Starting a new business? Opening a new profit line in your existing business? Thinking about hiring a marketing team to help drive clients your way? Be cautious, because a signed contract means nothing until you have a dispute. And if you didn’t take a close look at that contract before signing, but now the relationship has soured, you’re not going to have an easy route forward.
So what should you look for specifically?
- Early Termination Options and Penalties
- What if the marketing company isn’t performing well? How can you terminate early? Are you locked in for a year? What type of penalty, if any, are you subject to for early termination? If you don’t review and negotiate these terms before signing, you might be locked in for a full year of services or face a penalty for terminating early (and not get any services, whether good or bad).
- Restricted Terms
- Healthcare businesses are some of the most heavily regulated businesses in the U.S. With the continued growth of social media enterprises, so comes new regulations. For example, Google and Facebook have significant restrictions on the adwords that can be used in connection with healthcare businesses. More significant, are the limitations on terms or phrases that are used. You must ensure that the company you contract with is aware of these terms and can actually deliver what they promise without violating these terms because if they do violate them, its your business that gets suspended, or banned, from advertising on such sites.
- Payment Terms
- What are the payment terms and what does it include/exclude? Is there a minimum spend? What portion of that is attributable towards a management fee versus ad spends? Does the fee take into account patient volume or value of sales? If so, you may be violating a Federal or State healthcare regulation (which often carry criminal implications!). It is so important that these terms are not only clear but legally compliant.