• Tanya S Osensky

Handshakes are hard to enforce

In my last post I told you about Chris who hired Beth, a graphic artist, to paint his company logo on some trucks. Well, because the cost was relatively small, just $500 per truck, Beth decided to not bother with a contract. She completed the logos and submitted the invoice to Chris.

Then Chris called her to say that the logos were painted in the wrong color and that he wouldn’t be paying her invoice. Chris wanted fire engine red, but she used maroon, which made the logo look too much like a competitor’s logo.

They both lost on the deal because of a misunderstanding over the shade of red. If there was a simple contract, the outcome could have been two happy companies instead of none.

By writing down what both parties have agreed to do, there's a shared concept of what each is responsible for. Rather than each party having separate ideas of what the final result should look like, putting it down on paper makes it more likely that they have a shared vision.

If you prefer to do business on a handshake, how do you know that you and your customer are on the same page?

Recent Posts

See All

Julie is a business consultant who got into a bad spot with a client. The client has gone silent, won’t respond to calls or emails and hasn’t paid the last invoice. Julie is not sure what’s wrong exac

Victor was working as a 1099 contractor on a large-scale engineering project when his client said he must attend an HR training workshop given to all the client’s employees. I advised against it. Why?

Contracts. Root canal. For a lot of people, it would be hard to choose which they'd rather avoid more. When I was in law school, I dreaded the contracts class. It was mind-numbing, I thought. I never