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Guest VirtuallyYours

Major Client - Minor Contract

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Guest VirtuallyYours

Hi all,

I have 2 questions I am hoping some of you are happy to answer.

For those of you who don't work without a contract of some kind - what is your justification to the client?

 

And for those of you who may have implemented a contract after already commencing work with a client (that old, 'now I know I should have contracts but I didn't do one to start with' problem) - how did you go about it?

 

I had another look at the contract and the only difference between this and the one we had originally is:

1. The orginal one was written by the client (I drafted one, but he insisted on writing up a letter of agreement himself (control freak) )

2. Some of the hours estimated have increased.

3. It doesn't include anything about THEIR obligations to me. hmmmm

 

THANKYOU!

Rosie

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Guest VirtuallyYours

Oh now I am questioning myself again. If my price increase is in accordance with the Australian CPI which has been 3% per year over the past few years, can I increase my rate by the value of 2 years if I have not had a price increase in that time? Or is it too much and should only be 1 year at a time, and I have missed the boat?

And am I wrong to have increased my on-site rate a little more than that because I am trying to limit the random use of on-site time being used?

Please help

Rosie

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Guest

Yup, Candy's right. I actually raised my rate by 50% once. No one batted an eye.

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Guest AnnaLisa Michalski

Hi Rosie,

 

I really feel for you. I can imagine being in your position, and I know this isn't easy for you.

 

These words really stand out to me:

I had another look at the contract and the only difference between this and the one we had originally is:

1. The orginal one was written by the client (I drafted one, but he insisted on writing up a letter of agreement himself (control freak) )

2. Some of the hours estimated have increased.

3. It doesn't include anything about THEIR obligations to me. hmmmm

The client's slow payment history explains why he would prefer to keep #3. That, added to the #1 and #2, means that the client pretty much has total control in the current relationship. That isn't right! Your working relationship should be more like a partnership. You deserve better!

 

I know you don't want to say that to him. (Frankly, neither would I...especially since he is apparently the prickly kind.) I like Candy's suggestion of using your insurance requirements as the explanation for putting a contract in place. In addition, tell him that you are streamlining your processes, and your current relationship is not in line with the requirements that you have put in place for all other clients. That is absolutely true, so there's no need to feel the least guilty about it.

 

As to the rate increase, if he balks and you lose him, then good riddance. You don't deserve to be bullied and/or routinely paid late, and the next client that takes his place will come on board with contract firmly in place.

 

Finally, I wonder whether I am interpreting this correctly:

If my price increase is in accordance with the Australian CPI which has been 3% per year over the past few years, can I increase my rate by the value of 2 years if I have not had a price increase in that time?

What is "CPI"? Are your increases restricted by law? If that's the case, I'd advise consulting with your tax or financial pro before even approaching the contract/rate issue. It would just give Mr. Client one more thing to argue about if you're not absolutely certain of your legal standing.

 

I wish you all the best. I know this is such a tough situation for you. Just remember, you are not obligated to put up with this . You have done your part--quite generously, it sounds like!--and don't owe him anything. I suspect he knows full well that he's taking advantage, and that's why he's being so resistant. DON'T BACK DOWN. You deserve better!

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Guest VirtuallyYours

Oh man I am so completely loving you guys right now! I was stressing all evening (good old different timezones) thinking everyone would say 'what, you increased your rate by a few dollars per hour?!?! are you insane woman??'

 

But no, you all gave the most wonderful answers and I am so thrilled right now. THANKYOU!!!

 

And no, there aren't laws, but someone else suggested inflation as an indicator so I was checking that out and then thought, oh no, maybe it's too much?

And as I said, ranting to my closest friend on the phone last night, how often do you consult with the milkman before he raises the price of milk huh?

 

Thankyou AnnaLisa for wording that so perfectly. It's exactly what I have been rambling on to myself, but hearing it from someone else is great clarification.

 

Again, thankyou to each and everyone for taking the time for me. Will let you know if he stays or flies the coop (leaving room for someone else, not leaving me helpless).

 

xxx

Rosie :D

 

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Guest VirtuallyYours

Hi everyone!

I thought I would let you know how the meeting went today.

Well I was well armed (and had the previous letter he had written a year ago - he had forgotton it existed) and went through each part of the contract with him pointing out the benefits to him, and the parts that are required for me to efficiently run my business.

Any concerns raised (which he seemed reluctant to raise, so I raised for him based on his email - not leaving anything to chance here!) were discussed and outlined and he could find no fault.

Then we spoke about my hourly rate which I explained to him was more than reasonable and highlighted that I am being rather nice about the on-site hourly rate, and generally speaking, I don't offer it at all and when I do for special occassions, I charge more.

He seemed happy about that which was funny because the price is the price - with or without an explanation!

 

So all in all, he was rather happy about it all and really just needed a matter of fact chat about the where why and when to calm him.

Of course, I did focus at times on how his actions as a client are often SO WONDERFUL that he need never worry about any issues, as he does give plenty of notice and never calls out of hours - never hurts to give praise where due!

 

Without you guys I would not have felt so confident going in (and yes the 'Insurance Purposes' excuse did prove useful, thanks Candy!) and running through what MY BUSINESS requirements were, to SUPPORT his business to the best of my ability.

 

Big grateful virtual hugs to you all for helping me during this stressful situation.

Rosie

:wub:

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Guest

Hey Rosie-it sounds like you handled it like a real PRO!! Good for you! You were so smart to go in the meeting totally prepared. That in itself probably shocked him and impressed him too.

I'm so glad it all worked out ok.

Angela

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Guest Holly

Way to go Rosie! :thumbup:

 

I learnt a great deal from you and the rest of the gang in this thread!

I will keep notes for future reference.

I am glad it worked out in your favor!

 

Holly

Edited by Holly

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Guest VirtuallyYours

Thanks everyone!

So glad that others could learn from it too!

Rosie

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Guest Arnie

Well done,

 

Sounds like he was just posturing.....

 

Sounds like a XXXX on the back deck is in order.. :girlsout:

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Guest Arnie

WOOPS just got introubles form the boss,

for you non Ausies I better clairfy my last post.

 

Four X is a brand if beer in Australia. :embarrassed:

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