Re: A Contractor's Question

Subject: Re: A Contractor's Question
From: Barb Philbrick <burkbrick -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 14:48:04 GMT

In a message dated 97-01-16 17:33:10 EST, you write:

<< What recourse do contractors have? Have any of you created contracts
that address this contingency? What success have you had? And staffers,
have you encountered contractors who addressed this? Could you say how
they did so, or what happened, and how things were resolved? >>

If I understand at least part of what you're asking, I put a line on the
quote that says something to the effect of "this quote is good for 30
days." If I give a final date on a quote, I always add something to the
effect of "provided client supplies information."

I also take more than one job at a time. I typically have three to four
clients (I have an employee who helps me out; when I was on my own, I kept
projects to two or three). I've had a few bad moments when everything was
due at once, but with planning you can usually work it out so the lulls in
one project are filled with busy times in another.

I also always take the first job that gives me a contract. (I let
potential clients know my availability might change, too.) You're right -
you can't fiddle around forever waiting for someone to make up their mind.
As a side note, in my experience, the potential client who is the most
gung-ho about a project is the most likely to not come through; the "gosh,
we're thinking about it, but we're not sure" ones always come through. I
haven't figured out why this is yet.

Part of this is the normal risk of doing contract business, so make sure
your hourly rate is appropriate (in the Cleveland area, $40 to 60 an
hour). Besides covering time spent with non-billables and covering your
hospitalization and so on, your hourly rate should include something for
the risk of no work.

I've included two clauses from my contract that sort of address.
Fortunately, I've never had to pull out the contract after the initial
signing, so I can't tell you how effective they are.

These are the clauses in my contract that deal most closely with what
you're asking:

4. The parties agree that the work as contracted shall be completed
at such time as the parties mutually agree.
5. Client agrees to cooperate at all times with Consultant and
provide Consultant with advice, materials, or software that will enable
Consultant to complete and comply with assignment herein.

Hope this helps,

Barb Philbrick

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