Using contracts improperly (or not at all) has cost me well over $50k in lost time and money over the last 13+ years.
I’m sure you’re fully aware of how contracts protect you and your client – but are you confident your current contract has your back?
Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way what to include in my contract to make sure a bad situation doesn’t repeat itself ,and I want to make sure you have these in your contract today.
#1 – How You Handle Scope Changes
If a client asks for something out of scope – how are they charged for it?
Maybe you’ll provide revised pricing.
Maybe you’ll bill by the hour for extra features or tasks.
Maybe you’ll start a new project afterwards.
Whatever it is – make sure it’s stated clearly and have them initial beside it.
#2 – Who is Responsible for What
Expectations can only be met if they’re communicated.
If you don’t handle copy or aren’t responsible for sourcing images, make sure that’s stated clearly. What exactly will each party be responsible for in the project?
Don’t be afraid to get extremely granular here.
#3 – How You’ll Communicate
My clients do not have access to me outside of email and a PM tool.
Clearly setting communication boundaries including where you’ll respond to messages, and when, will save you from late night DMs or weekend interruptions.
#4 – How You’ll be Paid
One lump payment? Split into two? Monthly payments for X months?
How exactly will you be invoicing and what will happen if payment does not arrive? These are all incredibly important to state clearly and in BIG BOLD letters within your contract.
A Contract is Your First (and Last) Line of Defence
Contracts aren’t meant to strong-arm your client – they’re a way to protect both of you from a bad experience.
So open your contract today and make some tweaks to ensure you avoid the mistakes I made in the past.