Years ago, when we first started building websites, we'd do everything by word of mouth. We never really understood the need for a contract, but that was before everything started going sideways one piece at a time.
Time and time again, I've failed to document my services with clients. And it's always led to a dispute of some kind. Whether it be the unwanted scope creep, or clients who feel like they don't need to pay me, it's always been something.
I've been screwed over more times that I can count. That's the reality of the situation when you fail to put things down on "paper".
If you neglect to protect yourself, the same could happen to you. There are many ways you can do this, but it will almost always require documentation. What does that mean? That means you need to write up legal documents to protect yourselves.
There are many features that we find useful that are built into this software. Using all of these tools collectively is what will help to boost your capabilities with Better Proposals.
Better Proposals has well over one hundred curated templates available for use. You have the ability to start with any template available, and use it as a boilerplate for your own custom templates.
There are several web design and development templates that have already been created for you. This includes the "Contract Killer" and even a couple that were created by Troy Dean of WP Elevation.
In the digital space, it's important for us to chart our own paths. This is where you can take sections of these templates and build your own template that is your own personalized Better Proposal!
Here you can see that we have sign offs that are ready to go. This is important to note because each of the templates have verbiage that state "sign off required" after each stage. Of course you don't have to keep this, but it's important to note that it's an option.
Here at Carbon Digital, we have implemented the sign-off for each stage in project builds. This helps the client stay on track with what we've done, and what they've approved. It also protects us to claim "services rendered" if a lawsuit were to arise.
The Better Proposals software has several branding and customization tools that help you elevate your brand and improve your customer service. Here in this section, you can setup branded domains, integrations with payment gateways and even things like chat systems or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Using the reports and analytics are powerful tools. Here are Carbon Digital, we don't utilize the automatic proposal to signature features. We made this decision solely for accounting reasons. So, you can see above that our "Annual Sales Report" shows that we have $0.00 in sales. That's because we aren't using this payment feature.
However, you can see the proposal statistics that show we have an 80% signature rate. Which sounds pretty amazing, but in our case, it's slightly off because this includes our mutual NDAs.
It's important to stated that we are not legal professionals. What we present here is solely based on our experiences and not authorized to be legal advice.
There are several documents that we've implemented with the help of Better Proposals. Each one has been detailed below.
When you work with other freelancers and agencies on a project, it's a great idea to include Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). We actually use a template from Better Proposals that is actually a mutual agreement. Because of the history we've had with theft, anytime we have a great idea and want to discuss it with someone, we ALWAYS have them sign an NDA.
Having clients sign off on designs will help you in the forward movement of the projects. When you do wireframes and mockups, or even complete a project, it's always a good idea to have the client sign off so that they know exactly where the project stands.
This also ties into any legal battles that would arise. If a client were to contest your work, and you have a sign-off at each stage of the project, then this will help you to retain the money that has already been paid to you. It can possibly even help you get additional funds through litigation or arbitration as well.
When you use the Statement of Work or a Proposal, you are using a legally binding contract. This will protect you, and it will also clearly help you outline everything for the project. For example, you would have sections like:
Having legal documents displayed in a visually appealing way is a great selling point for you. We use Better Proposals. When we upgraded our life to use this software, it was an instant culture shock.
We were instantly forced to change the way we operate to provide a...Better Proposal. If you guys are interested, you can check the link to the Better Proposals website below.