A week doesn’t pass where I’m not asked to donate or barter for my public relations counsel, copywriting or just plain ‘ole project management time. Frankly, I am all about a good barter –I’ve bartered for services at my hair salon (although, for the record I’d like to state this color is natural – ahem), for my kid’s dance lessons, and for a gorgeous oil painting of the girls.
These requests have convinced me to be particular about how and where I donate my time and services and the importance of a contract ―or at least getting the agreement in writing.
Why, you ask, is getting the terms of a one-time discounted job, barter or pro-bono project imperative? I’ve discovered over the years that assuming you and your friend or colleague are going to remember the conversation in the exact same way are slim. Not that anyone is trying to pull a fast one on the other (I will say that I’ve never –knock wood – had someone intentionally or maliciously not live up to their end of the bargain), but getting crystal clear on expectations, then following up with a written confirmation takes the guess work out of the situation. Plus it makes sure at the end of a project, all parties leave happy and still want to be friends, work together and give delightful referrals at every opportunity.
I recently received this contract from a company with which I barter my services. Their expectations were clearly outlined, along with a discounted price associated with these expectations. I communicated my expectations, signed the document, and frankly – breathed a sigh of relief. I am happy for them because they have many people with whom they barter their services and this document insures they are getting a bang for their buck. I am happy for me because it has established clear parameters around what I am (and am not) doing to fulfill my obligation to this business.
Do you have any areas, business or otherwise, that could use a little clarification? Make time on your schedule to tie up those loose ends, and happy bartering … you never know what kind of cool stuff a barter will bring!
Order marches with weighty and measured strides. Disorder is always in a hurry. -Napoleon Bonaparte