I was talking with a young guy last week about writing contracts.

He was a small company, didn’t need any “big contract” with lots of pages. His customers wouldn’t read a long contract, yada, yada, and yad. I asked him when was the last time he wrote a contract over three pages in length. He said, “Never.” “Then,” I asked, “How do you know your customers won’t read a well written contract, regardless of the length?” He wouldn’t answer me, just came back with more of the, “My customers are small, they don’t need all that stuff.”

Gang, if you have that attitude, you had better circle the wagons. In today’s litigious society, a small job can come back to bite you big time. Last year I was witness to a $12,000 job where the contractor could not get the last $1,500 payment. He sued the customer and it went to court. The judge jumped on the owner’s bandwagon and it ended up costing the contractor over $100,000. He lost his business because of it.

The worst part of my conversation with the young fellow recently was that his mind was made up, he didn’t want to hear anything different than what he already believed. If he has an attitude like that about contracts, he has a similar attitude about other things as well. How much is it costing him?

Keep your eyes and ears open for new information. You can’t live long enough to learn it all. If experience speaks, button up and listen.

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