Having a contract agreement with your learners/clients has many benefits. Contract agreements make my life easier in many ways. They are legal promises, not just “empty promises.” Personally, I don’t enjoy surprises or unexpected twists. I want to enjoy my work/projects and get the most out of them.
Oral agreements might mean nothing. Contracts make personal agreements legal. I had some situations when I agreed with my learners on something. Then they told me, “we didn’t agree,” “I never told this,” and “you never told this.”
Contract agreements guarantee that your learners will pay the exact sum of money you would like and when you would like to receive your payments. Also, they ensure confidentiality between two or more parties. Finally, the official agreements let you work on your terms and conditions.
Setting boundaries is essential as well. For example, suppose you’re annoyed when your learners cancel lessons and don’t pay for them, if you are irritated when your learners forget about scheduled classes, etc. Then you may benefit from this article.
What to write
Start brainstorming what you want from your clients and what you can promise them.
Write it all down. It will be your rough draft.
My examples of what I want (I don’t want much):
I want to be paid on time or upfront (I state the payment deadlines).
Second, I want my client to pay for missed classes (I have a paragraph where I state the 24 h consolation).
I want to be sure that my clients know when we have meetings (I create schedules in my Google Calendar, clients receive emails, and they confirm the dates plus time). Thus I can see that the sessions are confirmed. In addition, Google Calendar automatically converts time. Since I have clients worldwide, we live in different time zones (duh). So I don’t have to use additional tools to convert time.
I want to be sure that everything is confidential.
After that, think of what you can give/promise to your learners.
Some of my examples:
Confidentiality (you won’t reveal any info);
If I cancel a lesson less than 24 h before the beginning of a class, the next class is at my expense;
Deadlines for the projects;
Discounts (e.g., the more lessons they buy, the more significant discounts they get);
Provide free handouts and other materials;
Send a (rough) syllabus;
Check homework in between lessons free of charge;
Answer questions in between lessons (once you have some free time).
These are my examples.
Consult a lawyer
Next, you may want to call a lawyer and ask to compose a whole document.
After that, the critical part is to ask your clients to sign it. I, and I am sure you too) prefer to stay on the safe side, right? We don’t want situations such as “she said, he said,” plus “I didn’t know it,” “we didn’t agree on …”.
Moreover, in many countries, we need contract agreements for tax offices.
Here you may find 38 free templates of contract agreements.
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