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Practical Client Advice

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Termination Clauses

As a contractor, it seems almost counter-intuitive.  As a client hiring a contractor or consultant, it is a needed tool.  Termination clauses in contracts between client and worker are definitely a necessity.  Whether you simply use informal email agreements, or a full scale contract, within the language, there should be a clause for how, when, where, and why the contract can or should be terminated prematurely.

The Contractor

To the contractor, it might seem like you’re undermining yourself by including the termination clause preemptively.  You might fear that it is a sign that you are not confident in your abilities and are already providing the client a way to opt out of your services.  In fact, you are doing exactly the opposite.  The clause is your way of saying to the client “look, this is on the table should we feel the need to use it, but I don’t think that will ever come up.”  You are being extra confident.

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The Cycle of Relationship

Clients and Consultants go through a number of different stages.  Like any good story, I find that they happen in three acts.  Nearly every relationship follows this pattern, but the stages are much more pronounced in the business world and even more so for the consultant and their client.

Each of us go through these stages when we meet a new friend – Putting your best foot forward, recognizing their humanity, truly connecting – but they tend to be subtle.  In business they happen with a rigid formality – interview, error, resolution – yet seem to hardly go noticed.

Lets look at these stages and how understanding their implications in business can be helpful.

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