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View Full Version : What about forming a group to design business documents; legal and otherwise


tankman1989
10-11-2011, 10:27 PM
I am one of the people who purchased the Technibble Business pack and it does have some helpful documents. The problem is that there are many documents that I would like to have handy for various situations, that are not in the business pack. Also with the different legal systems in various countries it might do us well to get together and come up with situations for which we may need a pre-drafted letter. I can think of alomst 100 threads here where that would have helped.

So, I propose a couple things. One is that we come up with circumstances in which we would need to have a written contract or agreement and then for each circumstance we make a list of the things which need be included and things that should be left out (if any exist). This would have to be a community effort but I think it would make all of us more secure when dealing with all types of customers.

Another option is that we form a group and draft these same documents as best we can and then have someone in the legal profession look over them. I would suggest we include a very skilled paralegal to begin with for the first revision and then maybe have an attorney verify the contracts and agreements to see if we have made any mistakes.

I just started a social group on here and can be accessed by clicking the "community" tab above then select "social group" (http://www.technibble.com/forums/group.php) The group is called "Contract & Agreement writers "guild" :)"

Does anyone have any interest in this?

mraikes
10-11-2011, 10:41 PM
All this time and its never even occurred to me to click the "Community" link.

What's the difference between the communities vs different forums or threads?

callthatgirl
10-11-2011, 11:54 PM
The social groups aren't very useful from what I have seen, you can't discuss with the members anything privately or use it for anything really.

What about the wiki? Isn't that where this should be used?

nightkingdoms
10-12-2011, 08:54 PM
I actually have a lawyer that reviews all the contracts that I make and adds/changes things that he sees would be a problem. I thought of all sorts of contracts and forms that I would need or want and literally have dozens of forms all looked over and fully legal to protect me. After a while, I've learned one thing: Don't make multiple contracts.

I have recently within the last month or so consolidated my work order form and about 5 other forms into a single work order that covers everything for computer support, remote, in-home/-office or at my place. Clients don't like to deal with multiple forms and feel like they're signing away their life the more legalese you keep throwing at them.

My new work order now has numerous "options" that I select using checkboxes and have the full terms printed on the reverse of the pages (it's a 2-part duplicate form). They sign once before I touch their computer, once when I'm done, rip off the yellow copy and that becomes theres. I'm done. Online remote support is done using a digital copy of the form that gets sent to them using EchoSign for an e-signature. Literally any computer support work (I do more than just support) gets a work order signed before and after no matter what is done with their computer.

Consolidating everything makes it so that there's literally a full page of tiny little print (font point 7, btw lol) on the back, but I've found my clients don't mind signing one form twice in comparison to more than 5+ forms for the same job. If I was to pick up a computer for off-site work I'd have the work order, a repair order (just for off-site work), a parts order authorization form, blah, blah, blah. It became ridiculous even for me, let alone them and getting writers cramp from signing all the things.

K007
10-12-2011, 09:40 PM
That's why layers will never be all killed and sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Any lawyers in this forum, come forward, we will walk around telling every living thing how kindly you helped us for free.

Tony_Scarpelli
10-13-2011, 05:47 AM
I actually have a lawyer that reviews all the contracts that I make and adds/changes things that he sees would be a problem. I thought of all sorts of contracts and forms that I would need or want and literally have dozens of forms all looked over and fully legal to protect me. After a while, I've learned one thing: Don't make multiple contracts.

I have recently within the last month or so consolidated my work order form and about 5 other forms into a single work order that covers everything for computer support, remote, in-home/-office or at my place. Clients don't like to deal with multiple forms and feel like they're signing away their life the more legalese you keep throwing at them.

My new work order now has numerous "options" that I select using checkboxes and have the full terms printed on the reverse of the pages (it's a 2-part duplicate form). They sign once before I touch their computer, once when I'm done, rip off the yellow copy and that becomes theres. I'm done. Online remote support is done using a digital copy of the form that gets sent to them using EchoSign for an e-signature. Literally any computer support work (I do more than just support) gets a work order signed before and after no matter what is done with their computer.

Consolidating everything makes it so that there's literally a full page of tiny little print (font point 7, btw lol) on the back, but I've found my clients don't mind signing one form twice in comparison to more than 5+ forms for the same job. If I was to pick up a computer for off-site work I'd have the work order, a repair order (just for off-site work), a parts order authorization form, blah, blah, blah. It became ridiculous even for me, let alone them and getting writers cramp from signing all the things.

After I ran my construction company awhile I got beat out of some small amounts of money but I could see the ways that people could beat me. SO I came up with this 27 item contract on the back of my estimate form. It was legal sized three part form I had printed for about $1000. Immediately I noticed that my clients were pulling back. They hated signing a legal document. They hated all the ways that I wanted to protect myself. In my protecting myself I inadvertently brought up every scenario that could go wrong and I scared away half my clients. I know this because I was closing over 1 in 3 estimates before the contract and about 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 after the contracts.

The fronts of the estimates were perfect so I started drawing a line through the backs telling people those don't apply. Luckily most people didn't bother to read the fine print when you cross it off. So my closing average returned to 1 in 4 or 1 in 3.

Lesson learned, do not manage your business based on your worst clients, manage your business based on your best clients. Yes you are going to be get stuck for payment once in a while or doing something more than once even though it is not warranty but that is way cheaper than spelling out all the ways you can have a disagreement with your clients for all new clients to read.

RegEdit
10-13-2011, 07:38 AM
What about forming a group to design business documents; legal and otherwise
It's called LegalZoom.com

nightkingdoms
10-13-2011, 08:13 AM
Lesson learned, do not manage your business based on your worst clients, manage your business based on your best clients. Yes you are going to be get stuck for payment once in a while or doing something more than once even though it is not warranty but that is way cheaper than spelling out all the ways you can have a disagreement with your clients for all new clients to read.

