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Client Services Agreement

  • Legal stuff

    Lean Labs would rather spend resources solving a problem than hiring a lawyer. However, there are several important elements that we'd like you to agree on with us.

    Use of our services and your payment of our invoices means that you have read and agree to the following Services Agreement. 

    We'll notify you in writing of changes to this Agreement, so you won't have to check it every month 🙂

    Updated 4-3-20

  • Services Agreement

    We’re proud to have one of the simplest service agreements in the industry. All of our clients are volunteers, which means that one of us can fire the other if we’re not doing our part. We feel that for deserving brands, this is a solid foundation to work from, with no long-term contracts required. At the same time, a few issues have come up over the years, and we address them in the agreement below.

    1: Payments: The initial deposit is made, prior to work commencing, by ACH, wire transfer, PayPal, or credit card. We ask that future payments are made on time by either check or ACH transfer. After that, invoices are sent 30 days in advance of the month of work on Net 30 terms. We’re open to breaking down payments provided the full balance is paid by the due date. When payments are more than 15 days late, we pause our work on the project while we await payment and charge a 3% late payment fee (5% if you pay by credit card).

    2: Full payment prior to delivery/launch is required for all projects and marketing services. If for any reason you ask us not to complete a project that we’ve started on, we’ll ask you to promptly pay for all progress up to the point that you changed your mind about using our services.

    3: Timely feedback is the most important component of completing and delivering great work on time. We encourage you to respond to all our feedback requests with complete and consistent feedback within two business days. Remember, you're hiring Lean Labs to work in a lean fashion. We finish what we start, and we want to start and finish in the scheduled sprint. It takes effort to move tasks/projects and reschedule. So, to protect us from stalling work, as it creates several costs on our end, if we submit a page, graphic, content, article, email or anything for your review and you do not respond to our review request within 2 weeks, that work will be considered complete. 

    If momentum must stop because of lack of response or resolution of key requests, it will push back the proposed timeline for 2X the delay period as we have likely moved to other work. If a project stalls for 30 days without a response, or the project drifts more than 90 days past the scheduled completion date, and Lean Labs is not the cause, we’ll consider the project complete and re-negotiate any continuation of work. 

    4: Meeting Rescheduling: Great communication is vital to success. You’ll schedule meetings in advance, at a time of your choosing. Sometimes, schedules change, and we’re totally flexible to that. However, a lot of prep work goes into meetings, and if you cancel a meeting less than one hour in advance, one point will be consumed from your monthly budget for preparation and rescheduling.

    5: Every project must have a Project Owner assigned. Even if there are multiple stakeholders, we need a single point-of-contact for the engagement. The project owner is responsible for all approvals and being responsive with feedback to work progress. Any stakeholders that hold veto power, approval power, or may require changes in direction, are considered “deciders”. All “deciders” should be involved in the project during the strategy, framing, and content phases.

    6: When building a website or pages, each unique template will be well-designed and bug-free on desktop, tablet, and mobile on current browsers with > 1% market share. If a bug occurs on a new feature or new page, it’s certainly fixed at no cost. If we apply a change that breaks another page by accident, that also is fixed at no cost. However, if by combining elements to a custom page, or by changing templates, or by passage of months without services, you find a bug, in these instances we must charge for the fix as the cause of the issue is most likely not in the original work done by Lean Labs.

    7: Revision and iteration is the very nature of creating a great website, but for launch purposes, we limit revision so as to keep the project on scope and timeline. We allow for one round of revision to a template (provided the requests improve the design and are in scope of the project and budget) and all future tweaks, improvements, etc. will be addressed with Growth-Driven Design budget either pre or post-launch as you choose. If you prefer to have more revisions prior to launch, this option is available, but we need you to bring up this key point before starting the project, as the scoping structure is slightly different. If multiple rounds of revision occur, we will budget for that separately.

    8: Clients, as the SME (subject matter expert) should expect to be quite involved in collaborating with us.

    Time commitment: please expect as much as 8 hours per week of work in the first few weeks of the project. This is spent gathering data, talking with internal stakeholders, holding strategy meetings with Lean Labs, and advising us in any content workshops.

