Contract Wording (Not Bakery, But Please Help Anyway!)

Lounge By emiyeric Updated 27 Apr 2010 , 5:51am by johnson6ofus

emiyeric Posted 20 Apr 2010 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 7

Sorry to be posting a non-cake question, but I was hoping that by putting it in the business section, I could tap some of you wonderful business-savvy people.
I am a hobby baker, no business involved. But my husband is an independent consultant with his own marketing company. In his contracts, he stipulates payments for half upfront, and the other half upon completion of his projects. However, lately (big surprise!), with the economy being the way it is, people have been delaying giving my husband the final content for some of the projects (Web sites, flyers, posters, whatever). His design itself is done, but since he can't insert the final content they have to deliver (the menu, or the rates or whatever small detail he can't provide himself), the product is not considered finalized. So these people have actually been going for months without paying him, because they've been too lazy to get their information to him so he can finish it. In the meantime, he's working his butt off meeting all their deadlines, and not getting paid.
Anyhow! I immediately thought of you guys ... how would you recommend he word his contract to stipulate that payments must be made (maybe by 30 days of initiation of the project, regardless of completion? Or within 30 days, if the client has not submitted all materials necessary but all the designer's work has otherwise been completed?) ... I know it's not cakes, but surely there must be somebody with some advice?

Thanks, guys! Any help would be much appreciated!

6 replies
HowCoolGomo1 Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 12:14am
post #2 of 7

I don't know if this will help or not.

Years ago I worked for an aerial photography company. We took progress pictures of construction work. Construction companies need these so the banks will give them their next chunk of cash, to continue the job. No pics, no cash, no materials, no payroll; you get the idea.

Anyways, your husband may be able to stipulate in his contract, he gets payment every 2 weeks ( or whatever time frame is appropriate); because it's still his time. It's up to the client to provide information for him to complete his side of the contract.

His time and talent is his money maker. How can he take on other projects if people just blow him off on their projects. He thinks he's booked, right?

My other idea is charge like an attorney. Have a retainer fee, never refundable and then charge by the hour. If they don't like his initial idea, he could charge a consulting fee. Hopefully, you're getting my drift.

emiyeric Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 8:25pm
post #3 of 7

Thanks for the advice, Gomo! He uses the retainer fee principle from time to time, when it's a bigger client, but for the small jobs, it doesn't work as well. You bring up good points, though ... I'll relay it all to him icon_smile.gif. Thanks again!

minicuppie Posted 26 Apr 2010 , 2:28pm
post #4 of 7

This won't help you today, but maybe give you some insight into those deadbeat companies tiny little minds. Some businesses make a habit out of these bad practices (some people, too). They continue for as many months (and jobs) as you will allow then move on to another company. There is a list (named some woman's name then LIST...Jane's List?) that you can join and maybe weed out those companies that are not so honest. If you cannot find any info there, check the Better Business Bureau. These people will sign any contract no matter what is threatened because they know it is more of a hassle to prosecute than the amt they owe is worth.

johnson6ofus Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 4:23am
post #5 of 7

My niece has this problem (web design). Her solution- complete language that says... 1/2 of the money now, when we sign January 1,... your text/ copy/ info/ whatever due January 15.... final design/ payment due January 31. (dates are blanks in her contract, as well as blanks to specify the needed copy) "If client fails to provide text/ copy/ info that inhibits the completion of the design, the balance of the contract payment will still be due January 31."

Also be sure you have an interest or late charge line...."Final payment due as stipulated in contract section 5B. Unpaid balances accrue interest at the rate of 18% per annum."

HTH Rita

JaimeAnn Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 4:41am
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Also be sure you have an interest or late charge line...."Final payment due as stipulated in contract section 5B. Unpaid balances accrue interest at the rate of 18% per annum."

HTH Rita

YESSS!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

They will be more apt to pay on time if there is a penalty if they don't!

Good Advice!!!!!!!

johnson6ofus Posted 27 Apr 2010 , 5:51am
post #7 of 7

sad that some people don't pay without a penalty. thumbsdown.gif

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