I will happily provide, go over and explain my service terms with any client, I'm not trying to hide anything. In fact, I keep large print format copies of the terms just behind forms. My terms simply state the liability section, policy statements and how payment work.

Tony_Scarpelli
10-13-2011, 09:58 AM
I will happily provide, go over and explain my service terms with any client, I'm not trying to hide anything. In fact, I keep large print format copies of the terms just behind forms. My terms simply state the liability section, policy statements and how payment work.

I'm sorry I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I get from you that you are very much trying to cover all your bases and be upfront. I am just saying that I would rather discount service occasionally when some misunderstandings come up and keep all my customers than loose some because they feel that I or my contract is to legally sophisticated for them to deal with and choose to go with another contractor.

I am not disagreeing that your legal work is top notch and even needed at times. But if we hold out our worries with contracts its like carrying our feelings on our shoulders so to speak.

I have a shop so I post on my walls the major things: Your property will be considered abandoned and sold for charges if you do not contact us within 14 days of our last contact attempt, no other notice will be given. We do not accept checks. We do not give cash refunds. We are not responsible for your data even if you hired us to back it up or recover it for you. Then we have another poster with our prices. We have another poster about the good you do recycling PC technology with us.

But we don't have people sign our estimates which has the two major warnings; the abandoned equipment statement and the not responsible for your data. Other than that we try to keep it simple.

nightkingdoms
10-13-2011, 11:23 AM
It's actually downplaying the contract side. Most techs seem to be dismissive and condescending when they talk to their clients. Just like the legalese, computer jargon is confusing to clients. They literally expect you to be a... well, let's say "jerk". lol

My college background is actually in medicine and I always considered computers to be just a hobby before realizing the business potential. One of the biggest concepts you learn in medicine when it comes to patient care is informed consent. The core of the concept is that if the patient understands exactly what is happening to them to the point that they can extrapolate and explain it back to you, then it's no longer so scary.

The same concept applies to computers and legalese. If you take the extra few minutes to explain concepts in easy-to-digest bites, it's not scary anymore. In addition to it not being scary, they appreciate you taking the time and you will stand out amongst the crowd.

tankman1989
10-14-2011, 07:56 PM
That's why layers will never be all killed and sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Any lawyers in this forum, come forward, we will walk around telling every living thing how kindly you helped us for free.

IDK what/who the target of you comment was intended for but my idea was that we could come up with our own documents as best we could and then have them reviewed by a professional. Those who participate will get free use of the documents as long as they pay their share of the attorney fees.

Cornerstone Technologies
10-14-2011, 08:57 PM
IDK what/who the target of you comment was intended for but my idea was that we could come up with our own documents as best we could and then have them reviewed by a professional. Those who participate will get free use of the documents as long as they pay their share of the attorney fees.


I didn't get the comment either, but I also don't think it was directed at anyone, just trying to make a joke about lawyers. In all honesty, it was a bad joke.

But I have been reading this tread since its creation, and I think on the face of things, the idea is a good one. However, implementation of such a venture is a failure waiting to happen. Just suppose that you were able to form a group of ten people and collectively ten documents are implemented. Some people may have contributed some to one document, but maybe nothing to another. You will have infighting as to what constitutes a 'fair' share of fees. The other issue is simple a matter of geography. While I could theoretically I could have documents looked over by an attorney here in Pennsylvania that satisfies Pennsylvania law, the same protections and concepts are not necessarily transferable to another state like California or Alaska.

What instantly came to mind is the idea that this has already been addressed by this site in the form of the business kit. You say that the business kit is general and you need more specific things. It is general to give people that are starting out a place to.....well actually start. Besides, your idea is nothing more than having a more localized version of the Business Kit, which still doesn't address issues I might be having since the form was clearly written for someone else's situation in mind. It creates the same sort of problem. As you grow in this, or any field, it is reasonable to expect someone to explore options that are specific to their own business. If you need a form, draft one and have a lawyer look at it.

Another concern I just thought of is that forming such a group means that a single person is in control of interfacing with a lawyer. Who ever is at the very top can theoretically skim just a little bit from each contributor to enrich their self. A person can say they would 'never do that', but getting past any trust issue is difficult.

Your idea is good, but I don't see it working, even if you were to work out the geography and trust issues. I do not use the business kit from this site very often, as I have forms for many specific situations. However, they are very handy when I do need something new. I may not use them, but they give me a good starting point to customize my own.

Tony_Scarpelli
10-14-2011, 10:03 PM
I agree, I also think there is some value but not a cure all for someone who wants 100% of everything covered.

Most of the issues are probably federal law but then local laws would apply in the case of how best to confiscate abandoned equipment. Check collection policy and max fees for same.

As far as the laws governing business to business, most states agree to conform to UCCC where businesses function under the UCCC. To that extent it could be helpful.

At least this is what I remember from my business law classes two decades ago.

I have a lawyer who was a criminal and civil judge a few years back. I bet I can get her to look things over on a trade out.

K007
10-15-2011, 08:10 AM
IDK what/who the target of you comment was intended for but my idea was that we could come up with our own documents as best we could and then have them reviewed by a professional. Those who participate will get free use of the documents as long as they pay their share of the attorney fees.

So I would have to pay anyway lol.
Wouldn't be simpler to buy the 602 legal forms? http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Media-Legal-Forms-Guide/dp/B000N8MRAA

Yep, six hundred and two legal forms for 29 dollars