5 Tips For Improving Customer Retention And Loyalty

November 23, 2016

The hustle to market your product and acquire new clients is characteristic of the growth stages of any business. However, once you manage to close these initial deals, the next priority would be to keep them happy, and most importantly – keep them coming back!

Brand loyalty is vanishing, making customer retention one of the growing headaches for companies large and small.

Any business that aims to be sustainable in the long-run must be proactive in engaging their existing clients, and continue to pursue product/service excellence to keep clients coming back for more.

We ♡ happy clients! Read Delegate’s case study:

 

Here are 5 tips for retaining clients:

1) Keep your product/service simple

According to a Harvard Business Review study, the modern consumer is overwhelmed by the growing volume of marketing messages, ie. Customers today are increasingly distracted and disloyal! While there are a range of factors that affect the stickiness of your product or service, such as price and customers’ perception of a brand, the factor that by far has the biggest influence in stickiness is “decision simplicity”. By enabling customers to navigate the purchase journey with ease and providing support along the way, you can make the customer journey enjoyable.

Source: Service Design Tools

 

A useful framework for charting out the customer journey is to start with customer journey map. This allows you to identify key touchpoints in the product, experience or service that you are offering, and conscientiously improve the interaction and engagement at every step of the way. The aim is to ensure your product is easy to navigate and make decision-making simple.

2) Provide reliable and accessible customer support

Get into the mind of a new customer who purchases and uses your product or service as a journey with potential pitfalls and pain points. Newer customers are more likely to drop out of the customer journey map when they encounter a roadblock and do not receive immediate assistance. Hence it is crucial for you to understand where your clients’ potential pain points are, and provide timely support at every step of the way. Below are some quick and actionable ways to signal to your customer that you are available to assist should they encounter difficulties:

  • Place a ‘Get Help’ button that leads to a live chat, form, or email composer in a prominent location on your app or website.
  • Proactively communicate service standards to your customer (e.g. by letting them know that you will reply their emails within 48 hours) to manage expectations and assure them that help is on the way.
  • Publish a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that is easily accessible and written from the customer’s point of view.

By being available whenever your clients need you, you will be able to establish a reputation of dependability that will keep your clients coming back.

3) Give your clients a consistent experience

Nothing irks a client more than inconsistencies in how their account is managed, whether this is in the sale of goods or supply of services. According to a McKinsey article, sustaining the long-term commitment of a client boils down to maintaining consistency in three different categories: 1) Customer-journey consistency, 2) Emotional consistency and 3) Communication consistency.

One way to ensure consistency when managing client accounts is to have clear workflows and processes, especially in the areas of payments and finances. Ensure you have in place the key legal documents that outline your payment practices, including the following:

  • Sale of Goods Agreement or Supply of Services Agreement: These documents outline the foundations of how you do business with a supplier or client.
  • Purchase Order: This is a document between a supplier and buyer that confirms a purchase and details the items the buyer agrees to purchase at a certain price, the delivery date, and terms of payment for the buyer.
  • Invoice: This is a document that you send to a customer requiring payment for goods or services, that serves as a bill and a proof of the transaction.
  • Late Payment Letters: These documents are useful and affordable way of following up on overdue invoices in a professional manner.
  • Letter Accepting Payments in Instalments: This document helps to formalise the agreement for payment and sets out clear rules to prevent potential legal disputes from arising.

Businesses often do not pay enough attention to these critical documents as they regard payment transactions as mere formalities that are not central to the customer experience. However, there may be detrimental consequences if such processes are inconsistent and the documents not well-drafted. You (and your sales force) should have the same answer to answer these questions:

What payment options do your company accept?
Is there any option to make payments in instalments?
Are there discounts for bulk purchases?

These are questions that may be on the mind of your customers. Having standardised documents and systems in place ensures that both you and your clients know what to expect.

 

4) Continually improve your product based on customer feedback

In order to build empathy with your clients, it is important for you to listen to them. Put in place feedback channels that make it easy for your customers to provide suggestions for improving your product or service. There are two aspects to obtaining customer feedback: 1) Proactively seeking customer input, and 2) providing a platform for customer feedback.

