We often say to designers: get a contract, get paid. Honestly, now that we host an annotated Web Design + Identity Agreement, there are no more excuses. But some professionals really take it to the next level. We asked our users Dalton and Stacey from Raygun design studio how do they use Docracy in their everyday work, and we’ve found out that they completely digitized and streamlined their contractual process, leveraging pretty much all Docracy’s features: branching, e-signing, dynamic fields. They shared some great business tips for designers as well, so read through!
Tell us a little bit about Raygun and what you guys do.
Raygun is a small web design and development studio here in Brooklyn that specializes in creating custom websites and e-commerce shops for small businesses, nonprofits, and independent artists. For us, it’s all about collaborating with our clients to create easy-to-use sites that are tailored to their needs and ready to grow over time with their business.
When you had to send your first contract to a client, how did you feel?
Pretty nervous, actually. Neither of us had much formal experience writing contracts, so when it came time to find a template that worked well for us, we didn’t really know where to start. A few searches and free legal advice got us on the right track, but it became difficult to sift through everything that was out there.
When we found Docracy via swissmiss, we immediately felt a wave of relief. Not only is there a repository of quality documents we can use on Docracy, we can finally manage and send contracts all from one location without the need to create multiple documents and versions.
Have you ever had a legal problem with a client and if so, how did you deal with the situation?
Thankfully, no, we haven’t. We did have an experienced legal professional review our contract, though, to be sure that we’re adequately protected in case something goes wrong.
What role does Docracy play in your everyday business?
Every client or employee relationship begins with a contract created in and sent through Docracy, so the service has become an integral part of running our company. We love being able to branch new contracts off of master copies, and the automated signing process has saved so much time. And many trees.
What’s the greatest legal challenge for people in your line of work?
Sadly the greatest legal challenge for folks in our industry seems to be getting paid on-time (or at all) for what we create. Totally unacceptable, but it can happen if you don’t have a solid contract in place.
Could you share any practical tips from your personal experience?
We make sure to talk with our clients about project fees and agree on an amount before any work is underway. We also include specific details, like the number of design revisions included in the project and which browsers we’ll be testing in, just to make sure everyone agrees on the same scope of work. Our contracts always include a payment schedule that specifies when payments are due and the amount. It really helps to have these things out in the open before the project begins so there aren’t any surprises down the road.
Thanks so much for talking. You guys are awesome!