A contract gives clients a blueprint of how your business operates, and lets them know what you expect from them in return for your services. A written agreement also protects your interests in case a parent decides to sue you. However, business models evolve, policies change, and situations arise that you didn’t think to cover when you originally drafted your agreement; so just like shoes, handbags, and clothes, contracts get outdated, and sometimes need to be revamped.
With the end of the year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take a look at your written agreement to see if it needs to be updated. This way, you can have it ready to hand out to your clients just in time for the New Year.
So How Do You Revamp Your Contract Without Causing an Uproar?
When businesses revamp their policies and procedures, the changes are not always welcomed by their clients, but they do it anyway. They don’t do it because they are trying to “stick it” to the customer (not usually, anyway), but because the changes are necessary to protect interests, ensure survival of the business, and keep confusion to a minimum.
The good news is that if contractual changes are reasonable, people who get bent out of shape over your revamped policies will usually get over it. Of course, you’ll have an occasional parent who will pack up her tyke, and hightail it to another facility, just to teach you a lesson. However, as long as you provide outstanding care for children, most parents won’t waste their energy searching for another childcare provider.
Parents show a positive response to respect and common courtesy, so don’t just spring contractual changes on them, and expect them to conform overnight. Notify them in advance about the changes to give them time to get used to the idea.
If you only plan to make minor revisions to your contract such as adding a small fee for providing wipes and diapers for kids when parents forget to replenish these items, a two weeks notice is appropriate. However, if you make major changes such as raising childcare fees, tacking on late charges, or changing business hours, parents should receive at least 30 days notice.
Businesses change, and sometimes written agreements have to change with them. If your policies and procedures are outdated, now is the perfect time to overhaul them so they line up with the way you want to do business.