If you do not seek your customers out to signal that their opinion is valuable for you, they are unlikely to take the initiative to provide feedback on their own accord.

There are a range of platforms and tools that your business can choose from to maximise effectiveness and efficiency in obtaining customer feedback. Tools like Delighted help to measure Net Promoter Scores; couple that with Advocate.ly and Intercom that help to automate the customer communication process – it doesn’t take that much extra work at all!

Whichever you choose, keep in mind that you surveys should be designed in a way that invites responses that are timely, reliable and actionable. In-app satisfaction ratings have the highest response rates, while email surveys would be more effective in reaching inactive users. Follow these three key principles when designing customer surveys:

  1. Take direct action on the specific issues raised
    Where customers indicate specific complaints, ensure that someone from your company takes follow-up action so that customers do not feel that they are dropping feedback into a black hole.
  2. Keep your surveys quick and short
    Customer satisfaction surveys should be two or three targeted questions at best, to signal that you respect your customers’ time.
  3. Learn from the feedback
    Analyse the feedback that you have collected, and update the design of your product or service accordingly.

Adapted from Harvard Business Review

 

While surveys are great for when you want to obtain information on specific issues – for instance, feedback on product features or data on consumer habits – customers might sometimes want to provide feedback. Businesses leverage on this by setting up a constantly available feedback platform within their website or app that allows customers to give open-format feedback. This allows customers to voice opinions on issues which they feel are most important.

Ultimately, what is most important is that your business takes action based on feedback collected by setting up a system that effectively converts customer feedback into product improvements. Knowing that the business has a functioning feedback loop in place will empower customers to influence product development in tangible ways and ensure that the business constantly responds to its customers’ needs.

 

Customer feedback: Delegate and Dragon Law

5) Build empathy and trust with your customers

At the end of the day, your business should focus more on your customers (rather than your competitors!). Businesses need to respond to customers’ intrinsic desire to feel empowered. This requires businesses to be flexible and adapt to their clients’ preferences and behaviours. For instance, if your client is browsing your website on their desktop and next speaks to a salesperson in your store, branch or call centre, be ready to pick up where they left off in order to facilitate a seamless customer journey. The goal is to embody a customer-first attitude at the core of your business.

If you don’t like filling out forms again and again (think: like when filing your insurance claims!), neither will your customers! Cloud technology today allows data to be synchronised across devices in real-time – say goodbye to pen, paper, scan, and data-entry!

 

Legal in the cloud. Anytime, anywhere.

Start Dragon Law free trial

 

Here are some good practices which can help your team build empathy with your customers:

  1. Share customer insights with everyone in your team and actively discuss ways to improve the customer experience.
  2. Become a customer by stepping into the shoes of your customers and gaining first-hand insight into their experience.
  3. Conduct ethnographic research by interviewing clients on a one-on-one basis and developing customer personas.
  4. Create a life-sized map of the CX journey and walk through it
  5. Incorporate understanding phrases into your customer service to convey empathy to your customers

Adapted from Salesforce

Source: The Working Capitol

What strategies or tools do you use to keep your customers engaged, happy, and coming back for more? Let us know in the comments below!

The Convertible Note Trap: Round II Doesn’t Happen

November 22, 2016

Convertible Note legal traps: The second round of financing never happens

Trying to raise seed funding? In the previous article of our Convertible Note series, we outlined the basics of a Convertible Note Agreement. For many startups, a Convertible Note is probably the best way to raise funding.

 

 

But there are risks associated with using a Convertible Note as well.    Tweet this

For example, what happens if your startup fails to secure the second round of funding? What if your idea doesn’t take off, or if your business becomes self-sufficient before you need more funds?

No investors will want to have shares “locked” in a business without opportunity to cash out. Investors put their money precisely with the expectation of getting money out. If your startup does not go for a second round of financing, relationships might sour between you and your seed/angel investors. You might incur exorbitant legal fees that endanger the financial positioning of your business.

