A Scope of Work Template to CYA with Vendors

The beautiful madre of the mother of Underwire in 1971 (left) and 2017 (right).

The beautiful madre of the mother of Underwire in 1971 (left) and 2017 (right).

Scope of Work 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mary Beth Stromberg!

MB is my original boss lady role model. 

One of the best pieces of advice she gave me is this—

“Don’t get yourself into a situation you can’t get out of. “

At the time of the imparting, I was in college and I think she meant a situation with a guy. As in, don’t drink too much at a party and pass out and have something horrible happened to you. Or don't get into some rando handsome guy's car just because he's got a broken arm (she came of age in the Ted Bundy years). 

Practical advice that's served me well. So practical that it also applies to business. 

A few weeks back I shared a conversation with Nancie Weston about her Kickstarter campaign for the Raiin water pitcher. 

Nancie launched her campaign on Earth day. It was going well, a bit slower than anticipated, but chugging along with pledges. 

And then her team that supported her launch — the college-age team that said they’d do the work for free because they wanted to build their portfolio — they did something cruel that I have not heard of in my 25+ year career.

Nancie’s "team" extorted her. A few days into the campaign, they demanded—by text message—to be paid an exorbitant amount or they would yank Nancie’s content from the Kickstarter. 

Nancie didn’t have a signed agreement with the team stating the project terms or deliverables. Feeling that she had no other recourse, she closed the Kickstarter. 

You can imagine how she feels. 

When we have vendors or contractors do work for our companies, even when they do a trade or gratis engagement, you need to lock down the terms, process and deliverables in writing. To make that easy, I’m giving you access to the Underwire template for a Scope of Work.

Click through the see the full SOW template. Or  click here .

Click through the see the full SOW template. Or click here.

This is a standard SOW that's been reviewed by an attorney for use with creative services firms. You can adapt the language to your specific project.

Nancie told me that, "Even with a contract they could have asked for more. It’s all about greed and what they thought they were worth rather than standing by their word. I won’t do 'free' again. If I had been able to afford an agency they would have stood by their word to protect their reputation." 

That team has some serious karma heading its way.

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On the topic of setting fire to that which doesn't serve us....

Applications now open for Ready Set Raise  

Female Founders Alliance opened applications for their second cohort of the Ready Set Raise accelerator. This is a national six-week startup accelerator, consciously created by and for women and non-binary founders. Finally. 

Here is what's conscious about Ready Set Raise:

  • FFA's cut is all non-dilutive. They do not take participant equity but request an option to participate in future rounds of fundraising.

  • The program is six weeks and structured for family flexibility; the first and last week are immersive in Seattle, the four weeks in between are remote.

  • Childcare is provided for participants during the immersion weeks in Seattle.

  • Investors invited to the demo day showcase are vetted and have demonstrated track records of investing in women and non-binary founders.

Program details, applications and info about last year's cohort on the Female Founders Alliance website.

The inaugural cohort of the Ready Set Raise accelerator. A powerful sight.

The inaugural cohort of the Ready Set Raise accelerator. A powerful sight.

Underwire