Whether you are a traditional signwriter and design your work by hand, or a modern signwriter who takes advantage of the plethora of technology available at your disposal, you will need to consider the terms and conditions that you include in every one of your contracts. Signwriting is essential to all new business owners, and as a signwriter you are an intrinsic link between a business owner’s idea, and the final product. This means that your customers will be emotionally, financially and sometimes physically involved in the work that you do for them. For this reason, it is essential that you prepare for any eventuality in your terms and conditions. In addition, a concise and precise set of terms and conditions will help you feel confident when you are dealing with your customers, and ensure both of you are aware of where you stand at all times.
Terms and conditions for orders
What terms and conditions should you include in the orders section of your contract? This can be a difficult question to answer as a signwriter, because it depends very much on the way your business operates. Some signwriters take their orders exclusively on the Internet, while others take orders in person only. However, there are some universal terms and conditions around ordering that should be used in every one of your contracts as a signwriter.
The most important term that should be included in your contracts is that all orders must be placed in writing. This is crucial to all your contracts, as it is difficult to enforce a verbal contract in a courtroom, as it is normally your word against that of your customer.
You should also include the term that quotations only apply to the original work agreed upon. As you know, there are many occasions where your customer will change his or her mind, often several times per item. Not only is this frustrating, but it can leave you out of pocket. Ensuring that your terms and conditions clearly state that any change of the order, no matter how insignificant, will be added to the quoted price, is a sure fire way of protecting your commercial interests.
As a signwriter, you will often be required to employ the help of a specialist to ensure the customer gets what they want. The problem with this is that it can be very costly, and is often not included in the original price. This means that you should include clear provisions for additional costs in your terms and conditions. Unfortunately, many customers assume that permit fees, drawings and engineer’s calculations are included in the original quote. This can leave them feeling cheated, and in the past, has led to a refusal to pay anything at all. As a signwriter you should avoid this situation at all costs by clearly including provisions outlining additional costs in the terms and conditions of your contract. This way there are no surprises for you or your customer.
Risk and Title
A unique aspect of signwriting is that often your work will have to be delivered to your customer, sometimes travelling substantial distances. Therefore, the terms and conditions of each and every one of your contracts should include provisions to account for who is responsible for your work at each and every stage of transit. This can often depend on insurance, and which mail carrier you use. Therefore, before writing the terms and conditions for this part of your contracts, you will need to be certain of what insurance cover you have.
As a signwriter, your work is displayed all around the world, and it is your work that helps businesses around the world thrive and prosper. Likewise, it is the terms and conditions of your contracts that allow you to thrive and prosper. Therefore, having clear, concise and also all-encompassing terms and conditions in your contracts will give you the peace of mind to run your business the way you want to.
However, as you can see, it can be difficult to know exactly what to include in your terms and conditions. LegalVision has created a definitive guide on how to write terms and conditions, which can be found here. Finally, if you wish for some further help, or just feel that it is prudent to have a lawyer run over the terms and conditions you have created, you are invited to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.