Ditch the Dinosaur Contracts
It may be time to ditch the dinosaur contracts in your business. Most businesses have at least one dinosaur contract in their midst, some have several. The one contract for goods or services nobody wants to bid out, investigate alternatives, or generally deal with. So, it gets renewed year after year, resulting in goods or services well past their sell-by date. What most people don’t realize is, in many cases, those vendors are counting on your inertia, you’re their business model. They know full well who their competitors are and how much money you’d save if you investigated your options. They also know you’d probably end up with better technology, resulting in more efficient employees.
Dino isn’t Dead
For a variety of reasons, dinosaur contracts continue to pop up and roar, even in 2021. Why? Because they are very profitable for people who are not you. Still today, a salesman sits down and attempts to manipulate the conversation and flow of information to “land” the sale. Gruffness, drama, superiority and a wide range of other emotional displays come out when prevented from performing their routine. Their goods or services can’t possibly sell themselves; they need that face-to-face pantomime to make it work for them. They still need to “walk you down” their well-practiced, “sure fire”, 1952 used car path, without deviations. Or contracts that auto-renew for massive, elderly, copier machines that can produce printed paper that nobody wants by the pound. These particular dinosaur contracts come with support contracts, costly ink and paper expenses, storage expenses, and finally destruction expenses.
Enhancements to Sign Dinosaur Contracts
Vendors of dinosaur contracts are more likely to start offering enhancements at the end of term to keep you coming back. They’re nicer, they take you to lunch, they “give” you thousands of dollars to trade up or renew. Such a deal! But it’s usually a “deal” you can live without because nobody will “give” you something for nothing. That “free lunch” is usually anything but. When you start seeing enhancements, “free” things, “incentives”, and things along those lines, grab the doorknob. Your time would be better spent doing some basic math and internet searches for alternatives. Even if all your new research and math don’t find you a better deal elsewhere, it’s still valuable. You can easily use your new information to negotiate a better deal with your old vendor. Or coax them into providing you with better, cheaper, faster from their own line, even if less profitable for them.
Do you still need that service or machine? Is there a better way to achieve the same end? Is there a way to do it better, newer, faster, cheaper, but accomplish the same thing, without the dinosaur contract? When was the last time you checked to see what is available now that wasn’t when you signed that antique? The marketplace isn’t the only thing that changes over time, so do legal contracts, clauses, and provisions. What might have been a “norm” when businesses worked with each other years ago, just isn’t “norm” anymore. New “norms” are designed to save employee time which saves company money. New “norms” also save on equipment, supplies, service contracts, and a host of other related costs and expenses.
Most people think of a transaction attorney when they have a new business deal or new contract matter they need help with. But finding a dinosaur contract lurking in your files is always a good time to call a transaction attorney. That file in the back of your bottom drawer may contain a drain on your capital that needs plugging. You may have dinosaur contracts lurking, hoping no one takes the time to dust them off and address their terms. An experienced transaction attorney can not only help you remove those talons, but save you money in the long run. If your dinosaur contract evokes visions of the old “Miss Smith, take a memo” days, put it down and back away. Then call Susan Larsen at Larsen Law Offices, LLC.