    Subsequent phases of a website build may require 2-4 hours per week. Inbound Marketing & Growth Driven Design require a combined 1-3 hours per week.

    Content is defined as words, images, audio, logos, icons, and video. You’re responsible for the content of your website. If custom images / banners / infographics / graphics / logos / icons are needed for the website, they will need to be budgeted separately from site design with a clear scope of work for each item.

    Messaging: you’re largely responsible for the messaging on your website. If we allocate budget towards messaging for key pages, we’ll provide a well-considered page flow (content outline), then we’ll propose a content prototype that has been considered for content value, SEO, style, and flow. If you wish to alter it after initial approval, you may. Please don’t expect that we’ll phrase things exactly as you would. We’re not you, but we’re great content creators. You’re always welcome to make edits in the CMS directly for personal style or taste.

    Marketing: please plan to review strategy, provide answers to questionnaires, and have your SME’s interviewed so that we can create great content. We’ll ask that you fact check all work prior to publishing.

    As launch approaches, please plan for two full business days for reviewing all pages, links, and applying final touches such as MetaData. Communicating launch plans to stakeholders within your company, and preparing the site for launch also takes time, and we’re available to present the new website to the company executives, if desired. 

    By default, we allocate only 2 hours of project budget towards making any final tweaks or amends in the CMS on your behalf (as final tweaks in wording and graphics tend to happen as a project approaches launch). Once this budget is consumed, we’ll ask that either you make any remaining content tweaks in the CMS yourself, or allocate additional budget for further changes.

    9: Expenses such as hosting, all software subscriptions or licensing, SSL certificates, video templates, font licensing, extensive or expensive stock photography (beyond $100 for most projects), voiceovers, or other expenses related to the creation of the product are passed through separately from the project budget agreed upon, or paid directly by the client. 

    10: Website Design Services do not include budget for migrating content by default. This means that additional budget will need to be allocated to the manual transfer of ANY content, including pages, posts, news, resources, workflows, images, landing pages, and thank-you pages.  We can certainly budget to help with such migrations as needed, budgeted separately as its own project and billed hourly (as it’s almost impossible to accurately estimate the time required).

    11: Monthly GDD (Growth Driven Design) Points: If we set up your monthly sprint with less points than your monthly retainer, we’ll add (rollover) those unused points to the following month. Occasionally, we may need to borrow points from a future month and use them sooner, to accomplish a larger objective than your monthly retainer affords. Our GDD system runs on a two-week plan and prepare and two week execute cadence. Any work that requires completion faster than this 4-week system will be considered “Rush Work” and may be charged double points.

    12: Weekends are sacred. Our team does not work Friday night through Saturday night. Our design and dev team is based in the UK, so this means around noon on Friday parts of our team begin to sign off. We do limited meetings on Mondays and Fridays for planning purposes.

    13: No Poaching Clause: When hiring Lean Labs, you agree not to attempt to recruit any of our team members, writers, or contractors to work directly for your company or another company. This is for the duration of the engagement and for a period of 3 years following the conclusion of any engagement.

    14: Lean Labs would love to display your website, in part or in whole, as examples of its work in our portfolio. Since we’ll want to brag about our work a bit, we like to share anonymous metrics of your marketing performance with other clients and potential clients. If we build your website or redesign a prominent portion of your site, a very small and subtle site credit will be included in the design footer (“site by Lean Labs”). Displaying this for one year is generally expected, and we'd love it if you left it there throughout our time working together. Alternately, you can publish a blog post talking about your experience with LL and link to our site.

    15: Limited Liability: Client agrees that the engagement with Lean Labs is with limited liability. Neither party shall be responsible to the other party for any financial or punitive damages in conjunction with strategy, site build, inbound marketing, hosting, growth-driven design, or any other service provided by Lean Labs.