This is why it is crucial to include a clause that specifies what happens when the startup is unable to secure a subsequent round of financing – this would help mitigate any legal risks following such an occurrence.

Real-life example:

Download infographic as PDF here

 

Here’s the thing about the law… you don’t know what you don’t know.

This is why standard templates you find online may not apply to you, and also why there is value in seeking out a professional lawyer who will invest large amounts of time analysing your business situation, assessing your risks, and providing recommendations. But, of course, this can come at a high cost.

With intuitive document builders such as Dragon Law, you answer a series of questions, and clauses to deal with such situations are automatically included: When there isn’t a second round of financing, the note automatically converts to shares at a price decided when the agreement is signed. This ensures that you can operate your business with peace of mind, and gets the investors to stop worrying.

Try Dragon Law’s Document Builder for FREE
No minimum commitment, no credit card required.

 

The importance of the valuation cap

As a matter of fact, the valuation cap is not only important for calculating the share ownership at the next round of funding, but is also vital should the next round of financing never occur.

Learn more about the valuation cap

or

Start drafting Convertible Note Subscription Agreement now

8 Powerful Linkbuilding Strategies for Law Firm Websites

November 18, 2016

Getting credible inbound links continues to be the best method of getting high search engine rankings for a website. However, it is important to point out that building links to a law firm website is an extremely difficult task because it requires great effort, time, and patience. Fortunately, there are several solid strategies attorneys can use to get favourable search engine rankings:

1. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can provide good results, but it is not a fool-proof method for building links. Lawyers must use this method with extreme caution. If you decide to use this method with a site that is getting negative attention from the search engines, it could lead to disastrous results.

Submit a guest post on Dragon Law’s blog

It is imperative for you to be cautious when it comes to selecting sites for your guest posts. You should check out their domain authority, page rank, and indexed pages. You should also look at the site’s curation practices and backlink profiles. If you see a problem with any of these factors, there could be a major problem with the site. You should focus on placing guest posts on blogs that relevant to your area of practice.

You will have success with this method if you get natural looking links. Your posts should also provide educational value to your readers.

2. Scholarship Programmes

Scholarship programs are an easy way to get solid links from high-quality educational websites. Keep in mind, though, that this method requires an investment (a minimum of $500 dollars), time to conduct outreach to your community, and time to contact colleges in your area. The first initiative requires you to create a legitimate scholarship with eligibility requirements for applicants.

First, structure the scholarship programme. Set up a page on the company’s site that highlights the details of the scholarship (how to apply, information of what it offers, and etc.). Once the page is created, lawyers should contact educational institutions and tell them that their students can apply for the scholarship. Colleges are well-known for promoting scholarships to their students. Most colleges will not have any problems with adding your scholarship to one of their scholarship resource pages.

While links from .edu domains don’t have more value than .coms and .nets, search engines associate them with authority sites. Getting links from authority sites can propel your website to the first page of popular search engines.

Related reading: 7 Online Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

3. Social Media Link Building

Social media continues to gain more popularity as time progresses. Lawyers should make an earnest effort to share links to their website in social media. Many of these links will be no-follow (they will not pass link juice to your site), but this is still an exceptional way of getting great exposure for your brand. Social media link building will send an enormous amount of traffic to your site. This is the main reason why many SEO experts encourage lawyers to use this method.

Social media link building gives your followers an opportunity to share your links to their followers. Content that circulates throughout the internet in this way has a greater chance of getting natural inbound links attached to it.

Try to get your shareable content on popular social media channels. This will increase your chances of getting others to share it on their networks. Make certain that your content is useful and relevant to your targeted audience. No matter what you are posting on social media sites, make sure there is a link that points back to your website.

Please keep in mind that you can add links to your profiles. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin and many other social networks allow you to insert a link to an external website. For instance, about.me allows you to complete a profile with a link. About.me is a PR 7 property that can help you get significant traffic.

Follow Dragon Law on social media:

  

4. Infographics

Displaying data with infographics is intriguing and fun. People enjoy sharing attractive infographics. Many lawyers are not taking advantage of this method.

