Essential Tools To Ensure You Never Miss A Contract Renewal
Your contracts might be your business’s most important assets – they either bring valuable revenue into the business or secure the products or services you need to thrive. As a business owner, it is important to ensure that you employ best practice contract management techniques, especially around the sensitive areas of contract negotiation and renewal. To help you get a handle on the situation, here are a few platforms and strategies you can employ to monitor when contract renewals are due.
Software and Platform Reminders
Many secure document storage solutions such as Your Digital File (www.yourdigitalfile.com/) have reminder features built into their platforms that are directly linked to the actual contract file. This is perhaps the simplest and most technically advanced method of reminding yourself of upcoming contract renewal dates. You can set reminders for any file type. It only takes a few simple clicks to set up your contracts so that you are automatically reminded before the contract expires. You can elect to receive a pop-up notification within the platform or have the notification emailed to a designated account.
Most online calendar solutions enable their users to schedule reminders in the associated calendars. Outlook, iCal and Google Calendars all have fairly simple reminder features that are linked to events scheduled in the calendar. Email or pop-up notifications can be scheduled minutes, days or weeks in advance. This solution is convenient as the calendar and associated reminders can be synced to any device – desktop or mobile – so you can receive reminders and notifications on the go.
Similarly, Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail and many other email programs allow users to schedule tasks within their platforms. For each task, users can set due dates, attach notes, and link the task to a category (such as ‘Contracts’). Unfortunately, this solution is not as sophisticated as the others, primarily as many task lists don’t use reminder or notification features. Users are instead presented with a list of upcoming tasks and can scroll through to see what’s due in the coming weeks or months. If you use your task list to keep on top of upcoming contract renewals, consider scheduling independent tasks weeks or months in advance in lieu of automatic reminders.
Sometimes a simple, offline solution can really work. If you only manage a handful of contracts, a year planner can be a simple, easy to use solution to keep on top of your contract management. You can see at a glance how your contract renewals are spread over the year, and which contracts are coming up for renewal. There are large versions for wall mounting or smaller desktop versions. The only issue with an offline solution is that there’s no reminder feature – it won’t work if you don’t check your planner regularly.
These are a few simple strategies that contract managers can use to ensure they never miss a contract renewal. Have you tried any of these strategies to monitor your contracts? Have you found alternative solutions that work well? Share your experiences in the comments below.