A client has fired you at some point in your career. In the future, you likely will be fired again. It’s just the nature of the business. And the causes for firing are seemingly endless.

One way to protect yourself from firing is by documenting your work. It is important not only as a preventative measure to keep clients, but also as protection in a legal sense. We live in a litigious society, so you not only should carry liability insurance, but also document the evidence that can help you in a legal case.

Fairfield, Fla., farrier Scott Chandler has a good approach for providing information to clients. Anytime he needs to instruct a client, he writes the guidelines on the invoice at the end of the appointment. He hands the invoice to the client and keeps the carbon copy for his records.

So when trying to manage the complications that come with a hot, wet Florida, he’ll write steps on what to do, such as avoiding turnout into a damp morning field.

So when he comes back weeks later, hopefully the instructions have been followed. But when they are not, he may find feet in poor shape thanks to environment and conditions — and a client who is unhappy. The owner may erroneously blame the farrier for problems he or she didn’t introduce. It is your word vs. their memory. Some people don’t like to remember things that prove them wrong, so you take the hit. The invoice is a physical reminder of that conversation. It is irrefutable evidence.

“I may explain that they went over it, but they don’t remember,” says Chandler. “I’ll ask them to get the invoice, and when they read it, they say, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right, now I remember.’”

He finds that these clients then thoroughly read the subsequent invoices and are more than likely to follow the instructions. And, most importantly for the practice, they remain clients.

What advice do you have for educating clients? Post them below in our comment section?