Whilst ignorance is not a defence, ignorance can cause confusions which often leads to problems or disputes. Understandably when you are running a small business, avoiding these types of situations is beneficial.
Ignorance of the law as we know is no defence and can often lead to problems and costly legal battles. In short, ignorance is bad for business – which is why having a well-drafted contract written in an accessible style can be a small business best friend. That awareness is a key skill to obtain when building a business.
A contract written in a style that is readable and understandable is good for your clients, as well as the business. Legalese speak can often confuse clients or customers, and this confusion can lead to a breakdown in communication, non-payment and disputes. Especially for small businesses, this can lead to serious problems.
Small businesses need to have clarity and transparency, which can be shown through a well-drafted contract that protects both the business and the customer. By taking the time to have this drafted you are helping to sustain your business, by giving your clients trust in you. An understandable contract will go a long way for a client and often encourage them to use you again. They know the terms of the agreement they are entering into and know what is expected of both parties. If they can understand the contract then it encourages them to adhere.
Whilst ignorance from clients will, for the most part, be genuine, some may use it to their advantage. An ambiguous contract gives clients the excuse to act in a negative way, as they cannot understand it. They can use this misunderstanding to avoid their contractual responsibilities.
Understandably, small businesses can often believe that they don’t need a contract, or they are too busy to have one done. A contract won’t always stop disputes happening, but a well-drafted set of terms and conditions will help to prevent them. It allows the business owner to manage risks better if the clients understand the contract.
Making the legalities of a business accessible to clients is good business practice. Businesses should not be interested in clouding disputes with an ambiguous contract, as it wastes precious time and money.
General confusion caused by a misunderstanding can have devastating effects on a small business, and it’s important to try and avoid these situations. Giving your clients a contract they can be read and understood will help to reduce problems, and encourage loyalty. Just think, would you buy something if you weren’t quite sure what you were getting?