If you own a small business, you have probably entered into a contract with a consultant.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Lopeke, owner of SMARTSTART, as well as a philanthropist. She incorporated her consulting practice in the early eighties and co-founded SMARTSTART Giving, a philanthropic initiative that benefits entrepreneurs around the world, after a personal meeting with President Clinton in 2007.
Linda told me that most people don’t realize that every consulting agreement should contain a minimum of nine elements. If those elements aren’t included, you will probably not have a successful result.
Here are the minimum nine elements that must be included in every consulting agreement:
1. What will be done (the statement of work which may/may not include the method for how it will be done)
2. When it will be recognized as having been done (the success measures or deliverables agreed to)
3. The timelines agreed to for starting and finishing the work and completing key tasks or deliverables (these are the milestones, due dates, and the tangible form the work will take. For example – 6 coaching sessions booked in a 90 day period or a functional web site with x, y, z elements)
4. The consideration and payment terms (how much, when payment is due, who covers expenses and how will they be invoiced/approved, what form payment will be in, what must exist as proof payment is due, and any associated restrictions or penalties)
5. Ownership and accountability (ownership of problems and issues and their escalation, of resources, access and tools needed, of status reporting and communication, of the completed work)
6. Disclaimers and provisions for errors and omissions
7. Cancellation terms and notice required
8. Names of the authorized parties representing both sides of the contract, and contact information
9. Date of contract
This information was excerpted from a teleseminar titled “Creating Flawless Consulting and Coaching Relationships.”
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About the Author: Margie Zable Fisher is the President of Zable Fisher Public Relations, a small business public relations firm, and is the publisher of Women Business Owners Digest (www.wbodigest.com). She offers free award-winning Public Relations tips at www.zfpr.com.