Blog/The importance of terms and conditions
23rd March 2021
When setting out on your web design journey as a freelancer, or with your own business, its easy to imagine every client is going to be absolutely delighted with everything you produce, will have an endless pot of money and will be fully invested in what you’re doing.
You’re a good designer, right? Everyone’s been happy with what you’ve done so far. Ten or so years building websites or designing online and offline. Rarely a quibble. And your Mum thinks you’re great.
Well, sooner or later you will hit trouble. Everyone does. The world’s greatest web designer (whoever they might be!) at one point in his or her web design career has met a client who isn’t on board with what they’ve done or are doing.
It might not even be a quibble with what you’ve done – clients are subject to all sorts of external pressures that might well be unrelated to your work. Perhaps it’s a change of direction of the business, or a cashflow issue. Maybe a new guy has come in at the top and wants to go in-house rather than external. Or quite simply the priorities of the client might have changed.
And in that situation, the client is likely to use any opportunity available to them to back out of what’s been agreed.
In this case, where before you’ve done everything on good faith, with a handshake and an understanding that everyone’s cool, you need something more to back up your agreement.
And that’s when your terms and conditions come into their own.
It might not seem *that* important when you’re setting up to invest time and effort into creating watertight terms, because everything will be rosy, right?
Well, the day is guaranteed to come along where everything isn’t rosy, and without T&Cs that everyone has agreed to, you leave yourself open to being caught short.
So spend a morning researching different Terms & Conditions – what’s in there and what isn’t. What you can reasonably expect from a client and what they can reasonably expect from you. There are some great templates online that you can download and customise, or you can speak to a proper law person to write them for you if you’re feeling flush.
Either way, you must do it! And get your clients to opt into them prior to the beginning of each project – that’s very important.
You’ll be glad of it when your day comes. As mine has! And because it has, I’ve updated my Terms & Conditions so that everyone knows where they stand and what they can expect in any circumstance. Check them out here.