We’ve been watching the filings of mechanics liens and noticing how the big guys always seems to win and the little guys often get the short end of the stick. We think there’s more to this than size. The main difference is preparation. Are you unprepared for business? We’d like to offer a proposal to improve the situation.
As a contractor, a craftsman or a worker, you have the right to expect to be paid for your work. Funny thing is, most working guys think they can’t afford a lawyer. It seems to us that he can’t afford to be without one. There are two times you can consult an attorney:
- before things are a mess.
- after things are a mess
Did I mentions that the former is much cheaper than the latter?
The first thing a contractor has to realize is that he is entering a contract. An unprepared contractor says to the customer, “I’ll do some work for you and you’ll for it. You’re good for it, right?” Often such a verbal contract will work out. Of course, the time it doesn’t work out will involve a bigger money or a more difficult job and the loss will be a big deal. That’s when you will end up paying your profits to the lawyer just to get your expenses back and that’s if your lucky.
A more professional approach is to use estimate or proposal forms with a cost estimate block and an acceptance and authorization signed by the customer. You’ll have a lot fewer arguments when you get it in writing. We contacted the Heuser Law Office for permission to copy some templates from their website that might be just what you need. This is a suggested style: Proposal1 or Proposal2
(Created from templates found at Heuser Law Office in MS Publisher and MS Word)
When you start the relationship off right, you are in a better position to complaint about breaches and break ups. The business contract is a lot like a pre-nup in life. When the relationship is good, it seems unnecessary. When the romance is over, you’ll b e glad you did it. And if you want to really do right, you can have the form printed on multi-part paper so you can give the customer a signed “carbon” copy.
Call the Heuser Law Office [(502) 458-6879] for other form and printing suggestions.