Many businesses these days are finding it hard to acquire and keep good staff, resulting in everyone having to do more with less. 

With stretched resources, and lack of time, you can’t have your attention on everything. 

So do we have to accept it as a reality of the world we operate in, that mistakes will happen? Do we have to learn to live with that sense that we are just waiting for the next fire to put out? Or is there a way we can put things into place to protect your business? 

There are a few simple things you can do with very little effort, that will help stay on course, without being everywhere all the time… and no it doesn’t involve cloning! 

Just knowing that you have good frameworks in place, the right contracts ready to go, or just an industry expert on call when you need them, can help you keep your business running smoothly and steadily, even when (or especially when) things get crazy. 

Here are a few tips.

 

Setting up your contracts 

 

If you haven’t looked properly at your base contracts in a while (or you don’t have any base contracts!) you may have the sense that you have gaps, areas where you are not covered properly, things that don’t fit any more. You may have a nagging feeling that if something were to go wrong you’d be exposed. Or you might find your contracts are taking too long to set up, as you need to rework things each time, patch them together from different places, or they just go back and forth with clients.  

 

Having anindustry specialist lawyer who knows the business well can help you make the process of updating your contracts as smooth as possible. They will know what the latest shifts in the market are, what clauses you need to have in there and what they should look like. 

 

They will also know what clients these days are willing to accept and what clauses are never going to fly, so you are presenting a contract that is more in line with the market – a little bit of time spent getting this right now will save you hours and hours (at the worst possible time) later. 

 

A specialist lawyer will know the most important things within contracts to safeguard your business, and how to structure them in a way that gets through with more commercial ease. You don’t need to spend hours in meetings explaining to the lawyer how your business works and doing the heavy lifting on what you want in your contracts. An expert will know this implicitly know how your business works because they work with people in your position every day, and will be able to guide you through this process quickly. 

 

Once you know you have the right cover in your contracts, you can have the confidence knowing the main things are covered and your business is safeguarded. 

 

A lawyer on call 

 

It can make a big difference to know that you have a lawyer who gets your business, available on the other end of the phone at any time, who can step in to help and is in your corner. 

 

An industry lawyer can give advice that is commercially on point, to help you iron out those issues that crop up. You can ask them to step in to take on the load with things like contracts, regulatory advices, clearance reviews and quick sense checks on ideas. 

 

In times when things are super busy and you are extra stretched, having a lawyer who can operate just like your in-house counsel, as and when you need it, can help you keep the steady focus on your business. It doesn’t have to be hard to set this up, with retainers and engagements, it can be a simple phone or email away. 

 

Clearance processes

 

You simply can’t be in all places at the same time! You can’t be at every concept development meeting, every client presentation, seeing every email or estimate that goes out. Your staff may not have the experience to pick up on every detail, and may not know about the things that have blown up in the past. 

 

Mistakes may be  repeating themselves, as things get missed. The estimate that does not match the brief, or the idea that gets presented without picking up a trade mark issue, or the talent that is signed up with the wrong outdated contract, or with usage rights missing. 

 

These things can usually be sorted out with the client but it can be expensive as you cover the costs of the mistake – pay out for the additional usage rights, or absorb the difference. None of this is great for business, even if you can smooth things over with the client.  But it is possible to do some things that manage these issues in advance, and keep the positive momentum and equilibrium going: 

 

  • You can brief a lawyer to set up some processes for you. This could be something as simple as a rule book or checklist for clearance reviews. 

 

  • It can also be updating and setting up a process for your estimates and PO documents to keep things streamlined. 

 

  • You can make sure your supplier documents are still working for you and updated. 

 

  • You can set up a training session for new staff (Anisimoff runs complementary Q&A sessions on current topics for clients such as contracts, IP, big issues in advertising, and promotions 101) to keep them up to date with the latest, so they know when to put their hand up and check something. 

 

The good thing is that you don’t need to do this all at once, you can tick things off to suit your priorities, one at a time, we can even set up a roadmap tailored for you. Or you can come to us as needed for just that one review, that one clause that looks wrong, that one idea clearance. There really is no job too small and all it takes is an email to us and we can work with you at your pace (as fast as you want us to run!). 

 

Just knowing that you have good frameworks in place, the right contracts ready to go, or just an industry expert on call when you need them, can help you keep your business running smoothly and steadily, even when (or especially when) things get crazy.   

 

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