I’ve been learning a lot lately in working with the QuranJam brothers about procedure in doing dawah successfully. More on that later. onedarkangel_uk posted this on the UF Forum. I don’t think I need to add anything, because she did a real great job, masha Allah!
If you are reading this, and you are about to do some work, whether small or large, please STOP for a moment and think for a moment on these very questions to come. Because if these questions are not answered and applied, then right down the line, arguments are going to happen, feuds are going to happen and decisions are going to be warped.
So my suggestion is to anyone, whether you do paid work or not, please get this part straight:
CONTRACT – Working Agreement:
Make sure you have designed a template of a working agreement for different type of work and for different type of clients. Whether it is free or not – this is ethics, character and if you love your brother what you love for yourself, then the job, it’s details, its payment, when payment is due, deposit before work, or rewards of any kind, decisions of any kind, must be put into that working agreement/contract.
Before the Contract/Working Agreement
Be honest and be transparent. State what you want and what you don’t want straight forward and blunt. Do it of course with the tongue of respect but make it clear and precise, concise there and then. Muhammad (SAW) always talked to the point. So do so before the contract.
You can do this by writing a Job description. Writing down the following:
1. The name of the company or organisation.
2. The telephone number, email and any other contract of the organisation.
3. The sole responsibility of who is going to communicate with you with the job at hand so you are not messed around. Write that down in that Job description because you are going to show it to the client. That is to show who is accountable to you and who you are accountable to.
4. Now, briefly, one sentence, write down what the job area is. Is designing. If so, is it a flyer, poster, brochure. Is it filming? If so, how many seconds?
5. When does the client expect the work to start and be completed.
6. Mention if images are going to be used. If so, who holds the copyright. Make this very clear, so no feuds and debates happen in the future.
7. If you are subcontracting or have others working for you, then mention it in there because again – copyright. They may use their own images, film and that is also copyright. Make what the client is going to pay for very clear.
All this should be on one A4 Page. making it consise. I will later on tonight attach here a template for this.
Anyone who is not doing this, is not professional and isn’t running their business or work, or service ethically.
The contract should have all the details of the client you have above.
1. It must also state exactly what the work is in detail.
2. It must also state how long it will take.
3. It must state the educational process of the work. Detailing what they will recieve through the process.
4. It must state a brief or intro of what the work is, what the outcome will be and what the client wants as an outcome.
5. It must state the costs – Deposit, and when Deposit should be paid. And when full payment to be paid. If it’s a big job and you cut the payment into three payments, then mention the dates of each payment with what they recieve. Educate your customers, brothers, sisters in Islam, organisations. Business is not a business. It is about relationship and trust.
6. It must have a date.
7. It must be signed by you, the client and a witness.
What if the Client, Brother, Sister, Organisation won’t sign the contract before work begins?
DON’T EVEN BOTHER DOING WORK FOR THEM. If they won’t sign the contract – that means, they won’t be holding onto their word. It’s like anything else – a job needs contract. No one gets employed without a contract signed. Same goes for your freelance work.
Don’t be shy in doing these steps. There are plenty of templates online but if you are going to be shy, if you are not going to do it this way, then get ready to be burnt.
Love your brothers and sisters in Islam but in business – TREAT THEM AS STRANGERS. Meaning, words do not count when doing business. Contract does. You love them enough to never want to argue with them. If that is so, then sort it out NOW, on paper. Never lose sight that by doing it this way – it helps to secure the bond of friendship, kills suspicion, rids doubt, and makes everything clear and brotherhood is strong. There is a saying, “TIE YOUR CAMEL” do so in business!
What if They don’t pay deposit? Do I still start the work?
No. You are not in binding agreement because you’re contract states that you won’t start won’t work till a deposit is paid. They won’t pay deposit then they will mess you around even more when payment is needed.
Getting a deposit is a professional way of doing work. 95% of Designers, Filmmakers take deposit first or what we call An Advance Payment to help eleviate burden of expenses, filming, travelling expenses, proof reading, adminstration etc.
But I need the money?
No. You don’t need the money. You need ethics and ethics and faith in Allah SWT will bring you the money. Not being desperate. You act desperate in business and you are done for. Be firm and stick to your word and apply the professionalism that Islam teaches.
How Much Should I charge?
There are many ways but the most used style of working is to do the following:
1. If you are a designer in UK, you’d charge 45 pounds to fifty pounds an hour. I charge more. I charge 65 pounds an hour. But average and ok cost is 45 to 50 pounds an hour.
So, you can say to your client, you charge 50 pounds stirling an hour or 300 a day kind of thing. I charge 65 pounds an hour in design business but 300 pounds a day. My previous contract was that and I did five days work from home office.
Some charge 5o pounds an hour or if the clients or 250 pounds a day. Upto the client to choose which one, but by telling them exactly how much you charge and being transparent in that way – you can filter out the TIME WASTERS. You don’t want SEEMORES as clients.
Seemores are people who want to see a sample, then a portfolio, then costs, and then ask for more, and more details but they are just shoppping and won’t be doing any business with you. Or with anyone. They just ask a lot of questions and can be bothersome. They just want to SEE MORE and that is it. Don’t get pushed around by such people.
If you get approached with that kind of person just say, “I’m busy, and I’ll send some details through the post.” That is where desposit before work really helps. It filters out time wasters and those who run an UNethical approach to working with people.
Also, it gives you POSTURE, CONFIDENCE and you need these two in life or people will push you around and use you.
Insha-Allah, I’ll give template examples at a later date but the more character you have, and you rely on Allah SWT as you work honestly, the more successful you will be. The only way you will find more clients is through networking through more people and having faith in Allah SWT.
Greed, destroyes people and so, with it, they take shortcut and get burnt. Don’t get burnt. Islam is a prevention and has guidelines. Use them and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty and use Islam on you. Be strong and firm but also be ethical. You’re a Muslim first before business, money. That means, contract before greed. Get the foundation right and do the right thing.
Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdik ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk. Ameen.