Protect your precious time without skimping on best practice.
As a valued repeat client, I want to make it simpler for you to access my support. I know that time is your most precious commodity - so I am trying to find ways to make it efficient, easy & less expensive for you to deal with all the foundational essentials that brilliant business owners need to be on top of as they evolve their empires.
Why a retainer / subscription-based service?
Total transparency - my aim is to give myself the stability & certainty of regular monthly income to even out the feast to famine roller-coaster that characterises my business, plus open up more opportunities for mentoring calls (which totally light me up) and make it a no brainer for you to regularly update your legals (because I've never yet read a contract without finding something to improve, and it always worries me that yours will tarnish with time and not be as shiny as they need to be to protect you - I know how quickly they slip down your important but not urgent priority list)!
I also want to ensure you have good governance and risk management support available in advance - BEFORE you need it - so we can keep your dragons working for you instead of letting them get huge and out of control. The bigger your business gets, the more risk you are exposed to, and the less time you have to deal with it. Together we can identify the necessary action to keep you and your clients safe and increase your peace of mind. I'll also provide awesome accountability, so avoidance & resistance won't stop you doing what you need to do.
Here are some of the things I am offering to support you with:
UPDATE YOUR LEGALS (edit, proofread and polish)
(keep your contracts shiny and fresh without the time commitment)
Why is this important? Your contracts need to evolve and grow as your business does, and that includes energetically as well as practically. Ideally, you (or I) will be reading through them at least every 6 months, bringing them into alignment with your current business practices, tweaking any boundaries that are not being properly respected, fluffing them up and making them feel fresh and full of potential. It's not just changes at your end, either - as I am constantly drafting contracts, I am constantly making improvements to my own practice, tweaking standard clauses to communicate more clearly and avoid potential problems - and changes happen in the law, and in the world of business that can trigger necessary updates. With Castle Keeper, I take this worry off your hands. (I am also happy to update contracts I have not personally drafted, so long as they are not written in incomprehensible legal jargon - and even if they are, you know I will suggest ways to improve them.)
What's the alternative? Keep promising yourself you will get around to turning up for one of my quarterly group Update Your Legals calls and then feel guilty about not attending, while your contracts feel increasingly stale and dusty... turn up for one of those group sessions and do all the updating work yourself because I am only there to answer questions rather than revise the contract for you... or pay my hourly rate for updates that often feel rushed and not at all refreshing because I am only able to focus on bits here and there, and don't have the luxury of reading the whole thing with my red editorial pen in hand, which is what we be doing in Castle Keeper...
TRADE MARK SEARCHES (ongoing vigilance)
(let me take over trawling databases, search engines & social media for you)
Why is this important? Regardless of whether your trade mark is registered or unregistered, if you have a business or product name that is important to you, ongoing vigilance is essential. You want to know if someone else is using it in a way that conflicts with your ownership sooner rather than later, and have a plan for taking action to warn them off before they get entrenched, invest in branding and get serious enough to fight you for it. A quick cease and desist letter will often have the desired effect, and if it doesn't, then you will want to talk about what that means and what further action you can take. If you have licensees who are permitted to display your trade mark, you want to know that they are doing so appropriately and not damaging your reputation or diminishing the value of your brand.
What's the alternative? If your trade mark is registered and someone starts using a name that is too similar without permission, or even worse, sneaks under the radar and registers their own version without you objecting, you risk losing exclusive ownership of the name, which would be a terrible shame given all the expense and effort you put in to registering it in the first place. If it is an unregistered trade mark, vigilance is even more important as you don't have the advantage of a listing in the trade mark database. Searches should be conducted regularly, so this becomes another thing on your to-do list that you never get around to - another heavy link in the chain wrapped around the box of doubts that insists your business must stay small to stay safe.
CHAOS TO CALM (practical, intuitive problem-solving)
(save your sanity by letting me untangle the complexities of best practice, good governance & risk management)
Why is this important? Who do you turn to when you have worries you need to unpack or complicated confidential questions that are doing your head in? Wouldn't it be nice to have a trusted professional adviser that you can be completely authentic and let down your guard with, knowing that you won't be judged, no matter what challenges you are struggling with? Every brilliant business owner needs a professional adviser that they can trust to have their back and turn to in times of trouble. Whether it is a contract written in terrible legal jargon that you are expected to sign or just an annoying thorn in your side that you don't know how to deal with, I am here for you! You might not think you're going to need this one, but on the day that you do, it will really make a difference! Further down, I have shared some stories that illustrate how I have been able to help (each of these scenarios took place within a 60 minute mentoring call).
