Ever since I set up my business I didn’t want to have contracts. I wanted to use the word trust & a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ that asking for 4 weeks notice if work was to end, which for the last years, has been fine.
Recently I’ve had two clients (now ex-clients) who have agreed to this when I started working for them but then when they decided to end work (for various reasons) they’ve ignored this.
Is it time to start introducing contracts?
I think it could be. For new clients at least.
Asking for four weeks notice, when I state that work is done ahead – I’m a freelancer, I’m putting the client first by doing work ahead of schedule to ensure that their work is covered, just incase I get hit by a bus or something – I don’t see as a huge deal. The fact that no one has not agreed to it in the first instance shows it’s not a huge deal. But agreeing to it and then going back on that agreement is a huge deal. Freelancing isn’t free but people seem to think we can pay the mortgage on hopes and dreams.
We’re a freelance family but when you have a family it’s nice to know that work is done for a reason and time spent doing that work isn’t wasted for no pay. I’d rather me spending time with my kids than doing work, and when someone just cuts ties & ends with no once, when I’ve done four hours of work for the next two weeks which I’m not going to get paid for, it’s a waste. I could have spent that time with my kids.
After thinking about it, contracts for new clients is the way to go. Still four weeks notice, but getting them to sign. It’s a shame but it does feel like people do what they like these days & the “my word is my bond” way of life is no longer. Shame.