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Better contract negotiation and editing tips


A recent survey has found that 53 million Americans are now freelancing, earning $1 trillion dollars last year. Behind many of the jobs freelancers are doing lies the art of contract negotiation – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Better contract negotiation and editing tips

Better contract negotiation and editing tips
A recent survey has found that 53 million
Americans are now freelancing, earning 1
trillion dollars last year. Behind many of the
jobs freelancers are doing lies the art
of contract negotiation. Sometimes, such as in
the case of freelancing portals, those contracts
are negotiated on your behalf by the portal
itself. But in many other cases, you have to sort
out the contractual details of a client project
yourself. Below weve put together a few tips and
strategies to help you in the process of
creating, negotiating and ultimately signing a
contract. Contract Negotiation Tips and
Strategies Tip 1 Know your client Take time
to understand what your client expects of you.
This forms the basis of the contract. If you
dont get the requirements set out, in stone,
then the dreaded scope creep can happen. This is
part of your contract negotiation. If possible,
write down the specifics as you negotiate. Not
only can you use these to build the contract, but
you can refer to them, in more detail later to
carry out the contract expectations.
Tip 2 Know yourself what do you want out of
this? Freelancers and contractors can be their
own worst enemy. We often think about others,
before we think about ourselves. Ask yourself,
what do you want out of this contract? Querying
your own needs should form part of the contract
negotiationprocess. You may find, during this
process, that the wonderful contract you have
been chasing for months isnt so wonderful after
all when you get into the details. Tip 3
Understand what is and isnt allowed in a
contract We have looked at contract law in our
ApproveMe blog in previous posts. Check them out
to see what can and cant be used as clauses in a
contract. Tip 4 Dont be afraid of
lawyers Lawyers are our friend. Seriously. Yes,
they can be expensive, but a good lawyer can save
you a lot of money in the long run.
Many law firms will give you a free 1 hour advice
session where you can judge if they are
knowledgeable in contract law, as well as pick up
some contract negotiation tips. If they work out,
you can use them to create contract templates
which can be reused for other similar contracts.
Templates can save you lawyer time and also can
help make the whole contract signing process
simpler and quicker. Also, look out for offers
of help in contract creation from professional
bodies such as the freelancing body for writers,
The EFA and the Freelancers Union. Tip 5
Keep a track on changes Contracts can sometimes
be long and have multiple revisions. Make sure to
turn on track changes / review so that you can
see what is being changed. There may be a minor
change made to a contract, like changing a date
of delivery, or a may to a must which you
could easily miss. Having track changes switched
on will redline these changes so you can
instantly see them.
Tip 6 Take your time When you finally get the
client to agree to go forward, it is hard not to
try and rush to the signing stage of a contract
negotiation. Try and take some time to make sure
that you cover your contract bases thoroughly. If
you use an online signing portal
like ApproveMe, you can speed up the process in
other areas like contract distribution and
signing. Use this saved time to your advantage
and take your time in more important areas, like
the details of clauses. Tip 7 Think
differently Sometimes during a contract
negotiation you can see a way forward that is
different to the original idea dont dismiss
this, its never too late until youve signed on
the dotted line. Bring it up during negotiations
and you never know, it might benefit both you and
the client. Tip 8 Get someone else to give it
the once over
Through each of the drafts of the contract, ask a
trusted colleague to look it over. If they know
something about the area you work in, all the
better. Make sure that if you do ask a third
party to look over it that you respect any
non-disclosure agreements. Tip 9 Trust your
gut If you still feel uncomfortable signing,
dont do it. Ive been in a situation where I
ignored a very strong gut feeling to not sign a
contract. In the end, it cost me an enormous
amount of time and money. If your warning bells
are ringing, listen to them. Chances are your
subconscious has picked up on something. At the
very least get a lawyer to check it over before
signing, and take advice from other trusted
professionals. Tip 10 Shy bairns get
nowt This is a saying which translates to, you
get nothing if you dont ask for something. If
you need to have a specific clause in a contract
for example, to cover you if an unexpected
event happens, then ask if it can be included.
The worst that can happen is that the client
says, no. However, I caveat this with be
reasonable. Clients, indeed all of us, can
sometimes take things personally, and if you are
starting to make unreasonable requests, the
client may just walk away. Tip 11 It aint
over until the fat lady signs If after
your contract negotiations you are still unable
to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, dont
just sign the contract because you feel you
should. Be prepared to walk away. I realize this
is easier said than done, especially if this
contract has been a long time coming and already
cost you money. But if that contract is not
mutually agreeable, you may well end up in a
courtroom, which will cost you a lot more time
and money. Tip 12 Signed, sealed and
delivered When it comes to the contract
completion stage, youll need to have the
signatures of the relevant people involved in the
That will be yourself and perhaps other
associated colleagues, and on the clients side a
legal representative of their organization. When
you sign on the dotted line, make sure you do it
with a legally enforceable signature. In the case
of an e signature, use a platform, like ApproveMe
that conforms to various legal frameworks for e
signing, such as the ESIGN law. Having your legal
ts crossed and is dotted will give you the
peace of mind that your contract is
sound. Article Resource https//