Imagine this scenario: you’re a photo editor and you’ve delivered an edited catalog to one of your clients. Thinking all is well, you delete the catalog from your computer and your Dropbox folder in order to free up space. A week later, your client comes back to you and says that the client is unhappy and they need some adjustments. Whoops. Who is responsible for it at that point? Is it your fault for not keeping the catalog longer? Is it theirs for not telling you sooner? Refer to your contract! Oh wait…you don’t have one…
Where It All Began
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with an acquaintance about my business. She, being a lawyer, had all kinds of questions about my contract and if it included A, B, and C. Slightly embarrassed, I replied, “Well, I don’t have a contract. I haven’t really needed it, and I don’t even know what it would include.” She immediately brought a list of points that I needed to be protected from when it comes to running my editing business. I realized then and there that I had been doing it all wrong, and I NEEDED a contract.
When I first started my business, I knew deep down that it would be wise to have a contract. Honestly, though, I had no idea where to even start looking for a lawyer who could help me. Not only that, but I knew it would cost a lot, and I couldn’t afford it. It’s easy to brush off contracts, especially as a new business owner. You don’t have money to hire a lawyer, so you either:
- Write your own and hope that it is detailed enough to keep you protected
- Operate your business without one
Yikes! Those options are never ideal, but a lot of us have done it. Maybe you’ve never had an issue like the one above, but here’s a scenario that a lot of people can relate to: unpaid or late invoices. You finished a catalog, sent the invoice, and your client has cut off all communication with you. Without a contract, you will probably end up having to eat the loss. But, if you have a contract, you have protection! More protection means more options are available to you!
Stop Ignoring The Need for Contracts
I see a lot of photo editors operating their businesses without a contract, and it can be really risky as a business owner. There are a few things I’ve run into this past year that could have been settled quickly if I had a contract in place. This is why I’m implementing one starting this year, and this is why I’m telling you that you NEED to do the same!
I recommend The Contract Shop for all of your contract needs! They have TONS of contracts for small business owners, including: photo editors, makeup artists, photographers, florists, graphic design, furniture rentals, DJ’s, event planners, etc. They also have contracts for virtual assistants, podcast speakers, online business managers, model releases, LLC operating agreements, online courses, and coaching. There are so many, I can’t even name them all here — you just have to check it out!
Don’t Go Unprotected
Now I want to be honest with you: this post includes affiliate links to The Contract Shop. This means that if you purchase a contract through this link in this post, I will receive a small commission from the sale. However, I chose to sign up for their affiliate program because I’ve been using several of their contracts for a year now, and I’ve never felt more protected. In less than 3 minutes, you can get your hands on attorney-prepared and peer-reviewed contracts to send to your clients! Just download them, copy/paste them into your management program, update the details, and SEND! It’s really that easy. AND there should be some great deals on contracts on Black Friday! So tell me: are you ready to take the next step and protect your business?
If you don’t want to use my link — no hard feelings! I just ask that you consider this resource because it will save you hundreds of dollars! I just want you to be protected!
If you are looking for an alternative option for contracts, you can also check out The LawTog! I have not used any of their contracts, so I can not personally attest to how good they are. However, I have heard many great things! Photo editors — they also have a specific photo editing contract that might be good to look into if you are looking for a contract!
*This post contains affiliate links: don’t worry, I only recommend products I love and use myself!