I recently began a series of posts about starting your own business. My son learned an important lesson yesterday from a customer who said “money is no object” but only purchased $300 worth of services. Not bad, but he had invested nearly 5 hours scoping a job that was expected to net thousands of dollars.
This is an important lesson for us all…not just business owners. When we start negotiating, we need to make sure that we are in the same ballpark of expectations.
- When you ask me to participate in your project, were you expecting me to invest 5% or 95% of my time on it?
- When you agree to hire someone to work for you, do they have a clear understanding of your expectations?
- When you sign the contract for the new system, have you done your homework to evaluate the actual product?
Most problems are solved by a written expectations. But too many people avoid the cost of time and energy to go through that amount of effort to think and produce documentation. Here is a great example of a scope of work document. I loved this summary:
“there should be no ambiguity as to what is expected of the performing party. Together, these elements should paint a thorough picture of what is expected”
Before stepping into a future mistake…see if you can avoid misunderstandings by writing down your expectations.
Thanks for listening.