Vendors are those businesses who provide our businesses with products and services. We are their clients; they may provide us IT management, software subscriptions, bookkeeping, accounting, cleaning, website design, marketing consulting, materials, promotional products, supplies, and so forth. I include landlords in this category because we rent office space from them. Our relationships with vendors can be short-term, or they can be long-term, depending on what they’re providing us. We may benefit from having a well-defined relationship in the form of a written contract for long-term relationships, or really important services, or for really expensive products it’s critical to have a written contract for obvious reasons.
Most of the time, the vendors are established businesses, and they have their own contracts they want to use. Then it’s just a matter of you reviewing it and making sure it’s the same as your understanding. Here’s where the problem comes up. You’re busy; you don’t like to read tedious contracts. You have so many other ways to spend your time than to read through the contract, and carefully understand what each term means. So you just sign it, and you move on without reading it or without understanding it.
Sometime later, a problem comes up with your vendor. The contract says what it says, and it’s not good for you. Now you’re stuck. You either live with it, or you fight it, and neither option is good for small businesses who can’t afford to waste their resources, so building your infrastructure in this area means you have two options. You make yourself take the time to read this vendor’s contract, and you learn what you need to know to make good informed business decisions before you sign it. Or, number two, you hire someone to review the contract for you, explain to you what it means, modify the terms as needed to protect you, and then you take a look over it before you sign.
If you want our assistance with either one of those options, give us a call at our office at 904-860-3111 or take a look around our website.