Vendors are those businesses who provide our businesses with products and services. We are their clients. They may provide us with IT management, software subscriptions, bookkeeping, accounting, cleaning, website design, marketing, consulting, promotional products, supplies and so on. And I include landlords in this category – we rent office space from them.
Our relationships with our vendors can be short term or long term. Depending on what they are providing us, we may benefit from having a well-defined relationship in the form of a written contract. For long term relationships – or for really important services – or really expensive products – it’s critical to have a written contract – for obvious reasons.
Most of the time, the vendors are established businesses and have their own contract that they 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 the time than to read through the contract carefully and think about what it means. So you sign and move on.
Some time later, a problem with the vendor arises. The contract says what it says – and it’s not helpful to you. Now you’re stuck. You live with it or you fight it. And neither is a good solution for a small business who can’t afford to waste resources.
Building your infrastructure in this area means you have two options:
You make yourself take the time to read the vendor contracts and learn what you need to know to make good decisions – before you sign.
Or you hire someone to review the contracts for you, explain what they mean – modify them as necessary to protect you – and you look them over before you sign.
If you want our assistance on either one of those options, call us at 904.860.3111 or visit our website at TheLegalDepartment.LAW.