Some of the common mistakes freelancers tend to make is they forget to prioritise the contract or worse, make a bad contract between themselves and the employer. Out of excitement and due to the thought of having understood what the client wants, the deadline of the project, and the amount to charge for the labour are often the cause of not wanting to create a contract. Some people are also shy, or do not know how to do it.
If you are a freelancer and you think that your potential employer wouldn’t sign a contract with you, then maybe it is time to have a second thought and question if they are worthy of your time and effort. Putting the terms and conditions into writing is necessary as it does not only protect you (freelancer) but the employer as well. It shows what you can offer, where the limitations of your job end, and what to expect from the employer. It gives the employer the time to view what they are paying you for and assess your work against pre-agreed terms. In short, a contract is important as it prevents all potential ambiguity and confusion thus, a contract gives structure to the project.
How to create a freelance contract?
- Use simple words, avoid use of jargon or confusing statements that could cause misunderstanding.
- Create your contract in a concise and easy-to-read format such as the use of headings, bullets, and prioritising only the key points. As much as possible, keep the sentences short but concise.
- Avoid generalisation. Expand details if necessary to prevent confusion.
- Specifically define the project and the details of the work involved to clarify that you and the client have the common understanding of what the project will be, the hours worked and the money to be paid.
- Write the roles and responsibilities for you and the clients to avoid false expectations.
Contact terms vary widely depending on the project type, industry and tasks to be completed. However, well-crafted contracts include a number of factors stated above and more details of the job description. These all need to be present in a contract to help you keep safe from ‘scope creep’ where the client keeps on requesting for additional services, demands, and adds details to their original request.