your client.

Write that down. There’s an old saying that if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen. As you develop a contract, be sure to capture expectations, deliverables, deadlines, etc., and in turn, you will ensure everyone is on the same page.

Be specific. While any contract is better than no contract at all, the particulars are important. If you have a specific timeline or preference for invoicing, be sure the contract documents that information.

Accountability is Key. It is hard to hold someone accountable for something that is not communicated. Document expectations and requirements and eliminate any opportunity for debate.

KISS. You know this one – Keep It Simple, Stupid. While not all contracts are a single page, avoid the complexities with basic language and details.

Not Carved in Stone. It’s a good thing we no longer carve our intent into stone tablets. It’s too cumbersome! In all seriousness, flexibility may be the key to any successful contract engagement. For example, the inclusion of an out clause or defining addendum requirements and other modifications ensure a necessary give-and-take in managing your business day-to-day.

10 BUSINESS MYTHS HOLDING YOU BACK

10 BUSINESS MYTHS HOLDING YOU BACK

When you’re older than Google®, it’s hard to remember (or understand) why you’re still beholden to archaic business practices. It’s time to break your bad business habits and move beyond the way “it’s always been done.” Here are 10 business myths and bad habits that are holding you back:

  1. Beholden to "always" – Just because that’s the way it’s always been done, doesn’t mean it still works for you, or your company. Sometimes the old ways are just, well, old. Even though “old school” is once again cool, do you really want to be stuck in the past? As this recent article in Forbes demonstrates, new thinking about everyday business practices is just good business.
  2. Onboarding is hard – Hiring new members of your team is a sign of your success. Don’t make it a throwaway by thinking onboarding is hard. Onboarding is your opportunity to dot all the I’s and cross all the t’s you need to employ as well as a glimpse of your environment. Be efficient. Be prepared. It’s what you expect.
  3. Determined to download – You create files and download PDFs and then, maybe you print your downloads. Admit it, you do.  You actively seek new generation tools to streamline your process where documents live in the cloud (or on the platform) but you’re not using it properly. By doing so, you are adding steps to your process and compromising your productivity.
  4. I’m too busy! – This old business myth is just bad business. – It’s documented that being addicted to being busy is detrimental. Are you too busy to work? Are you too busy to invoice? Are you too busy to handle the business at hand? Of course not. So, why would you allow the busy excuse to deter you from efficiency?
  5. Gig means uninterested and unworthy. – The “gig” economy expands the depth of talent available in the workforce. Business myths that a freelancer might be uninterested or unworthy of your project is short-sighted. In fact, just the opposite could be true. While an individual may be unavailable for full-time employment, their expertise and talent in a part-time or specific, limited time may be just what you need.
  6. Management tools are too expensive! – If we share anything as entrepreneurs, it is the uninhibited demand for efficiencies, especially when it comes to cost.  This is why we wear so many hats within our own organizations. It is also why we need to maximize our productivity with tools available to us.
  7. Contracts are for major projects only. – Seriously? A written contract, scope of work, or a letter of agreement all provide a description of responsibilities for all parties involved and protect you as well. At a minimum, these documents outline expectations – from payment to deadlines. It’s not like you only want to be paid for the major projects, right?
  8. "Workforce Next" is a long way off and doesn't apply to my business. – We hate to be the bucket of cold water splashing you in the face, but the thing is, “workforce next” is the workforce now. The convergence of technology combined with the desire for an on-demand schedule makes freelance work an enticing option. And, as more customers see on-demand, agile solutions, we see business investing in an extended workforce, instead of “hiring up.” Even if you think this trend does not apply to your business, chances are it does and it should.
  9. Need-to-Know. – As outdated a concept as a desktop Rolodex®, the business myth that your extended workforce is only on a need-to-know basis is equally antiquated. The power of the rise of Millennials has been the counterintuitive blend of a love of old with an unemotional rejection of anything that wastes their time. They certainly aren’t the first generation to be frustrated by a lack of information, but they are successfully owning it. Communication is key when it comes to your success. If you are engaging your employees, and an extended workforce, you are winning.
  10. Change is scary. – Mark Twain once wrote, “Why not go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.” It is such a pleasant way to position risk.  Netflix certainly changed storytelling. If the idea of change or the word change makes you uncomfortable, try using evolution. Position it in your mind as positive to keep you moving forward. Of all the business myths holding you back, this one is similar to being stuck in always. Change is inevitable. Prepare for it; embrace it.

The Three C’s of Writing RFPs

The Three C’s of Writing RFPs

When writing a Request for Proposal (RFP), there are several key things to keep in mind. At Veristo, we call these items the three C’s for writing RFPs:  

  • Criteria 
  • Clarity
  • Communication 

Criteria

With everything else you have going on, writing RFPs may seem daunting. Think of it this way: the RFP itself provides a guide for the response you require. Don’t overthink it. Write your RFP with the end result in mind, avoiding the need to request unnecessary information or add unnecessary steps, is just that – unnecessary.  

Clarity 

Clarity is paramount. If someone is reading your request and at the end has major, outstanding questions, you have failed yourself and the process. When writing RFPs, you need to state the required qualifications that meet your criteria clearly and concisely and in language everyone can understand. Remember, technical experts may not be your only audience so consider a glossary of terms or code key, and for heaven’s sake, keep the jargon to a minimum. 

Communication 

In any prospecting process, communication is a must. Let’s be honest, sometimes our success is directly tied to the tools we are given. Create a process to keep everybody on the same page from timelines to deliverables – a dashboard including outstanding items required, deadline reminders and a personalized tracking mechanism just makes sense.  

Still vexed on getting started? Veristo can help. The tools Veristo provides allow you to use the platform as much or as little as needed, so you may use them generally, or to the letter. Using Veristo will help you create a better prospecting process, and that’s better business.

Productivity Killer:  Determined to Download

Productivity Killer: Determined to Download

As small business owners, we all share common challenges.  Sometimes managing the business gets in the way of productivity. From contracts to invoicing there are so many logistics in the day-to-day operation it is easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Have you ever wondered why you are so eager to embrace the conveniences of technology and yet beholden to your old ways?  Why, for example, are you determined to download? 

You create files and download PDFs and then, maybe you print your downloads. Admit it, you do.  You actively seek new generation tools to streamline your process where documents live in the cloud (or on the platform) but you’re not using them properly. By doing so, you are adding steps to your process and compromising your productivity. 

The business of managing your business is not beholden to stacks of paper cluttering your desk. Stop acting like it is. 

A quick fix is finding a platform or cloud resource to effectively manage all of your paperwork in one place AND using that resource to share, modify, and archive. 

Technology is designed to work for you and increase productivity. Stop working against it!

Still need guidance? Veristo can help!