How to put client content delivery schedule in contract
Hello, newbie here, first post. I look forward to reading through these forums.
I've been running into a problem lately where clients are dragging and delaying in delivering their content to me on website projects. I have kind of a system where my costs are vaguely stipulated on how much time I plan on each project taking, and lately it's been like drip drip drip with a page here and a page there, then a new version of some page, and on and on with editing pages and delays.
How do I put something in the contract, or statement of work, that details that they need to send me finished content in a timely manner, or pay a penalty or something?
I also have a business model where my project cost is fixed for a certain type and size of website. So they pay up front, or 50%/50%. so I don't know how to charge them a penalty later...
If you're writing the contract, it can say whatever you need it to say (within reason, of course).
1) revising the way you present milestones so that it's clear that you won't start work until on X until you've received all relevant materials? You'd have to include some kind of acknowledgement of the wavy final deadline if you do this, though.
2. including a review period (5 business days, 36 hours, etc) to make changes or submit copy, after which you assume the work is satisfactory (if relevant) or the section is moved out of the contract and subject to re-negotiation. How this would work and how well it would work would depend on the structure of your contract and on the nature of your business, of course.
How do you create a workflow for client sign off on milestones? Can you do that just by simply asking for an email confirmation/ sign off? Or should you have a piece of paper (like a mini-contract) that is signed and sent back and forth through the mail for each milestone? The latter would seem to take a lot of extra time and effort... Not sure how to implement this either. Thank you.
Hmmm, if you've never watched (or paid attention to the details as) someone worked through all the stages necessary to complete a job you're at a bit of a disadvantage. ;^)
The answer to your question really depends on what you do, your business model (how you do it) and the relationship style you want with your clients.
I don't see why you need to do much more than state parameters in your contract and then use email or comparable to inform each other of your progress. If you're dealing in contracts worth hundreds of thousands, or you're dealing with particularly sensitive issues, then a formal (i.e., a notarized statement) interim acknowledgement of completion might be called for. Otherwise, I don't think so.
But I say this with no special information about you, your business or your clients.