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  • Writer's pictureTanya S Osensky

Contracts that Work: The Power of Setting Due Dates

Imagine you're a business owner and you need a security audit for your website. Your contractor said it would only take about 40 hours. You don’t specify a due date, because it’s a small project and the timeframe isn’t particularly important.

A year goes by. The security auditor got busy and chose to complete other projects that had a due date, before starting your project.

Fast forward 18 months later and the project hasn't even started. You're frustrated, wondering why this contractor is dragging their feet.

But then you realize - the contract didn't have a due date! You were at a disadvantage because you didn't specify when you needed the project completed.

A simple sentence would have prevented this situation.

Always consider incorporating a due date (and perhaps also deadlines for interim steps) in your contracts. And be mindful of using absolute words like "will" instead of "can" or "may" - unless you want to leave it up to the service provider to decide whether to perform a task. When using a proposal as a contract, make sure it actually promises to do something - not just describes what could be done.

Don't let a simple sentence (or lack thereof) leave you at a disadvantage. Protect yourself and your business by being clear and specific in your contracts.

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