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?