For freelancers and small businesses, especially those in the events industry, the emerging coronavirus may mean an uptick in rescheduled/cancelled events and/or a decline in business due to community-based interventions and general fear, uncertainty, and doubt among many people.
While it’s natural to feel nervous about what’s to come, there are steps you can take today to minimize the potential impact any type of health emergency or natural disaster has on your business. One simple action you can take is updating your Contract Templates to include a few relevant clauses, legally protecting your business from unforeseen circumstances such as this.
We consulted attorney Paige Griffith of The Legal Paige for some sample language to help you with that update. She recommends adding: (1) Force Majeure Clause, (2) Safe Working Environment - Health & Safety Clause, and (3) Failure to Perform Services clause.
We've added all three clauses to your HoneyBook account for ease of access. Take a look and feel free to include them in the Contracts you send out most regularly.
Where to find the new language
To find the new language, head to the Contract Templates section of your account.
1. From your HoneyBook home page, click the Tools menu.
2. Select Templates from the menu.
3. Select Contracts from the list of template options on the left.
Here, you'll see one of two things:
New templates entitled Protection Clauses HB TEMPLATE, Cancellation Amendment HB Template, and Reschedule Amendment HB Template
Just the HoneyBook Example Agreement template (plus any templates you've created)
If you see the new template entitled Protection Clauses HB TEMPLATE, click to open and copy the text in its entirety (or whichever clauses you'd like to add to your other templates).
If you only see the HoneyBook Example Agreement (in addition to your own), click to open, then scroll through the text to find the clauses entitled Force Majeure Clause, Safe Working Environment - Health & Safety Clause, and Failure to Perform Services Clause. This contract template is ready to be modified by you to fit you and your client/project with the three clauses that help minimize the impact of unforeseen events. You may also copy these clauses (all, or whichever you'd like to add to your other templates) to your clipboard.
Once you've copied the new text, head to the instructions on adding these clauses to other Contracts (below).
To add these clauses to other Contract Templates:
1. Copy the new Contract language you'd like to insert into other templates.
Remember, you can find this in the Protection Clauses HB TEMPLATE template you see in your account, or, if you don't see that template title, you can find the language in your HoneyBook Example Agreement.
2. Click the file drawer tab to open your list of existing Contract Templates.
3. Click to open the first template you'll be updating.
4. Scroll to find the location in the document where you'll be adding the new language, then paste the clauses you've copied into your template.
Templates will save automatically. Repeat with any other templates you'd like to adjust.
PLEASE NOTE: Edits to your existing templates will not apply to any Contracts you have already sent.
It's generally recommended to follow what your original contract states if it has already been signed by your client; however, if you'd like any current clients to receive the new Contracts, you'll need to send the new version of the file through the individual Projects that need it. When sending, just select one of the Contract Templates you've updated to include the new language.
Clients will need to sign the new Contract to make it viable; be sure to make that clear to them in the accompanying email, and include language explaining that the new Contract supersedes any previous agreement.
For more information on protecting yourself and your business now and in the future, check out our recent blog post. And, as always please don't hesitate to reach out to our team with any questions. We're with you!
Want to learn more?
Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!