BACKGROUND. Most construction contracts require written notice for changes, differing site conditions, extra work, or other events which may affect the.
As a designer or creative director, you've probably had the experience of working with a client who repeatedly asks for revisions with no end in sight. It's frustrating, right?
You want to keep the client happy without driving yourself crazy or ruining your profit margin. Both are essential to the success of your business. So it's important to understand how to avoid getting sucked into the vicious cycle of revisions.
Managing projects and client relationships is a delicate matter and a two-way street. Sometimes we just end up working with an over controlling client who'd do everything themselves "if only I knew Photoshop". But at other times we haven't set the right expectations with the client from the beginning, or we've mismanaged the client relationship.
Since starting InfinVision, a design agency, in 2008 and recently developing My Visual Brief, a design briefing tool, we've experimented with many different ways of managing client relationships.
Every client is unique and we always factor in the option of making adjustments. But in general, the following strategies have helped us create healthy professional relationships with our clients.
If you start the project just wanting to finish it quickly and get paid ASAP, then you're setting yourself up for failure.
An unreasonably short timeframe will create stress and anxiety that will cause you to be frustrated about each additional client request, no matter how minor. Also, the client will feel that you're in a rush and not intending to give your best. If they feel like they are getting short-changed, they'll likely start asking for more, more, more. Such a professional relationship is doomed to constant friction and will likely end badly.
However, if you start a project with the mindset of developing a healthy relationship with your client and doing your best, you'll be off to a good start. Aim for a mutually beneficial professional collaboration where you respect each other's time and ideas. From here, any hiccups along the way will be easier to resolve.
The design process naturally consists of phases. The designer creates a design draft and asks the client for feedback. Revisions are then made with the goal to move closer to the best end result for the client's project and its audience.
In other words, revisions are part of the design process and they cannot (and should not) be avoided. Rather, they should be done purposefully by keeping in mind the project's objectives.
In your first meeting with a new client, explain this process as part of your overall work approach. You'll set up certain expectations – of both your role and their role. That will give them a clear perspective on how the project will unfold and they'll understand that revisions are part of the process.
Knowing these boundaries, they should respect the process (you might need to remind them a few times along the way) and not take advantage of you by asking for numerous revisions based on their whims. Unfortunately that does happen. Read on to find out what to do when it does.
Your client hired you because you're the professional, not them. They may not know exactly what constitutes a "round of revision" – it can be a vague term for someone not familiar with design jargon. Take the time to explain to your client exactly what a round of revision is and include the specifics in your initial estimate and legal contract.
Here's how we at InfiniVision define a round of revision for our clients. Once a design draft is presented, the client has a specified number of days to provide their feedback. Once all of their comments, ideas and questions are consolidated and we provide a new version, that's the end of that round of revision.
Don't jump into doing a revision right after the client has provided their initial comments. Often people have an immediate reaction that changes after thinking about and reviewing the project over time.
Give a client enough space to formulate all of their thoughts into a cohesive response, then review and confirm the changes they're requesting. Then and only then, get back to work on it.
Following these clear steps in a round of revisions will structure and pace the project in a way that's comfortable for the client and less stressful for you.
The number of rounds of revisions – based on your professional knowledge of the complexity of the project – should be clearly articulated both in your legal contract and in the initial estimate you send to the client.
The more transparent and informative you are upfront, the less confused your client will be. In the end, your diligence at the beginning will prevent misunderstandings and conflicts throughout the remainder of the process.
As you know, there are major revisions and minor ones. But your client might not realize there's a difference. Give your client clear examples of each so they understand it upfront. For instance, you could say: "Moving photos and text around the page means we are doing layout changes and that's a major revision. However, changing a short text phrase here and there is a minor revision."
Again, these specifics (including how you bill for major revisions - eg hourly rate or flat fee) should be included in both your legal contract and the initial estimate you send to your client.
Of course, you can't include every possible scenario in these documents, and many change requests are somewhere in the middle between major and minor. It's your job to keep educating the client along the way and referring back to the initial examples you provided at the beginning.
Most clients aren't aware of the incremental steps a design process entails. Keeping the client informed about each design phase helps prevent misunderstandings about where you are in the overall process.
For example, after we receive the client's first consolidated feedback we send them a confirmation email. We'll use a subject line such as "first round of revisions out of three" and then reiterate the changes we're planning to do based on their feedback.
Taking time to do this will help you structure your work and manage the revisions, but most importantly, it will keep the client informed about the progress of the project.
