The secret behind successful businesses can be attributed to many factors, but there is one that rookies in the field have failed to recognise or adapt — setting up a Terms and Conditions contract.
Writing Your Own Terms and Conditions
It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a professional when you write your own terms and conditions but this shouldn’t stop you from making a draft that can be checked later on.
Avoid Over Complications
Every aspect of your business can be used as a marketing tool if you know how to do things right. Your T&C isn’t exempt to this and we’ll explain how.
Imagine you’re a potential client. You want to do business with a new supplier and so far, you like the person you’re talking to and the products and services they provide. When they draw up their Terms and Conditions, which one of these two would have you signing a deal with them right away?
An overly complicated contract that uses jargon and highly convoluted terms
A simple, easy to understand terms and conditions that plainly states the things that both parties want
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discern which one of these two samples a potential customer would want to go for.
There is no need to overcomplicate your terms and conditions simply because there is no rule that states that it needs to be lengthy or it needs to be filled with big words or jargon. A simply-written contract should be your aim since it will give the feeling of security and peace of mind to the reader. They don’t need a novel or an essay — they want terms in easily readable language and answers to questions they may have about the deal.
In the event that you have to use legal terms and such, put a “Definition” section at the end of the contract. This will be beneficial for both you and your client: you’re being transparent thus gaining the trust of the client.
Be very clear about what is included (or not included) in the quoted price. Also include things such as shipping and handling costs, any modifications that the customer wants will incur extra charges, etc. This section must be very clear and detailed.
Misleading Statements Should Be Avoided
Clients appreciate and look for transparency as well as honesty in every aspect of striking a deal. Avoid using statements that can be confusing or misleading as it may affect future transactions and ultimately your business. You can actually be held liable as you are bound by your terms and conditions and making misleading statements can be prosecuted under Australian Consumer Law.
Refunds and Returns Policy
Under the Australian Consumer Law, you are required to state what your policy is regarding returns and refund. Again, this section of your terms and conditions should be clear. State under what circumstances you’d guarantee a refund and return, warranties, and such.
Policy on Customer Satisfaction and Quality of Service or Goods
In this section, you are stating that you stand behind your products and services fully and that you are committed to giving customer’s satisfaction every step of the way.
Limitation Of Liability Clause
You need this section so you can protect yourself and your business. This is done with the help of a professional.
How You Handle Personal Information
Benefits to Your Business
Setting up a Terms and Conditions document is not just for show — you’re doing it to make every transaction legally binding and as a form of documentation for your business.
Whenever a client fails to make payment for one reason or another, you are legally obligated to contact them and follow up with their dues. Because of the terms and conditions, you may even file a case against them if they are uncooperative in settling with their overdue balance.
Any unnecessary or outrageous request or demand that the client may bring up in the future doesn’t have to be entertained, especially when it was clearly stated in your Terms and Conditions what your limitations are.
So long as both you and your client come to an agreement and understanding regarding the transactions and both parties sign the contract, then it becomes a legally binding document.
Terms and Conditions, and a well-written one at that, are put in practice to protect yourself and your client. Make sure that your paperwork is reviewed and drafted by professionals such JMA Credit so that every part of the transaction is covered.