An introduction to the basics of contract management

No matter what type of business you have, it’s likely you’ll have contracts with clients or customers that outline the expectations of both parties. A good contract will be clear and easy to understand, and you should be able to reference it at any time if you have questions about what was agreed.

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Negotiating contracts

Once you’re approached by a client or customer, you’ll need to agree on the basics. This will include the work to be done or product to be supplied, when it will be delivered, the price to be paid, and when payment will be made.

Once you’ve agreed terms, you’ll need to get everything down in writing. You could write your contract from scratch, but there are also plenty of templates out there to follow that can make your life easier. This includes the ones available through supplier management software.

Finally, all contracts must be signed by all parties to be valid and reduce any risk of future disputes or non-payment.

Managing the contract

Many people think that once the contract is signed, that’s it and there is nothing to do but get on with the work. This isn’t the case, however. Once the contract is signed, you will need to make sure you meet any terms or conditions laid out within it and that you invoice for work in line with any agreed payment plan.

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In addition to providing templates for contracts, supplier management software such as that provided by Supplier Management Software company Contractswise will help you keep track of what has been agreed and provide automated reminders when invoices need to be raised. If your contract is for ongoing work or needs to be renewed annually, the software will also remind you to contact your client or customer prior to any end date to make sure there is no break that could cost you money.

Although you could manually manage your contracts, using contract management software is one of the best ways to make sure you stay on top of any agreements you have in place and is something every business owner – especially those who are new to contract management – should consider if they’re looking to save time and money and maintain positive relationships with customers.

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