When you first start working for yourself it can be easy to forget that you are not only here to help other people, but you also need to protect yourself and your business. As much as your friends, family, potential clients are supportive of you and your new venture, you need to get things in writing and most importantly hold people to those agreements.
There are many out there who are great with people and their craft, but they are not good at being business people. I have witnessed many entrepreneurs get walked all over because they didn’t have their clients sign contracts. This basically means that the client was running their business relationship, decided when they were going to show up and also WHEN they were going to pay them. In an effort, to gain more clients or retain your clients it’s easy to let ish slide. But being too nice will hurt your business. Once that client realizes they can do whatever they want, they will do exactly that. You no longer run the show, even though you SHOULD.
As an entrepreneur most people don’t realize (most are selfish) or don’t care that you have actual bills to pay. This is why you must have your people sign contracts. You can prevent having BS clients work with you by having them sign an agreement and holding them to that from the beginning. Trying to add rules later on may confuse, upset your client and in turn make things awkward for you or for them.
Most importantly, if there is a day where you need to go after someone for not paying you or violating such contract, that contract will and should allow you to legally pursue them for the funds that are owed to you. Verbal contracts can also legally be held up, but having a written contract is so much stronger.
Protect yourself and your business and please implement contracts into your business!
Here are things you should include:
- Names of both parties
- Date of the contract
- Expiration of Contract
- Scheduling Details
- Cancellation Policy
- Payment terms
- Late fees if applicable
- Liability waiver
- Clients signature
Here is a sample of a contract that I used with my personal training clients
On __________________ an agreement between ____________________ and Evelyn D. Fitness was entered into for ____________sessions.
Package Start Date: ____________(starts on purchase date, but will adjust to first session visit if first session visit is within 30 days of purchase)
Package End Date: _____________ (expires 30 days from Start Date)
Package Scheduling: Session’s must be booked at time of purchase to ensure Trainer availability. Each client is required to meet at least ONCE a week.
Session Start Time: Starts at scheduled session time and if late,a deduction in session time WILL occur. If you arrive more than 15-20 minutes late without notice, your session will be cancelled and that session forfeited.
Session Durations: 1 hour Session per Day (30 min where specified), 1x, 2x, 3x, or up to 4x Session(s) Weekly, for a maximum of 16 Sessions per Month (or 30 days) based on purchased Package.
Note: Due to the amount of schedule-able days in a 30 day period it is possible an additional session may need to be purchased before next reoccurring Package date.
Session Rescheduling: Based on trainer availability rescheduling can occur 24-hours BEFORE scheduled session. If cancellations occur excessively or after 24-hour period a session will be forfeited
Payments/Auto Billing: Clients will not be scheduled prior to a purchase of sessions. Clients have the option of being auto billed every month on a set date. Those being auto billedfor session payment will be charged a 25 dollar late fee PER DAY for late payment.
Partner Sessions: Will only be trained with a Partner. If your partner does now show you will be responsible for the remaining balance of the cost of a Private session or will have to reschedule when your partner is available.
Liability Release: I agree that Evelyn D. Fitness is in no way responsible for the safekeeping of my personal belongings. I hereby request the opportunity to participate in an exercise program consisting of physical exercise designed to improve cardiovascular efficiency, improve flexibility, and develop muscular strength and endurance. I hereby acknowledge that my participation in such program is entirely voluntary on my part and such participation is solely for my own pleasure and benefit. I realize that the physical fitness equipment provided can be potentially dangerous and that if I am not accompanied by a Trainer and unsure of the proper operation of any equipment, I should ask for assistance immediately. In addition, I understand that I should immediately cease using any malfunctioning equipment and report equipment in need of repair to Body Mechanix. It is possible that certain unhealthy changes may occur during exercise (e.g., dizziness/fainting, abnormal heart rhythms, and in rare instances, heart attacks). I agree that I, my heirs, assigns or legal representatives, will not sue or make any other claims of any kind whatsoever against Evelyn D. Fitness or Body Mechanix, or its members for any personal injury, property damage/loss, or wrongful death, whether caused by negligence or otherwise.
Package Cancellation: "You, the buyer, may cancel this agreement at any time prior to the midnight of the fifth business day of the health studio after the date of this agreement, excluding Sundays and holidays. To cancel this agreement, mail or deliver a signed and dated notice, or send an email through firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also cancel if you become disabled or deceased, and also if you move more than 25 miles from the facility. You may cancel on either of these grounds at any time, proof may be required.