The Real Reason You Do Agreements

I’ve talked with so many business owners recently who are doing business with undocumented agreements.

Hand shake deals.

They tell me they intend to get it done, but we both know the truth … they won’t.

I get it – I experience a lot of my own personal resistance to getting agreements documented.

Getting written agreements in place brings up a lot of stuff that can be challenging to deal with.

Just the other day though I was reminded of how important it is.

Tina Forsyth hired me to create custom Terms of Service for the website for her THRIVE Hiring System and a template agreement that business owners who invest in the THRIVE Hiring System can use before hiring.

Before I began work, I sent Tina an agreement confirming what I understood the scope of work to be and it’s a good thing I did because I was slightly wrong about what I thought I was doing for her.

Had I gotten right to work without sending her the agreement for review/signature (as many of you are doing!), I would have wasted my time and hers.

This is why you do agreements – clarity, certainty, the best possible chance of success in your relationships, which means more work with less time and more ease.

Who knew you could get all that from an agreement?!?

Do you use agreements in all your business dealings? If not, why not? How can I help?


  1. Gabriella O'RourkeSaturday, July 24, 2010 at 3:43 am 

    Alex – You're so right! As a new and growing business it is so tempting to do business on a shake and a prayer. We're so busy building relationships and being grateful that people want to work with us that we don't imagine we'll need anything so formal as an agreement. But it is essential for exactly the reasons you describe – to manage expectations and to clarify deliverables. That way there is no reason for the work to not meet expectations or to run the risk of not being paid…
    By the way – love your voice – its very authentic…. Looking forward to reading the archives and catching more…

  2. StatelyWordWednesday, July 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm 

    As a freelance web developer/blogger I've run into many instances (early in my efforts) where getting paid was an issue or delivering less than expected. You probably have a different project scope in your head than they do. Once those issues come up, it's a never ending battle. I've learned to outline the project and all details prior to starting. It might take an hour, even two to get that information together and you will likely not charge for it but it will keep everyone on track and in the same state of mind.

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