January 24, 2015
6 Things You Need to Explain to Your Clients Before Signing a Contract
Contracts are binding and legal leverages that protect the interests and rights of both the designer and the client. These tie both parties to attune to the provisions of the contract and makes sure no one cheats over the other. Also, these benefit designers greatly because:
- The designer will have some security that the client will pay
- The designer can withdraw the deal once he feels violated
- The designer will have an idea on how to react with clients who do not pay
Payment SchedulesAs a freelancer, you have to assure that you are going to be paid. I mean, who works for free, right? That is why, as early as possible and before signing a contract, you have to discuss matters like payment schedules to your clients. You need to ask the following:
- When am I going to be paid?
- How much is the upfront payment?
- How will I be paid?
- What are the necessary steps both of us should take in case of late payments or late delivery?
Delivery of Final OutputOf course, this item is included as one of the things you need to explain to your client. As a freelancer, you also need to give your client a sense of security. You need to assure that you’ll deliver at the date you both agreed. Now, when it comes to setting a deadline for output, most freelancers divide the projects into segments or milestones. Each milestone has a deadline. Example, you are to submit a web design for a restaurant website. As a freelancer, you will divide the whole project into four milestones. Say, first, you’re going to deliver the PSD of the layout and, second, the basic HTML page and so on.
Why are milestones important?
- Because the client will be able to see the progress of the project
- As a designer, you will be organized with your time frames
- You can make an agreement on the payment schedules based from the milestones
- Assess the project well. Set realistic deadlines
- Explain to the client why you can’t meet his deadline and offer a win-win situation
- Play safe
- Include the smallest details in the plan
- Regular Meetings and Updates
- Be straight to the point
- Update on the accomplishments first before stating the problems
- Try not to sound like whining when you state your problems
- Listen to the client
- Make sure that you note everything that you talked about.
- What does the client want?
- What do you want?
- Would he need the website to be responsive?
- Will it be needed that you add some jQuery plugins?
Design RevisionsLet’s imagine this scenario. You deliver a project to the client on time and on target. After a few days, the client contacts you for revisions. Now, you ask yourself, do I have to charge that said client for this? This should be addressed before signing the contract. You have to assert that you will only give a limit of three revisions for the entire project. This is an important aspect of freelancing because you have to preserve your reputation as you would want to deal with the client with extra care and compassion. But you also have to protect yourself and your interest. This article talks about what the number of revisions that you should allow. Now, I ask, you, do you agree with this?
Client FeedbackAs a designer, having a portfolio is really important- and part of building a solid portfolio is having enough testimonials from your previous clients. This is not an urgent matter, though. But you have to get your client’s feedback from your work. Why is this important?
- To assess yourself and discover your strengths and weaknesses
- To assess your system
- To build a stronger portfolio
- Prepare a template of questions
- Keep the questions short and direct to the point
- Use tools like:
- Get regular feedback before submitting revisions