If you don’t know where to start with your legal foundations: this is it!
I mean, if I were your fairy Godlawyer, and I could grant you one thing, a great client contract would be it.
It is the handsome prince of the contract world. It is the one thing that is most likely to lead to you and your coaching business living happily ever after!
So instead of continually placing it at the bottom of your never ending to-do list, put on your positive pants and start to take action. You will feel so good when you have a solid client contract in place: I promise you.
To help you on your way, here are the 3 main areas you need to cover in your coaching contract:
This is what sets a solid foundation for your relationship with your clients and will save you hassle further down the line.
The main place where you create this beautiful clarity is in the description of your products and services.
In a one to one contract you should have a services description and in online terms and conditions you should include the detail in the programme description which is referenced in your ts and cs.
When writing the description, this is the question you should have in the back of your mind “If a client has a wobble at some point in the future, what are the nuts and bolts of what I am providing, so I can point to this list and show I have done all the things I promised?” So we are not talking results or marketing speak here – we are talking: number of sessions; length of sessions; amount of support in between; materials to be provided and so on.
As you know, it is crucial to set healthy boundaries with your coaching clients – and it is important that these boundaries flow through to your client contract.
Set out your policies (for refunds, changing sessions etc) clearly in your contract. Your clients are more likely to respect them and the exercise of setting them out will make you be disciplined and think it all through properly.
Define what your role is as coach – the fact that you do not provide medical treatment – and the responsibility your client has for taking action. You are a coach, after all, not a miracle worker!
Spoiler alert: sometimes, no matter how good a coach you are, things go wrong. And the more people you help with your coaching, the more likely that things will go wrong from time to time.
A good limitation of liability clause means when they do, you will only be on the hook for what is reasonable, and not for nasties such as loss of profits and consequential loss. Upshot: the most you want to be liable for if you mess up is a refund.
Hint: this is the clause that helps you sleep soundly at night. And if you have a partner and jointly own any assets with them (like your family home) this is also the clause that will help THEM sleep soundly at night. Taking sensible precautions to protect you and your assets is just the responsible thing to do.
Now you know how important this is, don’t stop here – check out my legal essentials package for coaches to get your essential protection in place.