Imagine this scenario: you’re a photo editor and you’ve delivered an edited catalog to one of your clients. Thinking all is well, you delete the catalog from your computer and your Dropbox folder in order to free up space. A week later, your client comes back to you and says that the client is unhappy and they need some adjustments. Whoops. Who is responsible for it at that point? Is it your fault for not keeping the catalog longer? Is it theirs for not telling you sooner? Refer to your contract! Oh wait…you don’t have one…
Where It All Began
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with an acquaintance about my business. She, being a lawyer, had all kinds of questions about my contract and if it included A, B, and C. Slightly embarrassed, I replied, “Well, I don’t have a contract. I haven’t really needed it, and I don’t even know what it would include.” She immediately brought a list of points that I needed to be protected from when it comes to running my editing business. I realized then and there that I had been doing it all wrong, and I NEEDED a contract.
When I first started my business, I knew deep down that it would be wise to have a contract. Honestly, though, I had no idea where to even start looking for a lawyer who could help me. Not only that, but I knew it would cost a lot, and I couldn’t afford it. It’s easy to brush off contracts, especially as a new business owner. You don’t have money to hire a lawyer, so you either:
- Write your own and hope that it is detailed enough to keep you protected
- Operate your business without one
Yikes! Those options are never ideal, but a lot of us have done it. Maybe you’ve never had an issue like the one above, but here’s a scenario that a lot of people can relate to: unpaid or late invoices. You finished a catalog, sent the invoice, and your client has cut off all communication with you. Without a contract, you will probably end up having to eat the loss. But, if you have a contract, you have protection! More protection means more options are available to you!
Stop Ignoring The Need for Contracts
I see a lot of photo editors operating their businesses without a contract, and it can be really risky as a business owner. There are a few things I’ve run into this past year that could have been settled quickly if I had a contract in place. This is why I’m implementing one starting this year, and this is why I’m telling you that you NEED to do the same!
I recommend The Legal Paige for all of your contract needs! They have TONS of contracts for small business owners, including: photo editors, makeup artists, photographers, florists, graphic design, furniture rentals, DJ’s, event planners, etc. They also have contracts for virtual assistants, podcast speakers, online business managers, model releases, LLC operating agreements, online courses, and coaching. There are so many, I can’t even name them all here — you just have to check it out!
Don’t Go Unprotected
Now I want to be honest with you: this post includes affiliate links to The Legal Paige. This means that if you purchase a contract through this link in this post, I will receive a small commission from the sale. However, I chose to sign up for their affiliate program because I believe they are providing the BEST contract template for private photo editors! Other template shops just have a basic contractor template and call it a Private Photo Editor template, but Paige actually worked with an editor when creating this contract, so it contains everything you need to get started in your editing business!
In less than 3 minutes, you can get your hands on attorney-prepared and peer-reviewed contracts to send to your clients! Just download them, copy/paste them into your management program, update the details, and SEND! It’s really that easy. AND there should be some great deals on contracts on Black Friday! So tell me: are you ready to take the next step and protect your business?
If you don’t want to use my link — no hard feelings! I just ask that you consider this resource because it will save you hundreds of dollars! I just want you to be protected!
*This post contains affiliate links: don’t worry, I only recommend products I love and use myself!
Contracts are so important. They make running your business easy by setting expectations. Great article!
I am currently doing my annual review of contracts and terms and this is such an incredible reminder! Thanks heaps for this post! very helpful !
Getting contracts set up is a must for any new business. It may seem like a lot up front but no amount of money is more important than peace of mind and knowing that you’re covered.
Oh my goodness, this is such an important blog post! All it takes is one bad apple situation and you’ll be kicking yourself for the rest of your days for not being protected. What’s more, the contract adds to your company’s legitimacy. Awesome resources, thanks for sharing!
Contracts are the number one important thing you can do for your business! thanks for sharing this resource- i will definitely take a look at their stuff for some new facets of my business!
I really appreciate this post! I’ve been trying to decide if and when I need a contract. I don’t know anything on the legal side so I’m glad you brought a few things to light!
Thank you for this post! Having a great contract is soooo important! I’m not familiar with The Contract Shop, but I will definitely be looking into it!
Having a contract, even as a creative business, is so important! That’s cool it sounds like the Contract Shop has different contracts for different businesses — what a makeup artists needs is different from what a photographer needs!
Any size business would benefit from having contracts. In fact, any situation that involves an agreement between two parties, albeit personal or business, can absolutely benefit from contracts. No room for inconsistency and confusion.
I couldn’t agree more! Contracts (agreements) are essential when running a business. It really protects both parties and is useful in making the transaction clear. Great stuff!
Great post! Contracts are so important!
It REALLY makes people trust the business more that is for sure. I could never give my money to someone without knowing its backed by something and trust me everyone gets that one person that the contract saved the day for. I love this all business people need this.
I learned the hard way how important contracts were between us and a potential client. Even with a professionally made contract I encounter clients who are weary of signing it, or unhappy with the clauses that are specifically there to protect myself. Thank you so much for reiterating the importance of having a legal document to protect yourself, and your business. I even have contracts for my second shooters as well.
It seriously makes me cringe when people tell me they have been running their business without any contracts. It’s crazy that people do that!
Contracts are so important. Seriously the only reason I can sleep well at night! So glad you found the contract shop to help you figure out all your contract needs!
Everyone thinks, “It can’t/won’t happen to me”… and then it happens to them! Contracts are essential…. they may seem like a hassle but it’s important to protect yourself and your clients will appreciate the security it gives them as well.
This is wonderful info. A contract is definitely a must. I always ask for contract for bigger collaborations.
I think every creativepreneur needs to take a look at this post! Very helpful!!
[…] If you’re like me all those years ago, you might be thinking, “What would possibly go into an editing contract? It seems so straightforward.” But trust me when I say that there are so many things that could go wrong that you probably aren’t even realizing. This is why we have a contract in place! It protects us from anything that could go wrong. If you haven’t seen my previous blog post about why contracts are so important, you can find that post here! […]