1 - What is the Scope Statement ?
The scope statement is a crucial and mandatory step to complete before starting a project. It is used to describe the scope of your work and should be used as a proof of what you will do in the freelance contract. Moreover, everyone reading it should know what you will do for your client.
If you are the one doing it, it will show that you are the right candidate for the job and show your expertise in the peculiar area of your work.
The scope statement becomes the technical specification document of the project. It can take more time but as you know is even more vital. If you think it is necessary and that it cannot be achieved without your help, you can bill it to the client.
2 - When does it happen ?
It usually happens when you meet the client (or talk to him during a video conference). You define his/her precise needs by taking notes, taking conclusions from them and assign tasks to the different issues you mentioned.
After having done this exercise, you should assign a number of hours to the different tasks stated above. And from this work, you will define the overall price that you will present to your client.
This a crucial step in the commercial relationship you will establish with your client. Why ? Because that's the moment when the client will see your professionalism and can compare you to the other candidates. The better it is, the more you will maximize your chances of being chosen.
Step 1 : prepare your meeting with your future client
A professional phone call or meeting needs preparation. You need to be ready and if possible, know the following information :
- The firm, its industry and the products/services it sells
- The firm's values : for instance, start-ups like Airbnb, Blablacar or Drivy are based on the collaboration between their users. You can bet that sharing and generosity are two values that they are looking for in the people they work with.
- Prepare your questions : don't hesitate to ask questions, make recommendations or ask him if has thought of the specific aspect that keeps bugging you. Clients come to Crème de la Crème and our freelancers to challenge their way of thinking and have an external point of view. Always bear this in mind when you're applying/working on a project.
Step 2 : the essential questions on which you and the client need to agree on
What is the ultimate goal of the project ?
Why does the client need this work done ? By understanding the sought outcome of the project, you will maybe realize that the project offered is not the right one.
For instance: if a firm is selling is products through their e-commerce platform and asks you to write articles to get more sales, you could tell them that a AdWords or FacebookAds campaign will be more powerful !
When does the project begin ? When does it end ?
The project is officially starting when the quote is paid or accepted by the client. When sending a quote, you should always specify the length of your work. Even more importantly you should specify the amount of modifications that are included.
For instance: if you send a quote for a market research and tell the client it will take three weeks, it should be explicitly written. If after those three weeks you plan on spending another week on modifications, include it on the quote.
If after those four weeks, the client still asks for more work, you are allowed to talk about a new quote since it will be in excess of what was planned.
What is included and what's not ?
Especially in design services, it becomes an important question. The client will have the incentive to always ask for more and you have to tell him when to stop. How to do it ? By specifying it in your quote.
For instance: When asked to do a logo, say upfront that you will present 5 different versions of your work and that the graphic charter is not included ! If the client wants it, he should pay a new quote.
What will be the format of the deliverable and when will you be available to work ?
You need to agree on a specific format upfront. If the client asks you to write a market research on Google Docs, don't write it in Microsoft Word !
You should also mention your availabilities during the meeting so that the client can reach out to you if he wants to talk. Why ? If you plan on working on it in the nighttime because you're doing an internship by day, the client will know it's pointless to call you at 4pm.
At the end of this meeting, you should go over the things you talk about so that there's a perfect understanding between you and the client. We recommend that your write a report of the conversation by email so that the client can confirm you're following the right path !
Step 3: Re-writing the Scope Statement/Technical Specification
Most of the scope statement will be translated and included in the quote submitted to the client.
But, if you are working on a technically more difficult project (creating a platform from scratch for instance) you need to write both a Technical Specification Document and a quote. In our next article you will find the necessary informations !
When the client gives you a Technical Specification
It's not uncommon that the client gives you a TSD because they have already been working on it. In this case, you should carefully read it and make suggestions (add a feature, delete one...). The easier it becomes to read, the easier it is for the different people involved to understand it and the scope of your work.