One of the more mysterious parts of the business, where do you keep your contracts? Not to go all James Bond on you, but it’s common for businesses to keep contracts in a top-secret location. The reason is, they don’t want competitors to know the type of deal they have with a very important supplier and they don’t want their employees leaking it either to the press. One example is, Adidas has a limited-time contract with an important foam company that made their new ‘light strike midsole material. They could only make x-amount of shoes with this material until they renewed their contract or let it lapse at which point they needed a new one. Hence, the first series of light strike shoes were sold at a loss. See where we’re going?
The first thing you need to do as a business is, give a limited knowledge of what the contract is about. This may sound harsh, but your employees are not always going to be trustworthy. So why blab about what is in your contract, to people who might only be with your company for 6 months to a year? The best thing to do is to have a policy of who can see the contract, who has access to it, and who can read it when they want i.e. have it stored on their personal or professional accounts. The fewer people who know what’s in it, where it is, and who else has access to it the better. The majority of leaks happen not because of cyber attacks, but because of internal breaches by employees.
Store it properly
Okay, so if you have signed a multi-million pound contract with another brand, where should you keep your contract? On the cloud? Sure. behind a very strong firewall, multiple levels of passwords, data encryption, etc. But if the power goes out for your business or perhaps for the business you are using to store it with, then what? What if that contract is lost forever? Then you truly are knee-deep in the muck. This is why physical hard copy storage of your contracts is required. Using trusted Record management services, you can have peace of mind as the contracts are stored in unique places. These places will have optimum air temperature, minimal human contact and are stored in hard-to-find places. This means a contract can last in pristine condition for over 100 years or more.
At home too?
Although it’s not always recommended, if you own a small business then yes, you should be keeping your contracts at home with you. This is so you can thumb through the detail at any time, especially if the other party is suspected of breaching their end of the bargain. However, they should be kept in a fireproof box for documents and handled with gloves. You don’t want dirty fingers to smudge the wording.
Contracts are kept top secret by the majority of blue chip companies for a reason. They contain highly sensitive information and any leaks will mean your rivals see what you’re up to and the media come snooping around.