© 2003 Vishal P. Rao
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
But what steps do you take to protect yourself and your livelihood?
Too many business owners spend all their time worrying about their customers' security without thinking of their own, even though small companies must often deal with customer fraud, non-paying clients, and more.
Just as you've taken steps to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their buying experience, so should you feel comfortable and secure by taking a few precautions of your own.
1. Get Everything in Writing
Written contracts are not just for helping customers understand what they can expect to receive for their money, they are about laying down ground rules for your business relationship. When these guidelines are in writing, nothing is left up for a debate or becomes a misunderstanding.
Both parties can be assured that their interests are being protected and both should have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities in event that something goes awry.
A good example would be if you sold a toy which a parent returned six months later because it was broken. Without a contract in writing specifying time limits and conditions of your return policy, you might end up with an ongoing battle wit customer which could result in lost business and even lawsuits.
Written contracts also don't need to be crafted by lawyers. You can write everything out yourself in ordinary, easy to understand language. When you and customer sign it, it becomes a legal and binding agreement. It's really that simple.