If you do want to work with me there are some rules
The project will be a dynamic one and has some momentum (to ensure it lands sometime before I die) and has been cleared with the relevant authorities (ok, your committee, your community, your boss, your husband, whoever is really in charge). It has a defined start and end (unless you just want to pay me to sit around and do nothing, which is fine too really).
Talk to me
Project communications are dynamic, or I might just forget that you exist (or worse think you have died.)
Full payment or a clear regular payment plan
I need the money today, not in several months time. Some may think I live in a very fine house, with a plaque outside, but I am still paying for it and it is expensive to look after national treasures (I am on the B-list).
Your time and commitment and a start date
Many projects seem to be terribly urgent, should have been completed yesterday, bla bla, but suddenly the project stalls because you’ve neglected to tell me that you have booked a long overdue sabbatical and there is no internet in your mountain bothy … that you didn’t explain that decisions are made by committee or that you were just playing with me to put in a quote alongside 43 others … or that you weren’t sure how much to budget (because you could not be arsed to do your homework that you are paid to do) … whatever
IT IS WORTH BEING UPFRONT THAT MANY PROJECTS FALTER BECAUSE
THE COMMISSIONER DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME
Make time … your project will land safely and to budget.
OR A CLUE
Find out about stuff (but please don’t ask a lawyer) or simply ask me & take my word for it … there are lots of experts out there who will give you an opinion for free. But beware that some advice comes with a health warning – be prejudiced against certain solutions (like opensource); irrelevant (they apply to corporate situations where the risks are much higher); are disproportionate (again might apply to multimillion pound projects); competitor envy (why didn’t you ask me if I wanted to do it?).
HAS UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
I suffer from this, expect everyone else to be perfect, reliable and on time, and perfectly pleasant to me at all times, even when I am being unreasonable
A RISIBLY SMALL BUDGET
I understand this too (I live on a shoe string), so …
[risibly small budgets] generally mean that you get what you are given a boiler plate solution
HOPE YOU APPRECIATE THE PLAIN PRINT … one more thing
If I give you a proposal with an exit clause, you can exit at any contractual break point, e.g. we jointly conclude the project is not feasible. I like to think that uncertainty in project development is a constant and that for larger projects there should be enough wriggle room for the commissioner to hit the pause button and re-orientate. However if your project is small, please don’t assume there is no end to this piece of string.
AND IF YOU COMMIT TO A PROJECT VERBALLY, however small, AND I START IT (PERHAPS EVEN FINISHED IT BECAUSE YOU TOOK YOU SO DAMN LONG TO DECIDE), THEN I EXPECT YOU TO HONOUR YOUR WORD ...