I’m sure everyone who’s been in business for a while has had something come up with a client here and there. It’s to be expected, but it still can be frustrating depending on the situation. How do you react if a client wants to cancel? What happens if they’re trying to break a contract? That’s what I’m here to discuss with you today – let’s keep our cool and deep dive into client cancellations.
This is important if you have a client that’s trying to cancel their project. Is there a mutually-signed contract? (For a contract to be binding, BOTH parties involved have to sign). If you decided to forgo the contract when booking the client, then you might be out of luck. Without a contract, you have no legal leg to stand on so there’s no way for you to dispute your client’s prerogative, basically.
In short, yes.
I can’t stress this enough – HAVE A CONTRACT!! They’re the best way to protect both you and your clients interests. Why? Because in your contract, you’re able to lay out everything that you need to before entering into a working relationship. It provides you with boundaries, expectations, and legal responsibilities. Those are big things that really matter when running your business.
Let’s break down the benefits of having a contract:
Oftentimes, your client hasn’t worked with a service provider like you before, and isn’t really sure what to expect. By having a well thought out contract, you can lay everything out right at the beginning. You can include things like what’s included in your service, how much they can expect to pay for your service, when they’re obligated to make payments, and more. It really helps with having issues down the line when a client’s expectations aren’t lining up with yours.
2. Sets boundaries (YASSS)
We love a good boundary, and having a clear contract is the perfect way to set them. You can provide information about exactly what the client will be receiving so they don’t try to get more than what they initially paid for. You can also write out your working hours, guidelines for communication, when you’re available to respond and when you’re not, and more. That way, when your client is emailing you at 10pm on a Saturday night, you can relax knowing that you’ve already discussed weekend messages will be responded to on Monday mornings.
3. Establishes liability
A contract is the perfect place to clearly state liability. You can discuss things like cancelling the contract, payments, deadlines, and what services you are going to provide. That way, everything is out in the open so you aren’t held liable for something you shouldn’t be!
4. Lays out all deliverables and payments
In your contract, you can clearly outline ALL of the deliverables that the client is receiving AND the total amount/payment schedule that is required. That means there can’t be any arguing over these things since it’s clearly laid out before the project even begins. You’re protected, your client is protected, and everyone stays happy.
There are important terms that should always be in your contract, so when a situation arises you have clear guidance. Terms to include:
Having these terms already determined when the contract is signed means there’s no fighting over the details. Everything has already been mutually agreed upon. Simple!
Before you go ahead and terminate the entire project, talk with your client. Learn about their reasons for cancelling, and see if there are any issues that seem fixable. You may be able to work something out with your client to save the project instead.
If the differences seem too great to overcome, then you can decide what to do next.
Sometimes, your working relationship with a client and needs to come to an end. It’s okay! It happens. There’s no use getting upset over it because it ultimately won’t serve you or your business.
Try to end the relationship on good terms without having a big argument. Your contract should majorly assist with keeping things friendly and/or civil at the very least.
It’s not worth your time or energy, so just relax and try to focus on the other projects you have or toward building your business.
Need help managing your business? You might need an OBM (online business manager). Reach out and let’s discuss how I can support you!
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