Simply create an infographic (hire a designer if you don’t know how to create one) and place an embed code at the bottom of the infographic. The embed code should encourage people to embed it on their websites.

Creating an embed code is not as difficult as you may believe. Here you can find an exceptional embed code generator. Once you have created your image, paste the URL into the provided text boxes. A snipped code will be generated within seconds. You can place this code on your website or blog.

If people find your information useful, they will share it (via the embed code) on their blog or website. The image of the infographic will be hosted on your domain. You will get a backlink each time the code is embedded.

5. High Page Rank Directories

Many SEO experts look at directories as low-hanging fruit. They don’t offer the greatest value, but they are easy to get. Many directories with high page rankings are paid versions.

Local directories are valuable sources of local links. Attorneys target local markets, so these links are good because they offer signals dealing with the location of the searcher.

Local Chambers of Commerce are well-known for having detailed directories of local businesses. I also urge you to submit your site to Yext and Moz Local. Yext has a network of fifty popular websites such as eLocal, YP, and Yelp.

6. Collaboration

Collaborating with your clients, colleagues, and other businesses is one of the most effective ways to get quality editorial links to your site. Collaborating includes joint marketing, guest posting, or an honorable mention. It would be a big mistake for you to underestimate this tactic.

Collaborating with others? Outline each party’s contributions to the project with a Collaboration Agreement.

7. Forums, Groups, etc.

You should take advantage of attorney-specific groups and forums. For example, this forum is one place where attorneys can be active members. You can make comments and share links.

Related reading: LinkedIn Alternatives: 10 Lesser-Known Platforms For Professionals To Network Online

Do not spam groups or forums. Members will not be responsive to your posts, or click on your links if they feel that you are simply there to advertise your law firm.

8. Glossary of Industry Terms

Newbies in your industry probably don’t know all the jargon you and other bloggers are using. Make their life easier and create a glossary of industry terms page. 99% of the people do not understand your professional jargon and they may reference to your Glossary page. This is quite long term strategy for acquiring links to your website.

You may also like: The Ultimate Dictionary of Jargon, Acronyms, and Abbreviations Every Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner Should Know

Which of these strategies have been most useful to you, or maybe others that have given you great results? 

Tell us, we’d like to know!

This a guest contribution submitted by Inga Lindstrom. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view! Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.
Inga Lindstrom is a Digital Marketer specialising in SEO for Law firms. She is result-oriented because she knows that results is what all clients pay for. Inga strongly believes in creating high-quality and valuable content and its promoting through outreach. She loves traveling and digital nomad lifestyle.

Lessons of a CEO #7

15th November – Scaling Up

Regular readers of my blog musings will no doubt be disappointed to hear that this week I’m not intellectualising on the subjects of startup fashion or Southeast Asian beach holidays. This week I’m tackling the hardback-worthy subject of scaling up.

Many people ask me what the difference is between a startup and a small business. After having met a law firm that told me it was a startup, these days I normally answer “absolutely nothing”. But of course that’s not the truth. And because I’m a lawyer, I like definitions.

I particularly like this one, courtesy of Paul Graham of the Y Combinator Accelerator:

A startup is a company designed to scale very quickly. It is this focus on growth unconstrained by geography which differentiates startups from small businesses. A restaurant in one town is not a startup, nor is a franchise a startup. 

I think this definition (coupled with the useful restaurant example) is a good one, because it highlights by proxy the key differences between the challenges a ‘small business’ owner and a ‘startup founder’ face. The former has concerns about ability to get to profitability within a sustainable time period. The latter wants to build something once (and may or may not immediately generate profit from doing that) and then work out how to do the same thing in as many markets as it can, as quickly as it can.

You should read that last sentence again.

If you don’t believe that it’s possible, or you don’t want to build a business that way, or you do you but you can’t achieve one or the other of either (1) being a market leader or (2) entering new markets quickly, then you will have problems. Or maybe you’re not a ‘startup’ and that’s quite okay. Because you know what? Running a business is far cooler than talking about a startup you once founded….

