Running a dog business requires you to have dog training contracts. These contracts will fully explain the responsibilities of both your client and you. Having contracts for your dog training, also shows your clients that you are a business and stand by sound business standards.
Let’s talk about some reasons this is a necessity. We’ll use in-home lessons as the method of our training
What Your Dog Training Contract Must Do
Your dog training contract defines what you will do and when you will be there. Even though you have spoken to the dog owner on the phone, explained exactly what you will do and the dates and times you will be there, they will forget.
When you send them their contract for your training services via email or regular mail, the listed days, dates and times of the lessons are on there. They then have a written reminder of when you will be there for your dog training.
You can also call them the day before their lesson as a friendly reminder also. I do this a lot since sometimes it will be 6 weeks from the date they book till Jim can get there. I want to refresh their memory and get them excited about Jim coming to work with them and their dog.
Your dog training contract defines how you will be paid
Your written dog training contract will also state how you will be paid or how you have been paid
We reserve lessons by taking payment of the lessons on a credit card, at the time of booking. It is stated on their contract how they have paid for their lessons.
If you do not get paid up front then your contract will also define how you will get paid. That may be by a deposit within a certain number of days prior to the lessons or in total when you arrive.
Today there are many ways to take payment other than by check when you arrive for your appointment. If you choose to have a merchant account to take credit cards, that’s a great way to do it. Easy to keep records and it also instills a sense of confidence in your client and you that the payment is safe. To your client, a credit card is a sound recourse of reimbursement should you not show up for the training.
If you don’t wish to have a merchant account another option is to open a business account on PayPal where you can send your clients an invoice, they pay it via PayPal. Again this instills confidence that the payment is safe.
Your dog training contract defines your refund, reschedule policy
This is a critical factor of your dog training contract. You must have an easy, clear, refund – reschedule policy on your contract. This not only protects you but it also protects your client. Should they change their mind, they know that have the ability and the right to get a refund from you – as long as it is within the terms of your refund, reschedule policy.
If they request a refund that aligns with your policy you should refund that as soon as you hang up the phone and let them know via email that it has been refunded. Keep a copy of the refund receipt from the credit card or PayPal for your records.
Your dog training contract helps you keep boundaries
You’re probably wondering not only what I mean by this but why the heck I am including it.
Let’s face it, sometimes you are going to have difficult clients; it’s just part of doing business. When you have a contract with at least all of the above in it, you have solid boundaries to use to make your decision on how you want to handle refunds or cancellations.
If your refund, reschedule policy is specific and you’ve explained it on the phone and they have it in writing then there can be no misunderstandings. It’s written, they have it, it’s clear.
It will then be up to you to stick by your policy or choose to honor their request. What the contract does is give you good solid ground to stand on should you encounter a difficult, demanding, client who shows no respect for the contract, you, or your business.
You do not have to defend your actions if you choose not to refund. The contract specifically states what the terms of the refund, reschedule are.
A contract does not have to be difficult to put together. It’s just really important that you have one to not only protect you but your client.
Welcome to the world of owning a dog training business!
Leila Martin, is the brains behind the success of petiquettedog.com on the marketing side. She has run our online and offline marketing system since 2006. Leila’s ability to grow our online presence using both a website and social media in the dog training world has been a critical part of our marketing success . She has tripled the number of visitors to our website and increased our revenue by 25% each year. Bottom line: Our appointment book is always filled.