No, not the winter holiday season – I am talking September! We are all back from relaxing and refreshing on our various vacations and weekend excursions. Our kids are going back to school. Our routines, after being joyously tossed out the window in June, are boomeranging back at us and returning us to normalcy. I don’t know about you, but after the first couple of weeks of summertime “freedom,” I start to feel a little untethered. Keeping my business on track and myself on task gets a little harder.

But then, Labor day rolls around, the air at night changes a little. The AC is off at night, and the windows are open. September air feels fresher, crisper, invigorating.

The colors get vibrant in a different way than in the spring in summer – deeper, more intense, but in a cozy way. Thos first early leaves change and fall to the ground and give rise to a little bit of sadness for the end of summer but eagerness for whats to come.

The smells and the foods that start springing up in the fall….mmmmm (I know all of you PSL girls are in heaven right now!!). Cinnamon and apple and vanilla… the kind of smells and tastes that warm your belly and soul.

And don’t get me started on sweater, jeans and boots! That’s my JAM!

September can feel like a second new year – new beginnings in the 9th month of the year. And that’s an awesome feeling! It’s time to buckle down and get back to work, with recharged batteries and a fresh focus on what you are doing.

Which makes it a perfect time to take an accurate assessment of what you have and what you need in your business for a solid legal foundation. Yup, you guessed it, I am talking contracts!!

Coaches, here’s what you should have in your legal tool box:

• A client services agreement (CSA).

The CSA is the big kahuna, the absolute must. Working without clients, taking money, providing workbooks and advice without one is place is just a crazy game or legal roulette. This coaching agreement is instrumental to explaining your services, fees, payment methods, expectations, limitations and client responsibilities. Business coach, health & wellness coach, life coach, executive coach – it doesn’t matter – you all need your CSA in place.

• Website Terms of Use (ToU) and Privacy Policy (PP).

Nearly as important as your coaching agreement, is your website “stuff.” (Unless you don’t have a website, in which case, girl, go get one!!) At a minimum, your ToU lets visitors to your site know what they can and can’t do on and with your site, and protects your intellectual property (IP) on the site. If your site is interactive – customers can login into their account, readers can share and post on your blog, the ToU will dictate how that can be done and limits to that kind of use.

If you collect any kind of personal date – even just a name and email address – you need a PP. Data privacy is no joke, and only getting more serious and more complicated, as state by state laws protecting consumers are passed. Having a PP, and actually doing what it says, is key to minimizing your liability in the event of a data breach. And make no mistake, even small businesses succumb to data breaches eventually.

Now here are the next level items to further strengthen that legal foundation, and help scale your business while protecting your assets. Because our goal at In The Know Legal is to eliminate #halfasset protection.

• Group Coaching agreement.

This is different from your CSA, which is designed for 1:1 coaching. Group coaching is unique – bringing a group together to support the other participants creates an amazing setting for learning and growth. BU presents new challenges – like privacy, and “borrowing” each other’s ideas. The group coaching agreement address all the things in the CSA, but also the unique issues around group coaching.

• The Retreat Agreement.

Retreats are the way many coaches reach that next level of success. Students LOVE them. It’s like group coaching on steroids! But such an amazing experience brings the next level of issues to address. Travel, lodging, meals. Cancellations, changes in venue or content. There are more factors that go into planning and hosting such an event, and more legal consequences to consider.

• COVID Waiver.

Life, as always, is ever moving forward. Our 18 months of living life online is giving way to the return to doing business in real life. But we need not rush headlong into the return to normal without putting protections in place. Medically, that means following mandates and guidance from public health authorities. Legally, that means getting your Covid Waiver in place for in-person settings.

So as school bells ring and those yellow buses start messing up our commutes again, if you ready to take stock in where you are and what you need – we are here to help you avoid #halfassetprotection and reach your “Fall” potential.

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