Based on the lessons I’ve learned by running a business, I have written several articles on this blog pertaining to entrepreneurship. Earlier this year I wrote an article providing tips on what you need to have in your contract before starting any job. As I looked back over that list, I realized that I missed something very important. What happens if your client decides to pull the plug before the project is finished?
“No problem,” you say, “my client paid me a deposit up front.” That may be true, but a deposit usually only covers certain up-front creative costs. Let’s say the time you have invested into a particular project now exceeds the amount of the deposit. Let’s assume that you are well into phase two, when all of a sudden, the project is put on hold. Your client becomes unresponsive. When he/she does finally return your calls, he/she says that the company has been forced to table the project. So, how do you recoup the cost of your time up to that point?
Since this has happened to me before, I now insert a clause into each of my contracts which says something like, “Should Client terminate the project before its completion, Client is responsible for paying Company all unpaid costs incurred in the production of this video up to the date of termination.” By inserting this sentence, I can cover myself in case my client decides to shelve the video project before it’s complete. The wording of your contract ultimately might be a bit different from mine, but the point is to make sure that you get paid for your time.