For the majority of photobooth business owners, this is the first time that we’ve experienced a worldwide pandemic of this scale. The climate is ever changing and we must adapt in order to continue running a successful photobooth business.
That’s why our very own Catalina from MDRN Photobooth Company sat down with Aaron Arce Stark of Arce Stark & Haskell LLP during one of our Photobooth Podcasts to discuss potential changes that photobooth owners should be making to their contracts during this time.
What contract changes should we be looking at?
It's more important than ever before to be adding a Dangerous Conditions Clause to your contract. While your clients may still be wanting to have events that feature a photobooth, they may be doing so against the safety and health guidelines set by their state or country.
By having this clause in your contract, you have the right to not participate in the event and terminate the agreement assuming you're not comfortable breaking these government health guidelines.
While adding this clause is more important than ever before, mostly due to COVID-19, it's a clause that Aaron recommends adding to your contract regardless.
Should I outline what the retainer or deposit is used for?
Yes, yes, 1,000 times yes!
Since our photobooth owners have been seeing an increase in cancellations, it's important to outline what your retainer or deposit is used for so that you're able to walk away without giving 100% refunds to all clients.
Things like administrative work, preparation, design, or reserving the date of the event are just some of the things that should be outlined in your retainer or deposit clause in your contract.
After all, it's easy for clients to believe that their retainer or deposit is simply a way of securing money before the actual event takes place.
Don't undervalue yourself!
You probably have spent a decent amount of time preparing for this event and it's important that you pay yourself for the time you've spent doing so, regardless of if the client would like to cancel.
Not only does it ensure that you'll walk away with something, it also makes it easier to explain to your clients why this fee is non-refundable.
Aaron recommends charging about one-third of your total package price as a retainer or deposit. This will allow you to secure enough money, but it's also not an unreasonable amount for the work that you've done.
You could even go as far as to charge 50%, but then things can become more complicated to explain and your client may be more willing to take you to court to get those funds back.
Do I need a Release of Liability clause because of things like cross contamination?
Obviously photobooths are a highly touched item and you never know if someone sick is going to touch your booth and then get someone else sick.
That’s why it’s important that you have a release of liability for this type of situation.
With that said, however, you cannot be negligent. You have to maintain your photobooth's cleanliness. Frequently wiping the booth down or providing hand sanitizer to guests is a great way to show that you're not being negligent.
If you don't have this clause written in your contract, don't freak out! It's pretty difficult to prove negligence unless you show up to the event, sneezing and coughing.
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