As a web designer, you surely want to make the best out of every web design project you make. After all, this is your bread and butter and you want to make sure that your client is happy with the result and that you get paid for the time, effort and creativity you have rendered to get the job done. However, all this would only be possible if you and your client have agreed on everything from the very beginning and this is where a contract comes into play.
A contract is more than just a piece of document. It is actually a written proof of everything that you and your client have legally agreed on before work gets underway. If one of you fails on keeping his or her part of the bargain, this can be considered a “breach of contract,” which often results to legal consequences.
As many experts’ advice before entering a business deal one should have a clear contract in place to avoid problems later on. Unfortunately, website designers still do not use a contract or don’t know how to spell out the agreement adequately. As expected, things don’t end up well for them. Of course, you don’t want that to happen to you, right? So here are some other reasons why a contract is an invaluable tool that you should have in place before doing any web design work for a client.
Helps You and the Client to Arrive on the Same Page
One of the biggest advantages of having a contract is that it clearly outlines what the project truly entails. The document itself indicates everything there is about the project, including the goals, objectives and expectations; payment terms; approximate start and finish dates; license agreement for icons or drawings you personally made; etc. In short, a contract is a useful tool that allows you and the client to fully understand your respective responsibilities and help both of you to stay focused on what needs to be done.
Prevents Excessive Client Demands
You have likely heard of the story of a web designer who agreed on working on a landing page design with a client only to end up doing a number of other tasks that he or she is not supposed to do. In the industry this is what is referred to as a scope or project creep, which usually happens when a client requests or demands for additional tasks that are beyond what was originally agreed.
Of course, additional tasks consume time and as you attend to your work, they can derail your schedule. A contract can help prevent this from happening. While extra demands from client is not at all a bad thing, having a contract in hand will allow you to fairly deal with such requests and will also let your client know the scope of the project that both of you have originally agreed upon. Just make sure that your contract has all the necessary provisions related to scope changes so that conflict can be avoided at all cost.
Helps You Dodge Bad Clients
Not all clients are the same. Some are good and others are just downright terrible. Of course, you don’t want to end up dealing with the latter and a contract can help you do just that. If a client doesn’t want to sign a contract or perhaps has too many points he or she wants to include in the document that you deem would only be beneficial for him or her, then these are red flags that you might get yourself in trouble.