How to Draft Contracts When Providing Multiple Services or Packages to Your Clients – Transcript

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[Intro Music] This is Office Talk with Annette Stepanian.


Hello. Hello, my friend. Thanks for joining me for another legal quickie episode. I’m recording this right now it is Friday afternoon and I am itching to get the weekend started. I can’t wait to get out in play. My husband and I, I turned to him a few weeks ago and I said, I want to have more fun, I feel like life has become so monotonous. So transactional. So I sat down, actually I sat down, I wrote a list of a whole bunch of different things that I wanted to do simple things, you know, rent bikes in go bike riding, and on a trail near our house. We live near Napa and Sonoma. So actually driving out there and enjoying it for the day. So I’m excited for the weekend to bring a little bit more fun and do some activities. Like go to Napa and Sonoma. 

Hopefully you had a refreshing weekend yourself, and are excited to learn about legal stuff. 

Wanted to dive in to a question that comes up all the time when it comes to contracts. Now, the other night, I hosted a call with some folks. And a question kept coming up that I thought would make a perfect topic for an episode. And so that’s where we are today. And the question was, a lot of these people were providing multiple services to their clients. They were a whole bunch of event planners. And so they were providing services like not just event planning, but they would do stationary design,  event rentals. They would do day of coordination, they would do design concepting. And whether you’re an event planner or not, the concept really here is that so many of you guys are a Jack or Jill of all trades. You’re doing so many different things and providing so many different services to your clients. So the question becomes, well, how do I address it in my contracts? 

So here’s how I think about it. First, I want you to take a look at the types of services that you’re providing. And ask yourself are these pretty similar in terms of the types of issues that might come up with a client or the types of responsibilities that a client might have towards me and vice versa. 

So for example, one of the ladies had asked that, you know, she was an event planner, but sometimes she provided stationery design services. So a client would come to her, let’s say a bride or groom, hire her for event planning services. And then she might upsell them on actually doing the stationery for their wedding. In a situation like that, where in my mind, those two services feel a little distinct from one another, my recommendation was to have two separate contracts. So you’d have one for your event planning services, and then a second different one for your stationery design services. 

And the reason being is twofold. First of all, the issues that come up with stationery and design, for instance, can be very different than event planning, even though they are all part of the same event. 

With stationery design, there might be issues regarding shipping, and regarding how many revisions the client might have. What happens if a client wants to make a change after the proof has been accepted and something has been sent to the printer. There are these kinds of issues that don’t necessarily come up when you’re an event planner. Now there are terms that are going to be utilized in both contracts. But in my mind, they are pretty distinct. 

Also, one of the other reasons why I recommended that we kept these separate was because the time when the client was hiring her for services A or services B were different. So for example, the client was coming to her. And they were getting into a contract regarding the event planning services. And then down the road, maybe a month, two months, three months down the road, they would then discuss the possibility of having her do the stationery design as well. From a workflow and ease of use, it’s a lot easier for her just to present her with a second contract for the stationery design services. 

Can you put them into one contract? Absolutely, you can put them into one contract if you want. Let’s say you have entered into a contract for event planning services and then later on down the road the client also wants to hire you for stationary design, what you would do is amend the first contract to add these additions and changes to the original contract. So you do that by way of amendments. 

Now another way another common question that comes up is when people provide multiple packages that may or may not include multiple services. So let’s say again, going back to the event planner example, let’s say somebody is offering three possible packages. There’s, you know, package, one that’s kind of a lighter version of services package two that offer that offers a little bit more and then package three that offers kind of the whole deal. Kind of reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Anyway, in this situation, she’s providing multiple services, right? She might in package one, it might be a lighter version. But let’s say she’s providing day of coordination services, and then maybe putting a mood board together for the stationery. The second one might be where she’s providing full event planning services, and only designing the invitations for the wedding. Whereas the third one is full coordination, full planning, full stationery suite. So the whole shebang. 

Now, in this case, you have three discrete packages, where you have a mix of services. In this situation, what you could do is have a contract, that is just for package one, have a contract for package two, have a contract for package three.Or you can have one contractn and then depending on the package that they hire you for, you can have those services listed out in a attachment. So you would make a reference to those services in the body of the original contract, you would say something like “client is hiring company to perform the services as outlined in Attachment A.” And then what you would do is swap out that Attachment A or whatever you call in based on the type of package that they hire you for.  Now because in this situation, she’s providing multiple services within a package, it’s still important that she makes sure that any potential issues that come up regarding those services are addressed in that main contract. 

So going back to the example, she’s providing planning services, as well as stationery design services. So you want to make sure that that main contract addresses those potential issues that come up. So just kind of off the top of my head stationery design, for instance, again, the issue about printing, about revisions, about approvals, shipping, those are things that are very unique to stationery and print design. Whereas the that doesn’t really come up with event planning. So make sure that those types of issues that are specific to those services are addressed in the main contract. 

So I’m hoping this makes sense, it’s a little hard to communicate in, in this format. Sometimes it’s better to if you’re a visual learner like me to actually see it. So I’m hoping this makes sense. 

On the topic of doing so many things, I am always amazed at how many of you guys are running a business, and you’re doing a full time job, and you’re probably a parent on top of it, and you have all these other obligations. Well, I think it’s amazing that you are providing so many different types of services. And I’m all about trying to find different ways to monetize your business and different ways to create multiple revenue streams within your business. I do want to encourage you not to wear yourself too thin. 

In the beginning, I think it’s great to explore, try and do a lot of different things while you’re still experimenting, figuring out what is it that you like, what really lights you up, what kind of thing work you want to continue doing. But I want to just lovingly encourage you and remind you that you don’t have to be everything to everyone. And this is especially true of your business. If you can hone it down to what are the essential services or products that you provide. 

And you may have known if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while that I’m a big believer in the whole 8020 rule with the Pareto principle. And if you’re not familiar with the Pareto principle, basically everything in the world basically breaks out into an 80/20. So usually, that means 20% of our efforts yield 80% of the results. So you might look at your products that you sell, there’s probably 20% of your full product suite yields 80% of your revenue. So I really encourage people to look at their business, their time, their costs everything through this lens and see where is that 80% and focus on that. And one really great book that I have read that really encourages people to niche down and focus and simplify is the Pumpkin Plan. So I’m going to go ahead and put that link in the show notes. Really great book that really hits this point home. So just some food for thought. I just see so many of you guys wearing yourselves too thin and being overwhelmed. And you’re doing more and more and more partly because you guys are people pleasers and you don’t want to say no, or maybe you see an opportunity and you want to take advantage of it. But I want you to start thinking about it in a strategic way. 

In the coming weeks. I’ve invited a few folks on this show and that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about. We’re going to be talking about how they’ve gone ahead and added multiple revenue streams in their business, but they’ve done it in a way where it’s not taking that much more time for them to do that. So if you’re not already a subscriber to the show, make sure to head on over to iTunes or Google Play and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on these interviews. 

Also, one last thing. I have a lot of new webinars coming up in the coming months. So make sure if you haven’t been back to the website in a while, make sure to stop by. And if you’re not already a subscriber to the email list, you can go ahead and join there. And so this way you can keep up to date on any future podcast episodes, any types of webinars or other news and legal goodness coming your way. 

So with that, said, my friend, I am going to wrap up here I’m gonna call it a day in a little bit, get my weekend started early. And I hope you have a fantastic day, regardless of when you’re listening to this, and I can’t wait to talk to you later.

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