So what learnings can we lovely folks at Dragon Law impart on the subject of scaling? Many things it turns out! And of course it’s the internet, so we must have a list. Why we didn’t name this blog posts “8 ways to super scale your startup” I’ll never know. Perhaps it is because I don’t dig clickbait.

8 Ways to Super Scale Your Startup

1) Cloud, cloud, cloud. Look, it’s designed out of the box to be scaleable. Build your technology fully on the cloud and benefit from a provider who thinks big so you don’t have to. We use AWS because it’s the biggest (and best).

2) More cloud – SaaS services are designed to be inexpensive as you start out. They grow with you as you do. We use ZenDesk and Intercom amongst a whole bunch of others!

Related reading: Lessons of a CEO #3: Productivity Tools

3) Encourage everyone at your startup to think SCALE. For example our lead engineer writes management scripts which allows us to setup any projects generically, and recently we added a script that customises some configs we use for deployment. This is scalable because it is only written once, but use in every project we deploy.

4) Systems, systems, systems. Processing a payment? Several steps to go through and several people in the chain involved? Spend the first 50 times you arrange it, designing the process. You’ll be doing THIS ad infinitum if your startup works out. Make it slick. Now.

5) Collaboration tools. Things change quickly at a startup. This is a clear understatement. You can be sure half your team didn’t read the email memo on your CEOs new ‘amazing’ idea. However you do it (and there are a million tools out there asking for your money to help you do it better) – you must. Because a ship sailing in two directions at once is a slow and complex beast to manoeuver.

6) Focus on scale even when it seems kind of scary/dumb/unpleasant/short term painful. Repeat your Startup mantra. “I am not a small business. I will not chase this deal. It will distract me from opening that 18th country.”

7) Training, training and more training. Did I mention we spend a lot of time training? What do we do? Not paying attention hey. Back to Scale Training Class for you. You cannot POSSIBLY expect something to work in Alaska if your Singapore team has never picked up the phone and spent time sharing learnings.

8) The most important one of all. Capture your knowledge. Sounds obvious? Sounds easy? It’s neither. You do this from Day One (don’t worry if you’re at Day Two, you can catch up). Any later than this and you are doomed (perhaps read my blog on Southeast Asian Beach Holidays to lower your blood pressure).

Happy Scaling Folks!

Daniel Walker

Read the series:

Lessons of a CEO #6: A Room With A View
Lessons of a CEO #5: Screen Time
Lessons of a CEO #4: Sit down next to me
Lessons of a CEO #3: A Brief History of Thyme
Lessons of a CEO #2: Fashion Foreword
Lessons of a CEO #1: Lessons I’ve learned

Start up in 6 Easy Steps – Dragon Law for Startups

November 16, 2016

Did you know that 90% of startups fail? 

As an entrepreneur, there is always something more you can do to make your business succeed. Whether it is perfecting that pitch for a potential investor or tweaking that one button in your app to make it more aesthetically appealing. With so much on a founder’s mind, it is no wonder that the legal needs of a budding business often takes a backseat.

However, not having proper legal documents in place can potentially lead to drastic consequences down the road. Disagreements among shareholders on rights and obligations, and when your company logo is misused without your permission are just two examples. Legal is important, and while it might not be make or break, staying on top of your legal documentation and regulatory requirements can make running your business more fuss-free. 

That’s why we launched  Dragon Law for Startups. 

We’ll explain in 6 easy steps how to startup your business. We’ll also round up the key legal documents you need as you go through the different stages:

1. FORM A BUSINESS

As a founder, you should consider the needs of your business carefully. Choose the structure that will work for you now, but more importantly, make sure it will work in the years to come. Depending on the type of business structure, you may require a Partnership Agreement or Shareholders’ Agreement.

Document Used for
Partnership Agreement Forms the foundation of your business partnership by protecting and aligning the interests of you and your partners. Ensures your business is run in a professional and cooperative way.
Shareholders’ Agreement    Legal contract between all the shareholders that sets out all their rights and obligations. Sets out the rules while providing more flexibility than relying solely on the company’s Articles of Association.
Share Certificate Issue this to each shareholder as evidence of their shareholding in your company.

