Every business needs a cracking set of terms and conditions. Whether you’re selling products or services, your T&Cs should clearly describe what you’re doing and set expectations as to when you’ll do it and on what terms. 

Over time, your product suite and service offerings are likely to be enhanced and updated. You may make modifications here and there, add new items and remove others. You might invest in infrastructure and change the way your service is delivered. Or there might be a change to the laws affecting your industry.

When was the last time you took a good look at your T&Cs? Are they easy to understand? Do they help you close sales quickly and efficiently? Do they explain exactly what you’re doing for a customer? 

Here are the top 10 signs your T&Cs need a makeover: 

  1. They refer to the Trade Practices Act or the National Privacy Principles. 
  2. The liability clause appears in capital letters. 
  3. The dispute clause refers to arbitration but you have no idea what that means, or if it’s any different to mediation or the court system. 
  4. Your T&Cs are a mish-mash of terms you found on Google, “borrowed” from a competitor or “donated” by a lawyer friend. 
  5. The same issues keep coming up in negotiations with customers. 
  6. You haven’t reviewed your T&Cs in the last 12 months. In fact, you have never actually read your T&Cs from start to finish. Your head hurts just thinking about it. 
  7. The Sales team hates your T&Cs. They complain that the document is not user-friendly, and customers are slow to sign off on your standard terms.
  8. Your T&Cs sound like they were written in the 18th century. Is “hereinbefore” a real word?
  9. You’re looking at selling the business and think a buyer won’t care about your T&Cs.
  10. You don’t know why anything on this list is a problem.

Your T&Cs are living documents. If they don’t change as your business changes, they’re useless. The best T&Cs are clear, succinct and proudly stamped with your brand personality. Unless you’re a bank, don’t let your T&Cs make you look and sound like one.