As a freelance consultant, having a written scope of work that defines your duties and responsibilities is essential. Even though scope of work is usually a term that reminds us of large projects that involve several parties, they are equally important for freelancers who work on a smaller scale. A consultant scope of work should be discussed and finalised before starting work on any project that has specific deliverables and needs to be done on time for a certain amount of payment.
As a freelance consultant, you may be working for several different clients. You will find that most of the projects that you work on have similar requirements. Hence, you should have a consultant scope of work template that you can use as a precursor to finalise the actual consultant scope of work.
You will find that a consultant scope of work functions as the bedrock of your relationship with your client. It helps in guiding you throughout the process and ensures that there are no surprises later down the road.
Take a look at some of the advantages of having a clearly defined scope of work.
Since a project can be done in several different ways and can involve several aspects, a scope of work clarifies your duties in a project. The deliverables that you need to work on are written in a scope of work before you start working. The scope of work will also include how much you are getting paid for your services and when the payments are due.
Once you start working on a project, there will almost inevitably be disagreements between you and your client. The scope of work is a document that is prepared for these circumstances. You can use it to resolve any disputes that you occur.
A proper scope of work will have the amounts that are due to you and when they are due. It will also have your payment details. This clarifies the situation for your client and he/she can simply refer to the scope of work to know when they need to make a payment and where they need to send it to.
As a freelancer, you will be faced with situations when your clients are not paying on time. Having payment details written down in your scope of work will help you keep your clients accountable.
A scope of work will have set out the timelines for each aspect of a project. It will tell you when your deliverables are due and how much time you have to act on them. This helps to avoid the project getting away from you.
Since the timelines are clearly mentioned in a scope of work, it means that your client will not suddenly ask you why this deliverable has not been submitted yet. You can refer to the scope of work to show that there is still time left before the deliverable is due.
When you prepare your consultant scope of work, you should ensure that they contain language that encapsulates these aspects of your project. A good scope of work should necessarily have the goals of the project, the work that you need to do, the work that you do not need to do, the process for change orders, the responsibilities of various parties, the timeline for the project, the metrics to be used to measure successful completion of the project, and the terms of payment.
You should prepare your consultant scope of work in a way that it prepares you for the worst-case-scenario. This will be very useful in case there is a breakdown in the understanding between you and your client.