• ingramlaw-ny

New Year, Old You, New Contracts

I know it drives most FitPros crazy when a big box plays up the New Year as a new year, new you marketing strategy. I have been to a big box in the weeks after the calendar turns to a new year and the strategy clearly works because there is not a machine to be found or a locker that is not in use. But that is not always the strategy of smaller or boutique facilities. It is difficult to not use the New Year in some form in marketing and I understand that completely. But there is another use for the New Year that has nothing to do with how you promote your business. It has everything to do with how you run your business which is just as important.

The New Year is a perfect time to go over your contracts and to figure what who you may need to renew, who may need to have their relationship with you refreshed, and what services may need to be reviewed. This is the perfect time to take a look at how you have been handling your business and ways you can improve.

Contracts do not necessarily have to be just a basic membership agreement. If you're doing it right it should include your business partners, financial institutions, lease, equipment agreements, waivers, and employment contracts, including those for independent contractors.

Contracts are truly the lifeblood of any good business. Sure you can muddle along and not have a good contract in place or none at all. The lack of a contract would be fine until you get to the point when you are sued for something or there is a dispute as to how or when something should take place or even if someone has knowledge that an event is taking place. The importance of a good contract becomes crystal in this circumstance. I know how tempting it is to just avoid the legal set up of a company. It's not cheap and it does not seem like a necessity right now. This is the best time to take a look at what you have and make upgrades before you get too far down the road of the year.

For your client contracts, take look at the language for membership payments, auto debit, and scope of service. Also make sure you have the appropriate language for protection for natural disaster as well as legal involvement for violation of any terms. This is an great time to make sure that the client has their payment method up to date, that they can change it if necessary and that every member has the same contract and terms.

This is also an excellent time to get all of your equipment leases and financial agreements in order. Make sure you have the best rate, the most effective form of payment and attempt to negotiate any that may need some attention, or all of them. it can't hurt to try.

Finally, take a look at your lease. You likely cannot get out of a lease or negotiate the specific terms but you can try to extend it with better terms or make some capital improvement that may require some negotiation with the landlord for payment or approval.

Lastly (this is it, I promise) take a look at your employee contract and handbook. Keep it updated with changes to policy and procedure based on the pandemic and changes the pandemic may have required. Keep everyone aware of expectations and review with them their schedules, performance and any other changes they should be aware of.

Now is the time to invest in your business and do it right. New Year, Better Business. Feel free to schedule an appointment to have your contracts reviewed and stay tuned for videos, podcasts and information to come on this topic.

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