Re: Frozen contracts

Subject: Re: Frozen contracts
From: Peter Kent <71601 -dot- 1266 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 12:12:26 EST

>>Sarah Lee Bihlmayer wrote:
Well, in a decade of contract/consulting work I've come up against
thisproblem repeatedly, and here are the strategies I have developed
forforestalling/ dealing with it:
1. I make it clear in all contract negotiations that I must have precise
scheduling and duration information as far in advance as possible. Iexplain
that in order to keep food on my table, I line my projects and clients up
months ahead of time and need to be able to predict my myavailability as
accurately as I can.
2. When the contract is drafted, I make sure it specifies exact start andend
dates and minimum billable hours per month, and includes verbiage such as,
"significant changes in the project's duration or minimum billable hours from
that specified herein will render this contract null and void,and
renegotiation may be required for continuance of the work."<<

That clause is a good idea--do you get much resistance from clients, though?

>>3. By putting this clause right in the contract, I can then gracefully
(and legally) get out of a contract that has either been put on hold or
slowed down to a mere trickle of billing hours per month. If this actually
comes to pass, I politely explain to the client that I cannot remain available
to the exclusion of making a living, and that I would be happy to resume work
on the project when they are ready if my schedule allows.<<

I'v had to explain this to clients, too, but I havn't had the clause you
mention in any of my contracts--the clause must make it easier.

>>4. And yes, I do work for more than one client at a time...however I have
had situations where 3 or 4 projects all got frozen the same month! So this is
not an absolute fail-safe.<<

That's very bad luck; I've never run into that situation, I'm glad to say.

Thanks very much for your feedback.

Peter Kent

Peter Kent: 71601 -dot- 1266 -at- compuserve -dot- com, 303-989-1869
Coming soon, an updated and revised Technical Writer's Freelancing
Guide. E-mail for more information. Comments/suggestions welcome.

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