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A business question about client deposits
Old 15th April 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
cmcneil's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A business question about client deposits

Hi All -
Well I've been lurking here a lot and I've got some questions coming up. Here's one that you fulltime pros (which I am obviously not) will laugh at:

What do you require to show up at the remote site with your rig? Signed contract? Deposit? What percentage?

To this point the work I have done has been folks I have known for a while and I have never had a problem getting paid on these handshake deals. I am starting to get calls from word of mouth clients and it is time to formalize some of this stuff before I start rolling out, especially for the live remotes (these are showcases at local clubs as opposed to setting up at a client location for tracking, which I also do).

In my mind I want half up front and half when I deliver the product to the client - is that crazy?

I await your wisdom.
Old 15th April 2003
  #2
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Requirements - What makes you comfortable? We normally ask for 50% upfront to hold the truck, equipment and/or crew for the booked dates. We also draw a letter of agreement which serves to confirm the understanding regarding the mobile audio production, sound system rental and/or service.

It breaks down the Mobile Audio Rates, over time if applicable plus the other stuff we handle like Live Sound System Rates and Location Production Services. I also breakdown our Engineering Rates, Travel Charges, Recordable Media, et cetera, etc.

Don't forget the include your terms of payment, cancellation fees and provisions for the crew during the work day. You may want to include additional stuff I didn't mention.

This stuff is really up to you and how you feel about your position. You may be comfortable with asking for a 25% deposit. You may not need a deposit from your long time clients or major networks. Feel it out.

Trust but verify every potential client. A persons word can be stronger then any signed document. It really depends on the clients you keep. Even with that said, Since live remotes deal with a unique origination, you should get paid in full before any masters or mixes are released.

Half up front and half when I deliver the product to the client is not bad. It's pretty standard practice.
Old 15th April 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I totally agree with remoteness. Obviously there are differences depending on how well you know the client, but on a cold call gig I want a half up front and final payment on the day. If its an amateur group (choir, school orchestra, etc) you would expect to bill the job afterwards, but even some of these will expect to leave a deposit. If you feel at all uncomfortable about the client I would definitely ask for money up front, its a judgement call.

Regards


Roland
Old 15th April 2003
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
I suspect that your's would be an interesting agreement to read. And thinking out loud here, it's probably fairly standard business practice for those in the industry to read through it and sign it. But when you're working outside the normal music industry - church recordings for example, or local bands without representation, detailed multi-page contracts can scare them to death.

A few years ago, when I was booking my bands for private parties, weddings and such, I had some problems sending contracts to the father of the bride or the host of the party - they would say, "I need to have my lawyer look at this contract - he OK's all contracts before I sign them." I finally got around that by changing the title of the document from "Performance Contract" to Performance Agreement". Nothing else in the document changed, but I had no problems after that...
Old 16th April 2003
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I hear you Dave,

My contract is a "letter of agreement" and a one pager. Simple document, spelling out; what they want; what I'm giving them and; what I expect from them and there's.

If they do not completely agree with the letter, I suggest they not sign it and address their issues and concerns with me.
Old 16th April 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My one piece of advice, if you are not taking deposits and getting signed agreements, I suggest you start, before you are the giving the horror story instead of reading it...
Old 16th April 2003
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Remoteness
I hear you Dave,

My contract is a "letter of agreement" and a one pager. Simple document, spelling out; what they want; what I'm giving them and; what I expect from them and there's.
Great idea (a one pager), but it sounds like you have a relatively large amount of information to put on it. Or do you send the itemized fees on a separate page?

I admit that I don't do this corectly, but I'm always curious about how the business part of the business happens...
Old 16th April 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Rates are typically $500 to $1000 per day.
I ask for half when I agree to do the gig (to reserve the date). Depending on circumstance, I'll give all or part of it back on a cancelation.
Usually I'll accept the other half when the gig is over (but before handing over the tapes), but if I think something is amiss, I'll ask for the other half before I unload. That's only been a couple of times and nothing bad has happened so far.
I haven't had to deal with signed agreements for remotes yet, but I have on a couple of occasions for studio projects.
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