Avoiding The Element of SURPRISE! Three Key Contractual Points To Consider

By Carrie Tylawsky  We’re getting into one of the busiest times of year – not just for your family during the holidays, but also for your company! As 2013 wraps up, many brands are looking at how they expand their offerings and bring new players to the board, whether that’s through freelance, agencies, or additional internal team members. Before signing any contract, however, you should make sure your team is aligned on the following points:

  1. Goals: What are you looking to accomplish from this agreement? Are there clearly defined key performance indicators and demonstrations of your return on investment? At the conclusion of the contract, when deciding whether or not to continue, will you have metrics of success that you can clearly compare against? Even if a lot of the work is amorphous, there should be some concrete opportunities to prove you moved the needle. This will not only help you justify to anyone within your organization why you need to bring someone in, but will also hold them to a standard of accountability that will be crucial to success.
  2. Finances: How much are you looking to invest? Is what you’re signing on for the entire package, or will there be hidden fees and unanticipated costs that you hadn’t thought of? When presenting to your own finance department, you want to make sure you encompass all projected fees so you can have room for all the great ideas that will come from the contract. Before signing anything, check the fine print to see what additional terms and conditions might be in place that are hiding fees.
  3. Scope: Your contract should not only include what exactly is in scope for the project or retainer, but also what the roles and responsibilities are for everyone involved. Frequently there is a clear end goal and an understandable objective, but the rules are murky in who is actually executing what. Prior to finalizing any contract, develop a RACI chart for your brand, your agencies or freelancers, and anyone else that will tentatively work with you.

What are some other components of a contract you are always on the lookout for? Share in the comments below!