Most clients are nervous about choosing the right designer, one who will be committed to the project and do their best to deliver quality work. If the client doesn't really trust you, the project will not run smoothly.
It's your job to establish trust and show the client you are coming into the arrangement in a spirit of goodwill. If you push too hard on that extra chargeable time, the client will feel that your primary concern is earning money rather than addressing their needs. So be careful.
Moreover, it could be in your best interest to do a little bit of extra non-billed work here and there because goodwill goes a long way. It helps to strengthen a relationship with a client and reinforce that trust.
A word of warning: only do this if you don't feel resentful about it. Make it your choice, not something your client expects from you. If they begin to take advantage of your generosity, refer back to your initial contract and estimate. They'll respect you for sticking up for yourself!
Sometimes you and your client won't agree about the best design solution. Or, your client might reject your ideas simply because it doesn't appeal to them. It can be useless to argue when it's a matter of personal taste; you might need to just spend that extra time making more revisions.
Although this might be disappointing to you as a designer, simply accept that design is subjective and you, as a designer, are providing a professional service to the client. Thus, plan for this possibility when initially budgeting out your project. For example, depending on how clear a project is, we put a 10-20 per cent 'contingency' on top of the actual project time to accommodate this unknown factor. This way we protect our time and avoid any frustrations.
Ideally, you would avoid such a major design overhaul by being on the same design page as your client from the start. An easy way to do this is by using a visual briefing tool such as My Visual Brief. You create a virtual design board – including colors, fonts, styles – for your client to look at and approve instead of relying merely on verbal descriptions. It's our go-to method for eliminating aesthetic misunderstandings upfront.
Design is subjective. Therefore, sometimes we, as designers, truly misunderstand what the client is expecting. Using words to communicate visual tastes and preferences can be tricky and misleading. If your design doesn't meet the client's expectations, simply apologize and ensure them that you'll get it right. And, don't count that round as part of the agreed number of revisions (sorry).
It can be a hard and costly lesson, but it happens to the best of us. After years of experience, we know that a project succeeds or fails based on how much care and attention we give to the design briefing process. It's a crucial step that can save hours and heartache down the line.
So, be sure to ask your client the right questions to obtain all of the information you need. Then, use a visual tool, such as My Visual Brief, to visualize and communicate what the client wants and expects. If you catch discrepancies up front and adjust them, the rest of your project will flow smoothly.
Sometimes enough is enough. If a client isn't complying with what they agreed to in your estimate and contract, you'll need to start protecting your boundaries or else risk getting taken for a ride.
As long as you have clearly communicated to the client upfront how you manage the revisions, you have a basis for calling a stop to their endless revisions.
Confidently (and pleasantly) say to your client something like this: "Since your request comes after we've completed the agreed upon rounds of revisions, I will have to charge you for this." Short and simple.
That being said, sometimes no matter what you do, a client relationship just doesn't work. Either the client has a different vision than you can provide, or they're over-controlling, micro-managing or disrespectful. If they're behavior is spoiling the synergy, you won't be able to do your best work.
Just like in number 01 above – doing a project quickly just for the money – if you stay in a disagreeable or unfair client situation just because you need the cash, you'll likely end up miserable. This can be soul-crushing to any creative person, and it's not worth compromising your integrity. It's better to use your time and ingenuity to look for someone who respects your talent and unique creative contribution.
We recommend ending an unpleasant client relationship sooner rather than later, for everyone's sake. It might be scary and uncomfortable when you approach them, but it's liberating once you do it.
Just be professional and try to keep your emotions or hurt feelings out of it. Use phrases like "creative differences" and "diverging aesthetic choices" (avoid "bad taste" and "can't make up your mind"). If you retain your integrity, you will exit feeling like a professional, and you might teach your client a valuable lesson as well.
Managing client relationships is a delicate matter with many nuances. The strategies above have helped us refine our client communications and develop positive relationships that are crucial to our business success. Now it's up to you to take these ideas and develop your own formula for creating healthy relationships with your clients.
Remember the keys: set expectations upfront, keep the client informed about each phase of the project, put a stop to revisions by referencing your initial agreement, stay flexible and show your good will.
Your ultimate goal should be to do your best within your capabilities, ensure the client is happy and create a piece of work you'll be proud to include in your portfolio. The rounds of revisions should be only part of the framework that helps you to do your job well, rather than the sole focus of your work. The right clients will understand this and will appreciate the way you handle your professional relationships.
