No Contract, No Service – Why You Need to Get It In Writing

Living the Life

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No Contract, No Service – Why You Need to Get It In Writing

Apr 25, 2023 | Living the Life

No Contract, No Service – Why You Need to Get It In Writing

Apr 25, 2023 | Living the Life

Contracts are an essential tool for your Solo PR business. According to, “the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings; it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern.” 

Imagine walking into a store to buy a brand-new appliance. There are many choices, but a knowledgeable salesperson walks you through features and benefits, helping you select the one that meets your needs. You discuss the price and delivery details and walk out of the store. You trust that someone will deliver your appliance on the agreed-upon date, and you will pay upon arrival. This scenario would never happen, yet this happens in far too many PR businesses.

You're It! One Step in Running a Successful Business

Far too often, solo and small PR agencies verbally agree to terms with clients and begin work without a contract. It is vital to get it in writing to avoid misunderstandings about the scope and expected outcomes and, in severe cases, non-payment.

Whether you have a project or longer-term engagement, you and the client must agree to terms in writing before starting work. 

If you are a new public relations business owner, you may feel overwhelmed by managing the business and getting the work done. Part of managing your business is finding and managing clients. Establishing clear expectations and boundaries is critical; this is where having a contract becomes essential.

A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties that outlines the terms of their working relationship. It lays out the rights and obligations of each party and specifies the conditions under which the work will be performed. By having a contract in place before starting work, small agency owners can protect themselves from various risks and ensure that both parties are on the same page.

Ditch the Handshake for the Power of the Pen

Below are three key benefits of having a written contract.

Contracts help you to set clear expectations. One of the key benefits of a written contract is that it helps to minimize the risk of disputes and misunderstandings. PR business owners can avoid disagreements with their clients or subcontractors by clearly outlining the scope of the work, the timeline, and the payment terms. This not only saves time and money but it helps you to maintain positive relationships all around.

It shows you are a business owner. Another fundamental reason to have a written contract is that it helps to establish credibility and professionalism. By presenting a formal agreement to clients or subcontractors, you demonstrate that you are serious about your work and committed to delivering high-quality service. A contract helps clients to see you as a legitimate business and can go a long way in building trust.

Protect your business. Contracts can provide legal protection for you and the client. A good contract will cover all the necessary elements of your and the client’s relationship, setting the stage for a smooth and successful engagement. If something goes wrong, such as scope creep or non-payment, your contract provides written evidence of the agreement. If a dispute arises to the level of legal intervention, your contract will be a key piece of information.

In conclusion, having a contract is an essential component of doing business for small business owners. By outlining the terms of the working relationship and establishing clear expectations, contracts help to minimize the risk of disputes and protect Solo PR pros if something goes wrong. Contracts also help to establish credibility and professionalism, which can be invaluable when building your business.

On this blog, we have addressed contracts often. We wrote an entire ebook called Get It In Writing to help solo and small PR agencies through the contract process. Grab your free copy today, and if you are a Solo PR Pro Premium member, grab your copy with customizable templates here.

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Written By Karen Swim
Karen Swim is the President of Solo PR and Founder of public relations agency, Words For Hire.