Dealing With Scope Creep

Lolo Siderman, Founder and CEO of Gypsywing Media ( explains “scope creep.” Watch this video for tips on handling someone requesting more than services agreed.

  1. Scope creep: when a person continually requests more & more
  2. Reiterate what work the original agreement was for
  3. Clearly indicate any excess work you've already done
  4. Explain what charges will result from any further requests
  5. Send an invoice as soon as changes come in

For entrepreneurs and business owners who offer services, a scope creep is something that they’ll often deal with.

And scope creep means you’ve created whatever agreement. This is the service you’re providing, and your client starts asking for a little more. And as the business owner, you want your clients to be happy, you give a little bit more, and then they ask for a little more and a little more. And each thing in and of itself is small, but the entirety of it starts to really cost your business and cost you.

If you start seeing this happen, it’s good to get a hand on it quickly. You want to be clear about what the original project was and make sure you had a contract. So go ahead and reiterate what you’ve agreed to, where you are within the project and state what you’ve done that was beyond the scope so they see what they’re getting and they understand, “Oh, I did ask for that little thing and I did ask for that little thing.”

And when you look at it, it turns out to be this huge list of work that you’ve done beyond the scope of the project. So go ahead and acknowledge what you’ve done and that you did it for free and that you did it for you, and you were happy to do it and you want them to be happy but state that as going forward, you know, every 15 minutes of additional changes or whatever makes sense for the service that you’re in, however you would divide it, is going to be X number of dollars and then invoice promptly.

When they start seeing the invoices, it will connect in their brain that when they’re asking for changes, it’s costing you money, it’s costing you time and it’s going to cost them ultimately. And some clients will be happy to pay and they’ll continue asking and it’s fine. And it becomes this wonderful working relationship or they will realize, “You know what, I don’t have the money to pay for it and I’m going to stop asking and I’m going to accept the original agreement and what we have here.”

So these are some strategies that you can use if you start feeling this increase in work from a service agreement that you have in a way that you can deal with it professionally and it will keep the relationship intact, you will end up happy and so will your clients.