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Things To Put In Your Business Contract
Sean: Next question would be, what should be the important details included on your client contracts that are often overlooked by most companies?
All right. In SEO Hacker, we have to make sure that the payment terms are there and what the penalties are if the clients pay late. What would be the goal of the contract? Of course, first page rankings. One of the most important things as well now, during the pandemic, we added the no piracy clause, because we have found out that some of our past clients are trying to pirate people from our team. I thank God for those people who turned down those ridiculous offers by the way, ridiculous amounts of money, but they turned it down.
It’s about how you treat people. It’s about the culture. The culture will keep your business from breaking down because you get to keep people who are like you, who like to work with you, who love your company culture, because you were intentional enough to build it that way. Also you have to put in the breakdown of your services, the acknowledgement. What’s that called? Notary. The notary. The notary is important because if it isn’t notarized, it’s not binding with the law and you can use that for litigation. So those are some of the important things that you have to put in your contract.
JM: Just make sure that you both have your signature on it.
Sean: That’s right. Yeah. A contract is useless without a signature. And there may be some people who are wondering, why do we need a contract if we know each other and you know, we trust each other? I just want you to know that not having a contract will make things a lot messier someday when there’s a breach of your verbal agreement or there’s a breach of your supposed agreement. It makes it a lot messier and sometimes would break the relationship. So do what you need to have a contract that’s good and binding and both of you agree with, and that is to protect your relationship. Humans cannot operate just on trust value now. Sadly. If we could, there would be no need for contracts. But not everyone has the integrity of Christ.
Next question from Patrick. What are the tools or apps that have been very helpful to you with regards to managing your receivables?
What we use is FreshBooks. It’s a very widely known software that you pay for every month and it’s cloud-based. So it’s online. What I love about it, everything’s there. It’s really for billing clients. We put the client name or contact and their email address. They have the option to pay via PayPal. There’s also a follow up. So when the client doesn’t pay, it automatically follows up on intervals that you also set.
So for example, the next three days, it will send follow ups every day that, “Hey, your statement is now overdue.” That’s what I love about it. But does that work? Not all the time. That’s why our account managers still have to have really good relationships with our clients because they call them and they text them. Sometimes they have to send a gift to the company owner so they may already release the check. So it’s about relationships. At the end of the day, business is about people. It’s not just about money.
JM: I love how you answered that. More than the tools and apps, it’s the relationships. And I agree with that. Because on my end, I only follow up through texts and through emails. And I think in PayPal also, they have this tool wherein you can send your invoice to a client.
But Sean, my question is, is there an app or a tool that’s free to those who are just starting their business that you can give?
Sean: When I was starting out, how I build clients would be through PDF and I send it out to them via email manually. So, unfortunately, no. Because when you send out an invoice, there’s a certain format for the client to easily see it. Right? The logo should be there in the upper left. The amount of how much they should pay should also be there. It should be broken down with a VAT or withholding or with percentage tax, which is 3% I think. So it’s all in there, it’s all broken down in there.
So there’s a certain format and that’s why we use a word file, save it as PDF, and we send it to the clients. That’s when I was starting out. It’s easier, cheaper, and we didn’t have the number of clients we have now. Now we have more than fifty clients we’re billing. But before, I had like I don’t know, ten clients or less? It can easily be done through email
JM: Yeah. And Sean just to add to that as well, if you want it to look presentable, canva.com have also free templates for your invoices. So you can just check that out as well.
Sean: There you go. Next question is, in an online business or services like SEO Hacker, what is the payment process or terms like for your customers? How do they pay?
Well, usually our clients would just do bank deposits. Easy for us. We send them the invoice. In the invoice, our bank account number and name are there, and they just do bank deposit. There are some clients who are super nice, they give us the post-dated checks. We really appreciate and love those clients by the way. And I have to mention them here, ELID. They’re a company in San Juan and they do all of the security, technology behind buildings in BGC, some of the five star hotels out there, integrated technology from the CCTV, parking to hotel locks, all integrated in one place. It’s amazing what they’re doing and they pay post-dated checks, so I love that client. I love what they’re doing.
And there are some clients who also pay via PayPal. There are also some clients who pay via wire transfer. There are a lot of ways on how our clients pay us. Clients who pay us via wire transfer are our clients from China. So it really varies. But whatever it is, what’s important is you get paid. You make sure you get paid. Cause if you don’t get paid, that’s a loss and you’re increasing your chances of bleeding out.
JM: I agree with you, Sean. And this is specifically for online businesses or services. So mine is online services. And for now I have online banking or PayPal just for those outside the Philippines, for international clients. But to those from the Philippines, it’s either through online banking or through Gcash. So those are just the three options, but some also for online businesses, they also have PayMaya. So yeah, there are a lot of options right now for online businesses. But I like what you said Sean, as long as they pay, that is what’s important.
Sean: That’s right. It’s funny that I have to mention that maybe some of you guys are wondering that, why must Sean say, “as long as you get paid”? It’s because there are some businesses that are too nice. They just agree to things that, “Yeah, it’s okay to not pay me yet.” Guys, don’t be accustomed to it. You need to get paid because you delivered value, you should be paid for that value. Otherwise, it’s your baby, it’s your business that is going to suffer. Because that’s the life blood. Again, that’s the life blood of your business.
What do you usually discuss with your clients’ yearly or quarterly meetings or reports?
We discuss the rankings. We discuss new keywords we would want to tackle. We discuss the direction once we achieve, for example, the first page rankings early. We also discuss what else we can do for the client, maybe they want to take on our conversion rate optimization services, site speed, and site security among others. And we have a good time doing that. That’s what’s most important, because we get together, we build the relationship, we ask how each other’s doing, how’s the business, how’s the family. I think that’s the most important part, more than talking numbers and more than talking shop. It’s about talking about how each other is doing and building the relationship better.