The best projects are when the issue of too many revisions doesn't even come up. It means you've clicked with your client, there's mutual trust and things are going smoothly. That's what I'd like to wish for you: happy clients and fulfilling projects!
Letter and definitive contract changes not involving changes in obligated funds Assignment of Document Date Scope obligated funds Amendment No. 1 to Nov.
Download Sample Letter (pdf)
RE: Grant No. WC 1234 567
Dear Dr. Nadine Pence:
Now that we are several months into the project that is being supported by the above referenced Wabash Center grant, it is becoming apparent that the budget, as approved by the Wabash Center, needs some slight adjustments in order to meet some of the emerging modifications in our work. I have enclosed a formal request for budget revision and wish now to explain our rationale for requesting these adjustments.
As the proposal stated, it has been necessary to engage the services of a “Research Assistant” to provide some of the back-up assistance for this project. However, we have now found that less of this person’s time is required than was originally envisioned. Meanwhile, several unforeseen expenses have emerged that were not anticipated when the proposal was submitted. The funds realized by reduction in the Research Assistant’s time will cover these new expenses.
As you will see from our formal request, we are asking that $10,343 be deducted from the Research Assistant budget line and an equal amount reallocated for other purposes. The most expensive need is for an additional laptop computer for the project and we are requesting an additional $5,000 for that purpose. In addition, we have found that we under-budgeted various supplies and other administrative costs during the course of the project. Finally, recent increases in airfares have led us to believe that we will need to allocate more funds both for project travel costs and for consultant expenses. All of these adjustments are listed on the enclosed “request for budget revision.”
Thank you for your kind attention to this request. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
It has come to IDBI Bank Ltd.'s attention that some unscrupulous persons /recruitment agencies have been making job offers in the name of IDBI Bank Ltd. by issuing fake offer letters, using Bank's name, logo and address in fake stationery. The Bank has not hired the services of any agency or individual to recruit personnel on its behalf or collect any money/commission/charges for training etc. General public is hereby advised to exercise caution while dealing with such unscrupulous persons/agencies.
(A) Recruitment Notification for Admissions to Manipal School of Banking-2019-20
(B) Engagement of Chief Customer Service Officer 2019
(D) Recruitment of Assistant Manager - 2019
(E) Recruitment of Executive on contract - 2019
(F) Recruitment of Chartered Accountants - 2019
(G) Recruitment Notification for admissions to Manipal School of Banking-2016-17
(H) Empanelment of Ex-PSB officials for HR/ER assignments
In return, the defendant agreed to terminate any negotiations with third parties and not to consider any alternative offers. The comfort letter was provided but the .
Suwyn, Siska & King
Attorneys at Law
65-21 Main Street
Flushing, New York 11367
October 23, 2006
885 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10017
Dear Ms. Loman:
I hope you’ve been well. Recently you wrote to us that Loman’s Fashions had been sued by a shopper in Small Claims Court for a breach of contract. As you’ve described it, the shopper claims that she responded to an ad for a “manufacturer’s closeout” of designer leather coats; the ad stated that the “early” shopper would “catch the savings.” The shopper complains that Loman’s failed to have the merchandise to sell at the advertised price. Specifically, you have asked for advice on the question whether Loman’s breached a contract with the shopper under the circumstances. After researching the issue, and based on the facts set out below, I believe that a court would likely conclude that Loman’s did not enter into a contract with this shopper because the advertisement was not an offer to sell the coats; thus, there was no contract that Loman’s could breach. I will explain this conclusion more fully below after first setting out the facts as I understand them.1
Loman’s Fashions, a retailer of women’s and men’s outerwear, distributed a circular last July advertising a manufacturer’s closeout of designer women’s leather coats for $59.99, coats that regularly sold for $300.00. The ad announced that the store would open at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 21, and stated that the “early bird catches the savings!” After about fifteen minutes, all the advertised coats had been sold. At 7:30 a.m., a shopper inquired about the coats and was told that there was none left. She then complained that Loman’s was obligated to sell her a comparably valued designer leather coat at the advertised price. The store manager declined, and the shopper filed a complaint in Small Claims Court, claiming that Loman’s had breached a contract by failing to sell the advertised leather coats at the advertised price.
You mentioned to me that the store occasionally gives rain checks when it is possible to replenish supplies of an item that Loman’s can purchase at a discount. In this case, the manufacturer had discontinued the line of coats and Loman’s was not willing to sell other, designer leather coats at such a drastic markdown. You are concerned that, if the shopper’s interpretation were to be honored, Loman’s would have to reconsider its marketing strategies. Although you had assumed that the advertised terms applied only while supplies lasted, your ad had not included language to that effect.2 You have asked for this law firm’s opinion whether this shopper could succeed on her breach of contract claim.