Resources for setting up your business

→ Confused about how the different business structures impact the transferability of ownership and degree of liability? This post summarises the key differences between setting up as a sole proprietor, business partnership or a company.

→ Incorporating a company for the first time? Download our free eBook to gain a practical understanding of key issues involved in incorporating and maintaining your company in Hong Kong and Singapore.

2. FUND YOUR BUSINESS

While businesses typically start out bootstrapping, at some point many business owners need to look to other sources of funding to secure the capital necessary to maintain operations and grow the business. Depending on what your source of funding is, you will need different legal documents to manage the new infusion of capital. 

Document Used for
Promissory Note Where you have asked family and friends for support via a loan, a simple agreement that records the terms of the loan and repayment can prevent future disputes.
Commercial Loan Agreement If other businesses are interested in helping you out, use this document to set out the terms and conditions for the loan. This agreement can help both parties more closely monitor the condition of the loan, thereby enhancing the borrower/lender relationship because it promotes more frequent communications between the parties.
Term Sheet If your source of funding is private investors such as venture capital firms or angel investors, they will typically ask for a Term Sheet. This is a preliminary document that will include the key terms of an investment in a company, including the agreed-upon valuation of the business, the proposed capitalisation table, the key financial and legal terms, and the rights of the company and the investors.

More resources for raising funds

→ Curious about what your options are when it comes to sources of funding? Download our free eBook Early Stage Funding to learn about the pros and cons of each method and decide which is the best fit.

→ Want to know what’s on the mind of investors when they’re deciding whether to invest? Check out insights from investors, entrepreneurs and lawyers from our Legal Startup Academy session on Early Stage Funding.

→ Want to raise funds via a Convertible Note? Check out this post on our blog to learn how the Convertible Note mechanism works as well as the relevant documents that you need.

3. GO ONLINE

Your business website is your new front door; even if you do not use your website as a platform for the sale of goods or services. Are you turning customers away even before they walk in?

On your website, make sure you have these key documents in place to manage the relationship between your business, web developer as well as website users.

They are made available on your website for users to read and, by continuing to use the site, users accept these terms.

Document Used for
Website Design and Development Agreement Business owners often hire freelancers or other third parties to build or redesign their websites. Make sure you have in place this contract to set out the nature and ownership of the website as well as service expectations so that your company can focus on its business and the contractor can focus on the website.
Website Privacy Policy This is a statement you place on your website laying out how your business will collect, use, and manage a user’s personal data. By clarifying the scope of use of such personal data, you can avoid future disputes concerning data privacy infringement.
Website Terms of Use A Website Terms of Use structures the relationship between you as a website operator and your website users by setting out each party’s rights and obligations.

Resources for online businesses

If you are running an online business, there are other legal documents that will help you establish prudent legal protections and grow a successful enterprise. Check out the following resources:

→ Running an online business? Download our free eBook: How to Set up & Protect Your Online Business and read more about the key documents you will need to protect your online business and build a successful online enterprise.

→ Operating an online marketplace? Check out this post for essential legal considerations for online marketplaces.

4. HIRE A TEAM

Once you have your business concept and legal entity in place, a crucial step is to hire the right talent to form your team and grow your business. Manage the recruiting process right by having these key documents in place.

The document is useful if you want to dissuade certain new hires from leaving your company too soon, disclosing confidential information about your business, or going to work for a competitor.

Document Used for
Offer of Employment Letter Before you take your new hire on board, extend an Offer of Employment Letter to indicate a conditional offer to your selected candidate. This lays out the conditions that the candidate has to fulfil in order for the offer to be valid and summarises the terms of employment, including remuneration, benefits, working hours, and probation.
Employment Contract Once your candidate has accepted the offer of employment, put together the Employment Contract to regulate the relationship between the employer and employee in order to minimise potential disputes.

Resources for growing your team

→ Unsure what employment laws you have to comply with when taking on board that new hire? Download our free eBook The New Hire (Hong Kong) and The New Hire (Singapore) to learn how you can avoid pitfalls by navigating through areas of employment law.

