The flashier stuff of small business proprietorship tends to get the most play in the business blogosphere: leadership, people management, networking, marketing strategy—stuff like that. You don’t see quite as often headlines about the slightly less interesting facets of running a business, like, let’s say, contract management.
While some small business owners think of themselves as contracting super ninjas, most tend to feel that contracting is more like sumo wrestling. And unless you’re a great sumo wrestler, it’s not an arena you really want to be in.
It doesn’t have to be like that. This week, we’ve rounded up some articles to get you thinking about contracting for your small business, which will help you join the ranks of the contracting ninjas.
Front and center: contracts are legal documents. Then there’s the fact that consistently top of mind for small business owners is the question of what you can handle on your own. Pair the two, and you find yourself stuck deciding to pay the (potentially) high cost of unnecessary legal advice, or taking the risk of wandering into contracting land on your own. FindLaw offers a balanced perspective about what you can do, and when you should consult with a lawyer.
OK—so you’re handling contracts. You need people to sign them, or people are asking you to sign them. You’ve got to advocate for your position, so up your persuasive word game.
Hiring and firing can be one of the most difficult challenges any organization faces. On top of the challenges associated with maintaining fairness in the hiring process, there’s the plethora of ramifications associated with letting an employee go.
Employment contracts can help mitigate some of these issues by spelling out the terms of employment in no-nonsense form, and they can protect you from intellectual property leaks and other expensive issues.
One guess as to who is the largest contractor in the United States. Bingo, you got it— the Federal Government.
If you intend to pursue government contracts for your small business, take a look at what it takes to become a government contractor. The U.S. Small Business Association also has a handy video on what it takes to start working with the Government along with links to free training.
Lastly, the NDA question. This New York Times piece explores the complex challenges small business owners face in the race to find investment capital. Collaboration itself can be a risky endeavor. So, how do you protect your idea without sacrificing the opportunity to grow your business? This article offers some great pointers on how to navigate the world of NDA negotiation so that you have the best shot at protecting your valuable business ideas.