As a freelance consultant, you will probably have heard of the importance of agreeing upon a statement of work with your client. A statement of work lays down your duties and responsibilities. We are used to associating the phrase 'statement of work' with larger projects such as real estate development, but a statement of work is equally important for individual freelancers working on a smaller scale.
You should discuss your consulting statement of work template with your client before starting work on any project. The template should be edited, finalized and agreed upon before the project begins. Your statement of work should lay down the specific deliverables of the project and the timeline under which each deliverable needs to be performed. As a freelancer, you will be working with several different clients, but you will find that most clients have similar requirements. Hence, it is good practice to have a consulting statement of work template that can be used as a basis for the final statement of work.
The statement of work functions as the foundation of your working relationship with your client. Here are some of the main advantages of having a clearly defined consulting statement of work template.
A good scope of work lays down the money that you are owed at each step of the process. The scope of work should have your payment details and makes it easier for your client to process the payments. The client simply needs to refer to the scope of work to know when a payment is due and how it is to be made.
As a freelancer, you will often face situations in which your client is not paying or not paying on time. Since the statement of work is a written document and proof of the working relationship between you and your client, you can use it to persuade your client to make timely payments. This helps in keeping your clients accountable to their end of the bargain.
The same project can be done in several different ways. A client may have different expectations from a project than you. Agreeing upon a statement of work helps to clarify your duties and deliverables with respect to the project. In addition to your duties, the statement of work will also include the payment terms and timelines for payment.
Once you have started working on a project, you may face disagreements with your client. Having a previously agreed-upon statement of work will be useful in such circumstances because you and your client can refer to its wordings to solve any conflict.
A good statement of work lays down the timelines for each part of the project. The statement of work will tell you how soon everything needs to be done. Hence, it is a good way of keeping time and avoiding a situation in which too much needs to be done in too little time.
As the deadlines for every aspect of the project are mentioned in the statement of work, the client cannot question your pace at a later date. In such circumstances, you can refer to the time previously agreed upon in the statement of work and show that there is time left before that deliverable is due.
Once you start preparing your consulting statement of work template, you need to make sure that certain elements are included in it. A proper and professional statement of work needs to lay down the goals of the project, the responsibilities of various parties, your own deliverables, the work that does not form part of the project or is not your responsibility, the deadlines concerning the project, the metrics to be used to measure successful completion, and the terms of payment.
Remember that a statement of work is a document that needs to be prepared while keeping the worst-case-scenario in mind. The statement of work will be helpful in the event of a breakdown in understanding between your and your client.
To avoid any such mishappenings and to give a great start to you freelancing career with Bonsai's consulting statement of work template.