KBDi has once again worked with Sprint Law to draft a Design Consultancy Agreement exclusively for Members. Our annual review ensures we have a document that is compliant with today’s Australian Consumer Laws and fair for both you and your clients. Equally as important, the agreement can serve as a great business tool for you.
How is the contract a useful business tool? We have at least five reasons to help convince you:
#1 A comprehensive contract helps you set out the scope.
The detailed section for ‘Scope of Work’ is like a project road map for you and your Clients. While you may know the order of works like the back of your hand, your Clients may never have worked with a designer before. They may also be new to the delights (and dramas) of building or renovating, and a little clueless about the process. By setting out what you can and can’t do, your client will be clear about what happens when, and precisely what is covered by your fees.
#2 It makes collecting a deposit a simple part of the process.
If you don’t collect a deposit before digging into design, we encourage you to consider adding this step to your process and payment schedule. Letting your clients know you’ll need a deposit before you get started soon sorts out the wheat from the chaff. If your client isn’t prepared to contribute to the hours/days/weeks of work you’re about to put into their project, be wary. It’s not unusual for Clients to get cold feet about a new renovation, or simply disappear into thin air (it happens!). If they’ve committed to a project through a contract and a fee, they’re much less likely to wander.
#3 It keeps your progress (and payments) flowing.
With a well set out scope of work and a clear schedule of fees, both you and your client will always have a reasonable idea of your ‘progress in the process’. You’ll have targets for completion (and fee collection), and your client can have no doubts about what is due when. If your client’s expectations begin to take a detour, your contract will help you determine how any extra work will affect your project planning.
#4 It deals with additions + omissions (variations).
If your client is adding to the scope of work or a site or budget issue has affected your contract, it’s essential to clearly and concisely set out the changes. We’ve included a variation form in your KBDi Consultancy Agreement, and encourage you to bring this to your client’s attention before changes come into play.
#5 A contract lets your clients know you’re serious.
As designers, we have a wonderful, creative and most-times fun profession. What we don’t have – despite popular belief – is a hobby that we do during regular work hours. With a detailed understanding of the design and build process, an upfront fee schedule and a streamlined system, you’ll let your Clients know you mean business.
Have you seen the 2021 KBDi Client Consultancy Agreement? This is available at no charge to all current financial KBDi Members, and downloadable at any time from your Members Portal. Can’t get into the portal yet? Complete the form below, and we’ll send you a copy.