→ Want to keep your employees happy and motivated? Check out this post on our blog for tips on incentivising employees without burning a hole in your pocket.

5. OWN YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Whenever your business develops intangible human creations, it is key that you secure your Intellectual Property (IP) rights in order to protect your creations. Intellectual property is a core asset of a business. The main types are trade marks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. Protect your IP rights and prevent others from infringing your brand:

Document Used for
Trade Mark License Agreement This agreement allows the owner of the trade mark (the licensor) to give approval to another person (the licensee) to use the trade mark. Licensing can help a company expand into new markets effectively while lending the licensee an established name and reputation as well as provide lucrative income for trade mark owners.
Confidentiality Agreement (or Non-disclosure Agreement) Your business has information that should remain private, such as customer database, financial information, or new business ideas. An NDA is your first line of defence to protecting this information. This legal document creates a confidential relationship between your business and any contractors, employees, and other business partners who might get a behind-the-scenes look at your operations.

Other resources for protecting your brand

→ Confused about the differences between the various types of IP? Check out this post to find out what the various types are and what you need to qualify for IP protection.

→ Just designed a logo that you want to protect? Download our free eBook Own Your Trade Mark: Your Most Valuable Commercial Asset to learn about what you need for a successful application, how to maintain your trade mark and maximise its value globally.

→ Want to whether your latest invention qualifies for IP protection? Learn about the key considerations in this interview with an IP lawyer.

6. SELL GOODS & SERVICES

In every business that involves selling goods or services, it is crucial to have key documents in place to ensure manage the relationships with your stakeholders, whether these are customers, sellers or business partners. There are a number of documents that your startup may need depending on the type of business and the products or services you offer. These span the entire timeline of the business relationship and sets out the terms and expectations of the relationship.

Document Used for
Letter of Intent (Memorandum of Understanding) In the early stages of negotiations before a formal agreement has been entered into, it would be good to summarise the result of negotiations in a non-binding document known as a Letter of Intent.
Sale of Goods Agreement This is a legal contract for the sale and purchase of goods that sets out the exact nature of the goods, as well as price and payment terms.
Supply of Services Agreement This is a contract between a supplier and a customer for the provision of a specified service that documents the key terms of how that service will be carried out.
Purchase Order This is a standard document or template that your customers or clients can use to order goods or services from your business. When you accept the Purchase Order, a binding contract is formed.
Invoices An Invoice is a document you can send to a customer requiring payment for goods or services that you have provided or will provide. It acts as a bill and a proof of a transaction.

Resources for optimising cash flow

→ Download our free eBook Manage Cash Flow: How to use legal documents to optimise your cash flow to learn more about how you can use key legal documents to ensure you receive payment on time and optimise your cash flow.

INTRODUCING: “DRAGON LAW FOR STARTUPS”

Overwhelmed by the legal needs you need to navigate as you try to get your startup off the ground? In the years that we have worked with startups and small businesses, and being a startup ourselves, we have seen how challenging building a business from scratch can be. We have worked with over 5,000 startups in 25 countries, and we see that legal frequently isn’t at the top of an entrepreneur’s mind. It is costly and there are often other more pressing needs that demand your attention. But legal is important nonetheless.

This is why we launched  Dragon Law for Startups. Our online legal software allows you to manage your legal documentation reliably and affordably. It means less time spent on routine legal work and crucial cost savings for a startup raising early funds. Signing and storing all your legal documentation on the cloud allows you to access your documents on the go.

As a Dragon Law for Startups subscriber, you get:

  • Access to all the documents your startup needs, fully customisable,
  • Unlimited document creation, yes, you heard it right, create as many legal documents as you need, and
  • Free client service support (for the first 3 months) via live chat, email or phone.

As we on-board your team, we will create a personal roadmap for the legal documentation that you need. We’ll help you gain confidence in managing your legal documentation online.

Check out the Dragon Law for Startups Plan

Start NOW on Your Startup Checklist