As we approach a new season, presumably with some new and some existing faculty and staff, we are faced with the decision on what to offer each one and how to present the offer to them. Many studio owners feel that contracts are not necessary and that a verbal agreement is sufficient. Even if you have the greatest relationship with a staff or faculty member it is best to write down exactly what it is you want them to do and both of you sign it! This makes them understand that this is a commitment and makes you look professional and organized.

 As we approach a new season, presumably with some new and some existing faculty and staff, we are faced with the decision on what to offer each one and how to present the offer to them. Many studio owners feel that contracts are not necessary and that a verbal agreement is sufficient. Even if you have the greatest relationship with a staff or faculty member it is best to write down exactly what it is you want them to do and both of you sign it! This makes them understand that this is a commitment and makes you look professional and organized.

 There are times when we will expect something because it has always been done that way. The problem is that the other person, your employee, does not know that it is part of their job and all of a sudden they start to feel used and mistreated or taken advantage of. When you get everything down on paper and they can see what their job description is and what you expect from them, this will eliminate any confusion.

 When you give them a contract, if there ever is any disagreement, you can always refer to the contract and come to a quicker resolution without the he said, she said business. The better we know someone and have a good relationship with them the more important a contract is in my opinion. Business is business. When you think "yeah but they are friends" and start to treat them differently, then you leave yourself open to a dispute. The tricky part comes when you have been working with people for many years.

Now, how do you all of a sudden change what you have done for years and present them with a contract? How you accomplish this without it being awkward is all in the presentation! Present it as a safeguard for them, their ticket to have the piece of mind that you are committed to them and you want it to be in writing. You want to give them everything that is expected of them in writing so they can plan ahead and be fully prepared for the year.

 It will, in my opinion make you look more organized, prepared and professional. It may be what they have been doing all along but it makes it more concrete when it is on paper. I feel it is important as business owners to have all documents in place. It can also be noted that contracts are important if you are ever audited by the IRS. You may have to prove that someone was an independent contractor. A written contract can state that. Now as we all know a contract is only as good as the person that signs it but it will at least let people know that you expect certain things to be done and what will not be tolerated. You can also put that they will not solicit your students and agree to a non compete clause. It may not stop someone from doing so but you have a document that you can use, if you choose to do so in a court of law.

Once you get all your staff and faculty under contract, there is a real piece of mind that follows. Just make sure you get everything that is important to you and what you want them to do on paper. I would encourage you to look at the simple teacher agreement we have for you to download. Add whatever you think is necessary and go with it!