When you’re about to take on a new product or service and the salesman smiles, hands you a contract, and says “Just sign there” do you just sign “there”? OR do you read the entire terms of what you’re about to sign to make certain you can comply to those terms and/or it’s not going to cost you something you weren’t aware of?

What about when you’re taking on new work? That tender document was a pain in the neck to fill out but you managed (you think) to put in everything they wanted. Did you read what happens if you can’t perform the way they want you to? It’s your business and you should be able to operate it the way you want to but will that cause a default under the Tender which could cost you thousands in compensation?

We’ve seen all sorts of creative terms and conditions and heard plenty of “Don’t worry – there’s nothing to worry about” speeches. Just because you have a company doesn’t mean you’re protected personally, or your partner, or your family, or your assets.

If the contract states that the other party can have access to everything and reach over to all of your personal assets for compensation, and you don’t understand that when you sign, and then something goes wrong that you didn’t even know or understand, then all of your hard work will be for nothing.

Don’t take the salesman’s word for anything, even if he owns the other business you’re contracting with. Make certain you have someone on your team who can read and interpret every part of every contract, discuss the implications of the terms with you, and make certain that you understand what your business needs to do to perform to that contract.

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