Under these facts, a court would likely apply the well-settled law that a general advertisement that merely lists items for sale is at best an invitation to negotiate, not an offer to form a contract.3 The courts that have considered this question focus on two related considerations.4 The first is whether the advertisement is complete and definite in its terms. For example, where an advertisement containing terms for sale was missing the amount of goods available for sale, a court held that the seller had not made an offer that was complete and definite in all material terms. Thus, no contract was ever made between the seller and a person who submitted a purchase order.5
The second consideration is whether an advertisement promises to sell an item in return for something requested, for example, if a storeowner promised to sell an item for a specified price to anyone who came to the store ready to pay that amount.6 Where such a promise was lacking, a court held that an advertisement by a department store was not an offer but an invitation to all persons that the advertiser was ready to receive offers for the goods upon the stated terms.7 Even if a person’s willingness to purchase the advertised item could be thought to turn the offer into a contract, that court ruled that a purchaser did not have the right to select the item that a seller did not have in stock or was not willing to sell at a reduced price.8
Applying these legal rules to Loman’s advertisement supports the conclusion that the ad was not an offer to enter into a contract of sale and created no contractual duty in Loman’s.9 Here, the advertisement did not specify the amount of coats to sell, but rather described the leather coats as a “manufacturer’s closeout” selling at a substantially reduced price.10 In addition, the advertisement did not contain a promise to sell the leather coats in exchange for some requested act or promise.11 Furthermore, the ad did not give the public the right to choose any comparably priced leather coat if the advertised coats were no longer available.12 Although the shopper here might argue that the advertisement did not contain limiting language, for example, that the coats were for sale while supplies lasted,13 the ad did state that the store, opening for business on the day of the sale at 7 a.m., was catering to early morning shoppers. By announcing that “the early bird catches the savings,” the ad implied that the supplies would run out.14
To sum up, based on the facts as I have recited them in this letter, I believe that a court would conclude that Loman’s ad did not make an offer to sell leather coats that a purchaser could accept, but that it was at best an invitation to negotiate. Thus, no contract came into existence from this transaction.15 To avoid the possibility that Loman’s will face future claims on this same point, I would recommend that, going forward, Loman’s ads include language such as “while supplies last,” “first come, first served,” or “quantities limited–no substitutes permitted.” In this way, Loman’s would communicate to shoppers that there were no guarantees that they could purchase an advertised item, or a substitute. Although the additional text might increase the cost of advertising, in the long run inserting this additional language in the ads could save you time and the costs involved in defending claims such as this one.16
I hope this is helpful, and would be happy to discuss this matter with you further. Please feel free to call my office at (718) 340-4200 if you have questions, or would like to set up a time to meet.17
Very truly yours,
Madala Suwyn, Esq.
1) Opening paragraph states the client’s problem, specifies the legal issue on which the client seeks advice, and states the writer’s conclusion.
2) This paragraph and the preceding paragraph set out legally significant facts–facts upon which the writer will base her analysis. The factual criteria of the rule for offers under contract law, discussed in the following paragraph of the letter, are the source of the legally significant facts.
3) The writer here restates her conclusion.
4) The writer begins translating the law into relatively straightforward language, without naming specific cases.
5) The writer here offers an example of how the rule would operate and then explains the implication of this analysis: that no contract was formed.
6) The writer explains part of the rule by providing an example.
7) The writer illustrates the point of law by discussing the facts and ruling in a similar case.
8) The writer refers to an alternative holding in the case.
9) The writer restates her conclusion as she moves to an analysis of her client’s facts.
10) The writer applies the first part of the rule–relating to definiteness and completeness of material terms–to Loman’s facts.
11) The writer now turns to the second part of the rule, requiring a promise in exchange for a requested act or promise, and applies it to Loman’s facts.
12) The writer points to facts (specifically, the absence of facts) in Loman’s that provide an alternative basis for the writer’s conclusion.
13) The writer introduces a possible counterargument.
14) The writer resolves the counterargument in favor of her original conclusion.
15) The writer summarizes and restates her conclusion.
16) The writer offers some preventive advice that addresses the possibility of future legal claims and also addresses extra-legal factors–cost and time.
17) The writer invites a follow-up conversation with the client.
Make sure you're legally compliant when you want to change an employee's contract with this letter changing terms and conditions of employment. This letter .