For today’s post I have a very intriguing question and, frankly, I’m not sure I know the best answer.
In a freelancing forum recently, I came across someone with this question:
“Do you use a contract for every job, even if it’s a repeat client?”
The question really got me thinking about the best way to approach this sort of situation and I wanted to pass the question on to you to get you thinking too and also to hear your solutions.
Leave a comment on this post and tell me: should repeat clients have to sign a new contract with each new project?
Why I would say “no”
To get the conversation started, here’s what I think: if they’re a repeat client–and I mean new projects every few weeks, not new projects every year–and have been working with you for a long time, they probably deserve a little bit more trust.
With that being said, contracts aren’t just there to ensure everyone’s honest. They also establish guidelines for the project and make sure all parties are on the same page for each new project.
If you decide your repeat clients don’t have to sign a new contract every time you work with them, you should probably have a blanket contract (one that you reexamine every year or so) that explains the terms of your relationship.
Why I would say “yes”
I’m a huge advocate of contracts. You know that.
I have been taken advantage of one too many times by clients and I have decided that I will never work on a design project without a contract again.
Does that mean I have to draft up a 100-page document? No. Sometimes the contract is one page. Sometimes it’s 3/4 of a page.
But I always have a more successful project when we’ve come to terms of agreement before the project ever starts.
It allows me to explain deadlines, needs, costs, and expectations–things that, in my opinion, need defined for each new project whether the client is new or not.
So what do you think?
Well, where do you stand on this issue? Should repeat design clients have to sign a new contract for every project you work on together? How do you work with repeat clients? Leave a comment and enlighten me. I’d love to chat with you about it!