When you don’t have a dog training contract in place, you’re vulnerable.
When you’re hit with a refund request, a cancellation, or a request to reschedule, your contract ensures that your time, resources, and revenue are secure.
It may not be sexy, but your contract is your best virtual tool to remove stress from your business and protect yourself.
It doesn’t just keep you safe. Your contract gives everybody clarity about the boundaries of your service before proceeding, so that both you and your clients feel secure and crystal clear about what comes next.
Without solid terms and conditions in place, you are at risk of losing up to 40% of your income if things go wrong.
So, let’s dive into what a dog training contract is, what it protects you from and how you can create a robust contract with ease.
What is a dog training contract?
Your contract is a document signed by both parties included in a transaction that details specific terms and conditions that are enforceable in court.
Having a solid contract shows your clients that you’re a credible professional right off the bat. But it also makes your feel every inch the professional you are.
You feel more confident in your boundaries, and your client knows what they are from the offset, which makes it easier to enforce them should the situation require.
What happens when you don’t have a contract?
We’ve all been there. As dog trainers, we are empathetic souls who just want to help. And when things start feeling a little too corporate, we want to close our eyes and run for the hills.
Believe me, putting the time into creating a dog training contract with water-tight terms and conditions is actually going to save you from all those horrible and awkward feelings and the conversations that you dread!
Your potential clients also know exactly where they stand when they receive a contract. It’s a simple way for them to receive reassurance on exactly what they’re signing up to, and that feels good for everybody.
Without a contract, you open yourself up to:
A bad taste when wires get crossed
Working for free
Giving away your resources and assets
Nowhere to turn when things go wrong
When should I get my clients to sign the contract?
One option is to take your dog training contract along with you to your first session with a client. The downside of this is that you have carved out time in your diary for this person before they've signed and agreed your terms and conditions, which means you could end up working for free. You also have nothing to fall back on if anything goes sour.
Alternatively, you can issue your contract electronically before taking payment and before undertaking any work with a client. This means that if anything goes wrong, you are protected.
After you’ve wrapped up your sales call, or completed your onboarding process, follow up with an email and send your prospective client the contract electronically. I use a service called DocuSign, which makes it incredibly simple to share the contract by email and collect signatures securely.
What goes into my dog training contract?
The terms and conditions of your contract will likely evolve over time. When you encounter a tricky situation, you might find an area that needs adding to equip you should you meet the same hurdle again in the future.
The core elements that you have in your dog training contract should put everyone on concrete ground in terms of:
Privacy and confidentiality
Protection of your assets
Termination of contract
Results and responsibility
Client recourse in case of dissatisfaction
How to create a robust dog training contract
A robust contract will revolutionise your business. Our sexy terms and conditions for dog trainers is a training course which will get your procedures shipshape, so you no longer suffer from:
❌ Stressful cancellations
❌ Refund requests
❌ Clients not using their sessions within the designated timeframe
❌ Late or default payments.
You will get your very own swipe file of terms and conditions, which you can tweak for your own dog training programs.
You’ll receive a video tutorial on how to use DocuSign so you can forget about printing, scanning, and carrying around paperwork… and the awkward handovers to your clients while you hold your breath!
Give your clients the gift of clarity. Grab security for yourself with both hands. And wave stress goodbye.
It’s time to spend your energy on the good stuff. (like actually training dogs!)