Try to work as many details as possible into a contract before starting so it is clear what you are doing and not doing.
What are some details that are worth figuring into a contract?
- What is out of scope? It is easy to include what you will do, but try to remember to include what you will NOT do. For example, in a content management project, the client should be entering their own content, unless they want to pay you for the work of entering content.
- Price out separate parts of a project at separate costs if you think that is more fair. This may be the difference between you and someone else's flat fee project.
- Who are all the people that will be working on the project? Include the subcontractors -- who knows if someones presence or absence may swing the deal your way.
- Provide a change management process. What are your expectations when there is a change? How do you decide what is in scope and what is out of scope during change management?
- Describe clearly the payment method. 50% up front, 25% on delivery and 25% after 30-60 days is usual. There are many that start a project on no money up front, but you shouldn't expect any money out of these type of projects. No money up front usually means no money, ever.