Every contractor knows they need a good contract form to protect their interests and to keep them in compliance with federal and state laws. But what about the impression the forms you use leave with your customer? Here are a few things to consider:
Can your customer understand your bid?
If you're using a combined proposal/contract, is it really the best way to present your bid? Would a bid form without the "legalese" make your offer easier for the customer to choose you over the "other guy"? It seems to me that in any bid, the customer wants to know the benefits and value of choosing you to do their work and if you have more benefits and value than the other bids, you'll get the job. Why introduce legal boilerplate into the situation at this point to confuse and "turn off" the customer. After they agree to your bid, a separate contract form can be used to cover the legal requirements of the transaction. Since they have already committed to you by accepting your bid, getting the contract signed is a "slam-dunk"!
Do your contractor forms allow you to include pictures in an easy way?
One picture is worth a thousand words. An old addage but very true. We humans are visual creatures. If you can tell your story to the customer in a visual way, by pictures or photos, your customer will like you better than someone else who forces them to get the information by reading. Some things must be viewed and cannot be described. Find an easy way to include pictures in your bid and sell more jobs!
How LONG is your contract? Does it scare you? Think of what it's doing to your customers!
Is the length of your contract appropriate for the work you are doing? A contract "book" that is pages and pages long is appropriate for large, complicated jobs. If you are doing most home improvement, 4, 5, 10 and 20 page contracts are not only unnecessary, but would frighten the hel* out of me. That's longer than the contract I signed to buy my WHOLE HOUSE! Page after page of contract says "LAWYER" to me and I, like most others, cringe at the word! Don't justify using an intimidating, overly long contract to yourself because you downloaded them for cheap on the internet in word format which, incidentally, was never designed to make forms, from somebody who hasn't a clue how to make a form in the first place... there are better contractor forms out there to use with your computer... hint, hint!
Let the customer trust you!
Would you like to do business with a winner or a loser? Do you want someone who is trustworthy and businesslike working on your property, someone that you know can get the job done right? How do you show a potential customer that YOU are trustworthy and can get the job done? Easy, by giving them a list, with PHOTOS, of completed jobs you have done. Nothing says you can trust me and I am competent like a documented track record of beautiful (photos again), completed jobs.