Contract Management by Karim Marucchi [LIVEBLOG]

Karim talks about WordPress business and contract management.

Many freelancers work on handshakes. But they can get you in trouble. Karim will be walking thru the upsides of a good contract along with the mistakes that come from not doing it right.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:37 pm

Do you have insurance?

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:37 pm

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:38 pm

I’m happy to look into insurance, but I am a consultant. If you need to bring in a contract, it may double or triple the price.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:39 pm

BACKGROUND INFO: Karim is the CEO of

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:39 pm

Chris Lema: As a consultant or freelance, you may or may not have experience with contracts.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:39 pm

[Karim will share 10 things you must have in your contract]

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:40 pm

First: I [Karim] is NOT an attorney.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:40 pm

Nothing today should be taken as legal advice.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:41 pm

Make sure you document where you are with a client, before work is started.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:41 pm

Each client is different, things change.

But there are core principals for each client.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:42 pm

No matter what happens, get things in writing. Build it into the contract.

Get the information to the client.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:42 pm

Not all clients are created the same.

four basic types of contracts

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:42 pm

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:43 pm

If you don’t have clauses in your contract, it’s not you “may”, it’s you will have problems.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:44 pm

Amateur clients.

“My cousin’s son just did a logo for me” .. and a contract could scare them away.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:44 pm

Financial Risk Clients.

Maybe an ecommerce company where the company depends on the site for their revenue. If they depend on what you’re working on, you need to make sure you’re covered for what you’re working on.

Make sure you have a secure contract.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:45 pm

The Complex Client.

Ever have a client that starts describing their awesome website that sounds exactly like Facebook or Amazon? “can we do this for $5,000?”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:46 pm

Master Service Agreements

These could take a month, 6 months, or a year, before signing one of these.

With a large company, once you sign a contract like this, you can start working with various departments and once it’s signed, you can start working immediately.

You could end up with 10 years worth of work based on this one Master Service Agreement.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 201312:54 pm

TOP 10

* Scope (Deliverables, schedule, milestones)
* Timing: When do I get paid? (30% up front, 30% on design, 40% on delivery?)
– What does “delivery” mean? Make sure that is defined, you may never see the last 40% of your money
* Expenses and reimbursements: example, the cost of iStockPhotos, have you seen how expensive those are now? Do you want to be on the hook for that?

[Nice plug to @Dremeda and for fixing a client’s site (within an hour)]

* Client Delays: When you get feedback, then the client disappears for weeks. Include a clause, “you have 72 hours to give me feedback. If I don’t hear back, assume it’s approved”
* Warranties and Maintenance: Some clients, we offer a 60-page HOWTO for managing WordPress, videos, screencasts, and more. Include a clause about “maintenance fees” and how much it will cost to call you when they need support.
– Warranty: Some clients offer 90-day warranties. Karim’s company offers a 365-day warranty. Think about WordPress updates, so their company covers these updates to ensure that WordPress it up to date.
* Service Level Agreement (SLA): How quick will I return a phone call or email? Spell this out to ensure you don’t run into problems in the future.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:00 pm

* Rights and Licenses: GPL and more. Who owns the code?
* Force Majeure, which means…something went wrong and nobody could control it.
* Limitation of Liability: when working on small projects, make sure that you have a simple bullet point like…”the maximum liability I have on this project is the project cost”

Audience: “take it a step further, ‘maximum liability’ is the amount paid on a project, not just the total project cost”

* Mediation: It’s much cheaper to pay for a professional mediator, rather than going to court.
* DO NOT FORGET: get the contract signed!

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:02 pm

Getting a contract signed. If the client is in a hurry, they will make sure you get the signed contract.

Audience: “Don’t start work when you get the check, start work when the check clears

“I suggest you expedite the payment so I can start faster”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:03 pm

Audience: “If you have a Purchase Order from a larger client, that’s just like cash. It can be used in court”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:07 pm

Audience: “how do you handle changes within a contract or what the client is asking for?”

Karim: “If it’s outside the spec, point to the project. We need a change order in the contract”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:10 pm

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20131:10 pm

Thank you Karim! That’s all for this talk.