Tip Thursday | Per The Contract
Have you ever found yourself busting your a$$ on a particular deliverable only to realize after several iterations that THIS WAS NEVER IN THE CONTRACT?
Uhhhh, yeah. We’ve been there too. So, here a few tips to ensure you don’t get screwed over and you don’t screw yourself over:
If a request for a deliverable comes up that was not in the original contract, DO NOT feel like you should just do it anyway just because you can. If it is within your scope of capabilities, and you have the capacity to take it on, then propose to the client to re-write the contract. If not, let the client know that you would like to refer that particular one-off service to someone in your network. Whatever you do, DO NOT do it for free. If you do, you are setting the precedent that you are willing to do every.little.thing that comes up. This is a recipe for burnout and resentment. Been there, done that. Trust us, it’s no bueno.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO USE the phrase, “PER THE CONTRACT,” as often as you need to. This will keep boundaries clear and all parties happy. You’re not being a jerk by making sure the client is aware of what to expect from you. If your client has a problem with it, well they signed the contract.
A signed contract does not mean we are all on the same page. When it comes to keeping things clear, make it a practice to review the contract with the client before you ask for it to be signed. Hop on the phone, it won’t take long. It’s worth the extra few minutes to ensure everyone is on the same page from the start.
Lastly, if you’ve recently contracted for a job that requires a process slightly different in scope to your regular offerings, build into your weekly to-dos a task to review the contract internally (by yourself or with your team). This will eliminate confusion and ensure that the client gets exactly what they paid for, and you don’t inadvertently deliver more or less based on a standard process that has been programmed into your brain.
We’d love to hear your favorite “per the contract” stories. Be sure to leave ‘em in the comments or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!