Free Agent Services
So You Want to Be Independent?

“The glue that holds all relationships together - including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.”

Brian Tracy (American television host)


Ronald Regan made the phrase 'Trust but verify!' popular while winning the Cold War.  This is true with client relationships too!  While you must have a contract with your client, to document the work to be done and the payment terms, the contract is only as good as level of integrity of the people signing it.


As a Free Agent, you don't have much, if any leverage; even if you do have a signed contract.  The contract is only as good as the company's integrity and the people you will be working with.  It is a sad state but there are a lot of scoundrels out there in senior positions in too many organizations.  It is critical that you develop a personal relationship with the individuals at the client company.  Develop a relationship that will engender trust between you and the client representatives, both now and in the future.


There are many unscrupulous CFO's, COO's and CEO's, not to mention managers and supervisors.  As recent economic results show, there are just a lot of bad guys leading bad companies.  Hopefully you will encounter them few and far between.


Just because you have a contract, it doesn't really mean squat when you are a Free Agent working for a large company.  If they decide to ignore the contract and not pay you, it is just tough.  Basically it is you against the corporate attorney with lots of money; you can't win.


- Case Study:

  • A consultant working on a project for a manufacturing company found that they were falsifying documents and equipment specifications to Underwriter's Laboratories; and thus to their customers.  They wanted the ERP system to accommodate their fallacious bill of materials.  When the consultant explained that the system integrity (not to mention his own) would not allow that, they terminated his services and basically said to hell with the contract.  According to the corporate attorney (can you believe these guys!?), the consultant could sue them but it would cost him; the company attorney threatened that they would counter sue for a bunch of trumped up reasons.  Needless to say, the consultant didn't get paid and that one was a write-off.


What a contract DOES do for you is provide you a means to deal with the Accounts Payable departments and other departments/divisions of the same company.  Once a general contract is in place, it opens up the doors for ongoing multiple engagements.  For this reason, I encourage you to establish a general services contract with specifics of each project or phase of a project defined in addendums/attachments.  That way, the main contract stays in force until either party terminates it.  People come and go in companies, you may find yourself working for a number of different folks at the same company; good for you. 


Your reputation and personal relationships built during your engagements at your client will go a long way to insure that you DO get paid for your services and you may possibly have a long and mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.


Ok, so now you have your clients, you need to do some Accounting!=>>