When You Should Hire a Consultant by Nicole Swartz

When you run a company, you don’t have the time to do everything by yourself. There are some areas where it’s a better use of your time and money to tag in a professional, whether that’s a photographer, website designer, social media guru, or coach. It’s an investment, but it’ll save you so much time and the quality will be a lot higher than what you could do. We all hire consultants to help us with business projects along the way. So let’s talk about how to avoid common problems when hiring a consultant in a really simple way.

Common Problem 1: You Don’t Own Your Work

If you hire a graphic designer to create a logo for your company, you don’t own the logo they create. I know it’s mind blowing. But unless they are your formal employee, meaning you hired them and are paying taxes and following all those HR formalities, you’re only paying for the right to use that logo. The consultant who created the logo is actually the owner. So, that’s a problem because the designer can come back anytime and demand you pay an additional fee to continue using the logo. They can also revoke your right to use it, or prevent you from using the logo for commercial use. This can also be a problem if you’re looking to sell your company one day because investors will require that you own all parts of your brand.

Common Problem 2: Disagreements Over Work

You may hire a graphic designer to design a catalog and they could send you the catalog half finished but demand full payment. If you didn’t have an agreement that specified the work had to be completed the way you wanted it, you have to pay for that half finished project. And you’ll probably have to pay a second graphic designer to finish the project.

Solve Both Problems: A Consulting Agreement

A consulting agreement ensures you own the work you bought and prevents disagreements by clearly spelling out exactly what work is being done and how much you’re paying for the work. Use this contract anytime you hire a consultant, like photographers, graphic designers, website designers, copywriters, social media consultants, sales reps, manufacturing help, marketing experts, and coaches.

Pro tip: You don’t need a ten-page form. Anything that clearly spells out that you own the work, exactly what the work is + when it’s considered complete, and how much you’re paying for the finished work. If a quick turnaround is important, be sure to include the time frame that the work will be completed.

Guest Post Bio:

Nicole Swartz is an entrepreneur + attorney at Sprout, a law firm that collaborates with female entrepreneurs to start and grow successful companies. Her experience as an entrepreneur inspired her to help other female entrepreneurs start their companies properly.

You can connect with Nichole at: http://www.sproutlaw.com/

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