Today's episode is part four of the Contract Series where I share what to do if a client is planning to sue you.
Client issues are more common than you think, and client issues do not mean you're not good at what you do. Sometimes we fuck up, sometimes we just have messy clients. There will always be client issues when it comes to owning a business.
Back on Episode 112, I spoke with DJ Kevin Dennis about his experience with the legal system with a lawsuit from a couple about Kevin's contract and COVID related cancellation refund. Similarly, last year on Judge Judy a client sued a wedding planner for a refund due to a COVID cancelation/postponement. The planner said the retainer was non-refundable and have already substantially performed under the contract.
I give you examples not to scare you but to show you that even for small businesses with contracts under $5,000 can get into legal disputes.
If it looks like you're heading down this road with a...
Today's episode is part three of the Contact Series. If you missed the last two weeks, go back and check out the first two episodes in the series
Five Ways Small Businesses Typically Taking Payments:
1. Hourly Payment - Most common along virtual assistants, coaches, consultants. If you have a no cancelation policy, you are better off charging a package price so you are still compensated for any hours you miss due to the client's no-show
2. Monthly - Conover with coaches, VAs, and even wedding planners. Monthly payments can be on a schedule, for example for a wedding planner let's say it's $12,000 you can say it's $1,000 a month that way if there is a cancelation you've still been paid for the months of work you did leading up to the event.
3. Flat fee per project - Common for graphic designers, web designers, creators who sell physical or digital goods. When you offer a flat fee per project you can split the payments into all the payment up-front, half up-front...
On today's episode, I continue the Contract Series with the importance of outlining your scope of services as a way to avoid the dreaded "Scope Creep."
Scope of services is what I view as one of the two most important parts of a contract. Typically we enter a contract because we are selling something in exchange for money. The contract needs to define what it is we are giving the client (product, service, etc.) and what they are giving us in return (money, exchange, etc.).
In a barebones, napkin contract, you'd have the names of the parties, what it is you are offering (scope) and what it is you are receiving in return (payment terms).
Scope creep is a very real thing, often happening to service-based business providers when the client starts to ask for more and more things (often little by little) that are not explicitly highlighted in the contract.
If you have multiple packages available, you will want to have a contract template for each level of...
On today's episode, my guest, Danait Berhe, Founder & Brand Strategist of The Asmara Agency, shares her insight on evolving your contract as your business grows.
Offering a wide scope of services from logo and web design to brand refreshes, Danait's scope of services changes for each and every client which means each client is getting their own custom contract.
Clarity is key when it comes to contracts. Start by spelling out all the details in your proposal before the contract so your client understands what they will be getting and the timeline for the project to be completed so this way you can accommodate and charge for any changes as you move them into the contract and need to charge additional rates for faster results.
Be sure to include:
-updated scope of services - define what they're getting out of the services
-project schedule - detailed timeline of when to expect client responses and what happens if the client does not respond by the specified...
On today's episode I wrap up the Hiring Series discussing contractor laws by state and what you need to make sure you're legally hiring.
On today's episode I chat with Emily Loeppke, Principal and Founder of Anna Delores Photography about how much to pay your contractors as you grow your team.
Emily was doing paid advertising on every blog she could, networking at local events, and building her relationships with wedding planners which lead to her having a fully booked wedding photography schedule and knowing it was time to hire.
As Emily grew her team of second shooters, she started by calling them associates but transitioned to keeping that an internal term, understanding the importance of calling them the team or lead photographer because they are not any less than and she wanted to avoid clients feeling like these photographers were not all equal members of the photography team.
The question Emily was facing was if her team should be employees or associates (more on this in Episode 177). Emily started by paying her contractors on an as-needed basis per job. She would pay them a booking bonus...
On today's episode I chat with Ashley Ebert, Co-Founder at The Abundance Group + Owner of The Simply Elegant Group, about what goes into successfully hiring a team.
Ashley started hiring 6 months into her business by hiring a contractor and now has part-time and full-time salaried employees and helps other businesses hire and grow their own team of employees.
The biggest challenge is overcoming mental hurdles/mindset blocks to hiring whether it's thinking that you
- wouldn't be good leader (leadership is a skill, not a personality trait)
- don't want to be a boss (being a boss opens up freedom for you to do the parts of your business you love)
- can't afford (start with a small position you can afford and build the role)
- it's my art (hiring a team does not mean you need to lose creative control of your business. It means training someone so your creativity can be in multiple places at once).
Don't wait until you're 100% booked to start hiring. If you wait...
On this episode, we're kicking off the Hiring Series with a look at California's strict independent contractor laws, its most recent amendments and exceptions, and how the law is paving the way for changes on a federal level.
When someone is classified as an employee it means their taxes are withheld by their employer, something that the state favors over contractors who come with the risk of not reporting all their income on their tax returns. Even if you are not in California, the California law has paved the way for independent contractor laws nationwide. Currently at Congress, the House has already passed a bill called the PRO Act that is being debated in the Senate. For more info, check out my blog post on AB5 and dealing with California's new contractor laws.
Today on the podcast we are reairing episode 63 of the podcast where my friend, and sales tax expert, Amy Monroe shares the five steps to manage small business sales taxes.
1. Where do you need to collect tax (do I have nexus)?
This can depend on the size of your business and the services/goods you sell. You will need to know if you need a seller's permit.
2. How you register for a seller's permit
You will also need to search if there may be a secretary of state requirement.
3. What are the sales tax rates and how do you collect them?
Often the sales tax rate is based on the location of the buyer. You need to make sure you are also collecting any additional local, county, city and district taxes.
4. Know and manage taxability and exemptions
If you provide goods and services it's important to know what is and isn't subject to sales tax and when/if they need to be bundled together or specifically stated. The exemptions may be more nuanced than you need.