Working as an independent contractor offers several great benefits. For starters, you’re your own boss: You’re in charge of your working hours and work environment, and you’re free to negotiate the terms of a project with a client.
But as great as that sounds, there are a number of important factors to consider when seeking work as an independent contractor, such as the need for a clear and complete contract. In this “new” economy, contractors work from contract to contract, rendering only the services for which they are hired.
How then, do you and the client know what services are involved?
This is where a contract comes in.
As employees, we’re often used to having a contract prepared for us—all you need to do is read and sign. On the other hand, as an independent contractor, you need to draft the contract, making sure to define the following:
- Scope of the work done for the client
- Deadline for the project’s completion
- Project budget
- Project liabilities for both client and contractor
- Relationship between you and client, and relationship with subcontractors (if any)
The problem with foregoing a contract
But why bother with a contract when you can just have a verbal agreement over the work to be done? Think of it this way, people tend to forget things, and when that happens, remembering specific conditions and agreements about the project can get tricky.
In any business transaction, a contract is critical to preserving understanding of both parties to their responsibilities and rights. Ideally, it should spell out in very clear terms who gets what, what services should be rendered, and the circumstances in which the contract can be ended.
More importantly, a contract offers protection against confusion and disagreements, which can lead to potential legal claims, such as, but not limited to, a breach of the agreement between contractor and client. This leads us to our next point.
A contract contains the terms for addressing client feedback
A contract should also stipulate both parties’ liabilities. For your part, it’s important to outline a process deals with feedback, which includes:
- Responding to feedback
- Steps to resolve a project issue
- Communicating the resolution to the client
This may seem like a minor detail, but putting a resolution policy in writing ensures that all parties know what to do and expect when encountering problems in the project, helping minimize disagreements.
Learn more about how to avoid the common pitfalls of working as an independent contractor from Integrity Staffing Professionals. With more than 50 years of experience providing workforce management and job search advice, we know the executive search process by heart. Contact us today to learn more!