Consultant Thursdays: Contracts Are Essential To Doing Business
I can’t tell you how many times I should have written some kind of contract in dealing with the client; you get down the line, and pretty soon there’s a disagreement on who’s responsible for what (“What do you mean we have to write the copy? You’re the web designer!”). Trust only goes so far, and when that trust is broken, it’s always the client that has the upper hand — and the checkbook — when there’s a disagreement and no contract in place. When there is a contract, how one-sided or another it is shows how far you can trust a client.
Most clients should appreciate signing a contract; like in Jerry Maquire, no handshake is as strong as oak.
I’ve lost thousands of dollars and a lot of sleep over this. Now with most of the clients I work with, there’s some kind of contract in place. It almost never gets to the details, but usually it ensures there’s some kind of understanding in place of who’s going to do what.
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