What's the alternative? Unfortunately, these kinds of urgent matters often raise their ugly heads when you least expect them. You can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can call on me when you need me, and I will happily squeeze you in ASAP - regardless of my normal client facing hours... or you can stick with the stress of juggling budgets and calendars on top of the anxiety from someone threatening to sue you or demanding an immediate response to their offer. Continue to go it alone and make it up as you go along - or pay my full fees if you need my support. You might kid yourself that these are one-off issues that only arise occasionally, but my regular mentoring clients never seem to run out of challenges to talk about! Here are just some of the issues we could cover:
- refine your refund, appointment & cancellation policies
- deal with difficult clients and improve your boundaries
- get advice on a contract or intellectual property strategy
- sort out sticky situations without spiralling into sabotage
- explore succession planning for your business
- communicate with clarity & compassion to avoid conflict
- automated systems & process to make your life easier
- risk management, good governance & best practice support
- pick my brain and benefit from my win/win thinking
- anything else you can think of!
NOTE: I will refer you to other trusted practitioners if a matter you need assistance with is adversarial, as my focus is on repairing relationships and litigation is outside the scope of my services. Specialised areas of law such as trusts and employment law may also require referral.
(accountability & companionship when you need to get stuff done)
Why is this important? This is our opportunity to keep each other focused and on track when we have work to do. There is no limit on the number of co-working calls you book in for, so long as you are committed to showing up! This is my way of getting co-working partners for myself, as well as benefiting you! Win Win! When we come together with a willing attitude, we can move mountains!
What's the alternative? You continue working on your own, falling prey to distractions and procrastination, or you put up with the random energy of strangers that you get with programs like FocusMate.
CONTRACT DRAFTING (contracts that care)
(always be first in my queue of work-on-hand)
Why is this important? As a repeat client, it is foreseeable that you will likely call on me again in the future to draft a contract for you. This gives you the convenience of planning for a guaranteed delivery date instead of trying to factor in at least a month-and-a-half's lead time or paying an urgency fee for expedited delivery.
What's the alternative? My normal turnaround on contract drafting is 4-6 weeks, and depending on how busy I am, this has been known to stretch out to 2-3 months. The urgency fee for guaranteed 14 day turnaround adds an additional 50% on top of the price of the contract.
(add value to your events with professional support for participants)
Why is this important? To be honest, I am throwing this in as a bit of a bonus so you are aware of it, and not counting it in calculating the cost of the package, because it is something I am thrilled to do for you anyway!
What's the alternative? I am prepared to be very flexible and create exclusive content to complement the theme of your event or any specific requests you have (as distinguished from the ad hoc rambling interview format I generally offer for "pay what you feel").
Your investment if you want the complete package outlined above is $770 / month.
This is a massive saving (well over $8000 / year) on paying for all these elements individually.
There is a minimum commitment of 3 months at a time, and you can choose to pay monthly, quarterly or yearly.
(The advantage of paying $9240 yearly is that your entitlements are spread out over 12 months,
so you have more flexibility about when you use them, instead of them expiring at the end of each quarter.)
Let's be honest - you won't make this investment in the ongoing safety of your business without this package.
Keeping your contracts updated, protecting your IP, prioritising best practice - they'll just keep slipping down your
important but not urgent list until it's too late, and you're kicking yourself in the midst of chaos because
out of sight & out of mind is not a viable or sustainable strategy for strong business foundations.
If you know your business is going places, invest in the ongoing maintenance that will support you on the journey.
Or... Design your own Bespoke Castle Keeper Package
Only want to update your legals every 6 months, or once a year? Want more or less mentoring hours? Don't need the trade mark vigilance or the guaranteed fast turnaround on new contracts? Need to add in something else that I can support you with that's not on the list?
Custom design your own Castle Keeper package, put a price on it that feels reasonable to you, and make me an offer! I am ALL about win/win.
With lots of admiration and appreciation, if this offer interests you at all, I am really hoping you take advantage of this free 30 minute call (ok, so it's a sneaky attempt to hang out and say hi because I always have fun spending time with you... I promise absolutely no hard sell or guilt or other ulterior motives other than the enjoyment of problem solving how our needs might be met in a mutually beneficial way!)
Here are some stories illustrating real world business problems I have helped with:
Use a problem as an opportunity for improvement
Client A has a thriving coaching program. She is so confident in her process that she guarantees her clients will achieve a result within a certain time, or she will give them a full refund. This generosity makes her happy BUT she's had a few clients trying to rort the system, claiming they haven't achieved the result and requesting the refund after consuming her content.
