Like them or loathe them, contracts form an integral part of the modern business landscape. Regardless of the industry you’re operating in or the size or style of your business, contracts will inevitably be involved in your day-to-day operations as you hire employees, make deals, work with suppliers and partners, and so on.
It’s vital to keep up with all of the contracts you create, negotiate, and agree to, but with so many contracts being signed all the time, it can be very difficult to do this. And when companies start to struggle to keep track of their contracts effectively, they become more likely to make mistakes, miss payments, overlook little details, and cause chaos for themselves and those they work with.
This is why many business owners are eager for any help they can get with contract management, and there are actually plenty of tips, tricks, techniques, and even technological tools you can start using today to improve your contract management on the whole. This guide will go over some key CLM tips and best practices no business should ignore.
Make Contracts a Top Priority
One of the first steps to improve your approach to contract management is to start treating it with the seriousness it deserves. Contracts are hugely important and can shape the future of your business in more ways than one, so it makes sense to treat them with care and make them one of your top priorities.
Too many companies regard contract management as an afterthought or oversight, failing to dedicate sufficient time and resources to this area of their operations. Don’t let your company make the same mistake – commit to contract management and don’t let your levels of commitment slip for as long as your company exists.
Invest in Management Software
Modern technology has come a long way in recent years, with countless advancements and innovations that can help out in all areas of both our personal and professional lives. Most modern businesses are using more and more applications, digital tools, and pieces of software to enhance their operations in various ways, and you can use software to improve contract management too.
There are various specialized software suites designed to handle and even automate many different contract management tasks, from checking new contracts for possible errors and oversights to issuing automatic alerts and reminders when contracts are due for renewal or payments need to be made. This sort of software can offer countless benefits, especially for companies that handle lots of contracts.
Make Templates to Speed Up Contract Creation
Anyone who has spent time creating contracts in the past will know that making new contracts can take a huge amount of time and energy. Even when you’re creating almost identical copies of previous contracts, you can still spend a lot of time going through each new iteration to ensure that everything is correct and no errors have been made.
For example, you might have to make new contracts for every new employee you hire, and even though these contracts are usually very similar, you can spend a lot of time making each one. To save a lot of time and hassle, it’s worth creating templates of commonly used contracts, like purchase agreements or employee agreements. These templates give you a base to work from when making all future contracts in those specific fields.
Make the Most of Electronic Signatures
One of the big problems with content creation and agreement is that certain stages of the process can take so much time. And one of the stages that take up the most time is the signing stage; after a contract has been painstakingly put together, checked, and approved, it still needs to be signed by the relevant parties in order to become active.
This is where you have a choice to make between traditional manual signing – which can take an inordinate amount of time and cause a lot of delays and inconveniences – or modern electronic signing – which is far faster and more convenient. For companies that want to save time and be as efficient as possible, this decision is one that can be made very easily; e-signatures are far more efficient, as well as being cheaper (you can cut costs on scanning and posting) and safer too.
Contract management isn’t always easy, but it’s something that your business needs to do well if you want to succeed and avoid costly problems and awkward inconveniences. Hopefully, these tips can get you off to the best possible start with your contract management.