She's pretty sure they have actually achieved the result but has no way to prove it. She doesn't want to be mean and nasty, but she's feeling angry and taken advantage of, so she comes to me for advice.
Together we defuse the nuclear explosion going off in her emotions and make a calm plan for dealing with the particular trouble maker. That is necessary, but not sufficient. I want to make sure she has a way to automatically stop this happening in future.
After a bit of brainstorming, we've mapped out a solution that costs her almost nothing in time or resources, but incentivises her clients to gladly & publicly self-report when they cross that threshold that disqualifies them from making a refund request. Not only does this fix the original issue, it gives her more social proof for the success of her process, AND motivates and rewards her clients for taking action to achieve her promised results.
Set up an automated system so you can stop worrying
Client B offers generous payment plans, but every now and then, someone ghosts her. She wastes hours worrying about what might be going on for them and composing follow up emails and sending out reminders, at the same time as all of her limiting beliefs about money and the worth of her work are being triggered. She hates it!
She comes to me and brings her VA to the consultation. Together we map out an automated email sequence that her VA can copy and paste as necessary.
The wording is kind and compassionate, but her boundaries are clearly communicated and the consequences of ignoring them can be easily enforced. The system is simple, repeatable, aligned with her values and supportive of her vision for her client relationships.
Consider what else is possible & think outside the box
Client C is considering bringing on a new subcontractor to meet the needs of a niche she would love to expand into but can't currently assist. The problem is, this niche raises a whole new pile of dangers that she really doesn't want to contemplate. Yes, it's a great opportunity to broaden the reach of her modality - and she has a waiting list of clients in that niche who are eager to benefit from her work - but the complexity is overwhelming.
She comes to me and together we map out a different kind of arrangement. Rather than being a subcontractor, we explore the potential for her to enter into a license agreement with the person she is thinking of bringing onboard, and assists them to set up their own parallel business in the new niche.
The licensee gains access to Client C's training, resources, marketing and referral network - and may even piggy-back off her website and booking system - but she is autonomously responsible for all of the risks and regulatory compliance associated with providing services to clients in the new niche.
Client C maintains quality control over the use of her modality and IP, and gets ongoing royalties for the use of her resources, without any of the responsibility or the risk of being sued in an area of practice where her insurance doesn't cover her. Instead of being an awfully scary idea that is 10 seconds away from being tossed in the too-hard-basket, it's now an opportunity that fills her with excitement.
Protect yourself against potential problems
Client D is releasing a new resource but she has a number of questions and concerns.
- She paid someone to produce some of the copy, but only has a verbal agreement with them and a couple of emails, and she is worried that if the resource takes off, they might get greedy and want more, plus she said they could keep using some of the content in their own business, and is worried about the potential for misunderstandings there...
- A competitor has a similar resource, and she is worried that they will think hers is copied (it wasn't) so she wants to make sure hers is unique and distinctive enough to avoid claims of infringement...
- She has made up her own copyright statement and disclaimer but is concerned they won't do what they need to...
- She wants to make sure the name of the resource is distinctive enough to be a trade mark, and protect it as much as possible (though she is not ready to register it yet).
After making arrangements to draft an assignment of copyright (with a 2 week turnaround) and getting clarity on the conversation she needed to have with her content collaborator, we went through her resource and that of a competitor with a fine tooth comb, identifying potential similarities and tweaking them, giving her the confidence to proceed with publication.
We did some due diligence on her resource name, discussing its potential as a trade mark and exploring ways to pivot it into something even more recognisable, working out how that fit into her bigger vision the her business as a whole, and educating her about the difference between registered & unregistered trademarks.
In my follow up email, I sent her wording she could copy and paste as her new copyright protection and disclaimer.
Now she has the confidence to release her new resource, knowing she has put best practice into place, and won't be treading on anyone else's toes.
if you know of another business owner who is seeking this level of support and feel like they would be a good fit, please feel free to direct them to this page, suggest they book a chat using the button below & ask them to let me know that you referred them. If they come onboard, I would love to express my gratitude with an hour of Best Practice Mentoring for you, even if you choose not to benefit from Castle Keeper yourself at this time. Deal with a dragon, chat about a challenge, get clarity on a complex issue, buff up a boundary... or just catch up for a cuppa! I will reach out to you with booking links after I have received their first payment.
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