    16: How We Can Fire Each Other: Every client of Lean Labs is a volunteer, and we have the ability to fire each other if we don’t do our part.  Here’s how the termination of Marketing and GDD relationships are handled:

    While some sprints are planned and implemented monthly and others quarterly, you’re renewing your engagement with Lean Labs every quarter year. Should you desire to conclude in a given quarter and not renew for the next, please provide written notice at least 30 days before the quarterly auto-renewal. If we decide to end the engagement, we'll do the same. This enables both parties to deliver on all agreements professionally and finish the quarter strong. Upon notice of termination, we’ll create a Termination Agreement listing the remaining work to be delivered and payments to be made, if any are due, to close out the engagement gracefully. 

    17: Point Cost: Each year from 2015 through 2019 the margins at Lean Labs have become thinner to the point of being a challenge. To plan for rising costs, we’ve implemented a simple inflation based point cost adjustment once per year and found it to be amicable with other clients. Initiated on the January invoice each year, you’ll observe the cost per point to increase 4%, or inflation +1% (whichever is higher). We think you’ll find this very agreeable. If this is an area of concern, please talk to us.

    Updated 4-3-20

  • Satisfaction Guarantee

    At the end of any paid month, if you aren't happy, or you aren't getting the results you expected, or we aren't delivering the work we promised, give us 10 days to make you happy. If you still aren't happy after those 10 days, we'll refund 100% of your payment for that month.

    Disclaimer: refund only available for the most recent month completed. Please, notify us prior to the end of the month. We can't honor refunds requested after the month ends. No refund available if you aren't keeping up or doing your part of the work. (Remember, we're partners here. We can't do the work without you as the subject matter expert for your business).

Legal stuff

Lean Labs would rather spend resources solving a problem than hiring a lawyer. However, there are several important elements that we'd like you to agree on with us.

Use of our services and your payment of our invoices means that you have read and agree to the following Services Agreement. 

We'll notify you in writing of changes to this Agreement, so you won't have to check it every month 🙂

Updated 4-3-20

Services Agreement

We’re proud to have one of the simplest service agreements in the industry. All of our clients are volunteers, which means that one of us can fire the other if we’re not doing our part. We feel that for deserving brands, this is a solid foundation to work from, with no long-term contracts required. At the same time, a few issues have come up over the years, and we address them in the agreement below.

1: Payments: The initial deposit is made, prior to work commencing, by ACH, wire transfer, PayPal, or credit card. We ask that future payments are made on time by either check or ACH transfer. After that, invoices are sent 30 days in advance of the month of work on Net 30 terms. We’re open to breaking down payments provided the full balance is paid by the due date. When payments are more than 15 days late, we pause our work on the project while we await payment and charge a 3% late payment fee (5% if you pay by credit card).

2: Full payment prior to delivery/launch is required for all projects and marketing services. If for any reason you ask us not to complete a project that we’ve started on, we’ll ask you to promptly pay for all progress up to the point that you changed your mind about using our services.

3: Timely feedback is the most important component of completing and delivering great work on time. We encourage you to respond to all our feedback requests with complete and consistent feedback within two business days. Remember, you're hiring Lean Labs to work in a lean fashion. We finish what we start, and we want to start and finish in the scheduled sprint. It takes effort to move tasks/projects and reschedule. So, to protect us from stalling work, as it creates several costs on our end, if we submit a page, graphic, content, article, email or anything for your review and you do not respond to our review request within 2 weeks, that work will be considered complete. 

If momentum must stop because of lack of response or resolution of key requests, it will push back the proposed timeline for 2X the delay period as we have likely moved to other work. If a project stalls for 30 days without a response, or the project drifts more than 90 days past the scheduled completion date, and Lean Labs is not the cause, we’ll consider the project complete and re-negotiate any continuation of work. 

4: Meeting Rescheduling: Great communication is vital to success. You’ll schedule meetings in advance, at a time of your choosing. Sometimes, schedules change, and we’re totally flexible to that. However, a lot of prep work goes into meetings, and if you cancel a meeting less than one hour in advance, one point will be consumed from your monthly budget for preparation and rescheduling.

5: Every project must have a Project Owner assigned. Even if there are multiple stakeholders, we need a single point-of-contact for the engagement. The project owner is responsible for all approvals and being responsive with feedback to work progress. Any stakeholders that hold veto power, approval power, or may require changes in direction, are considered “deciders”. All “deciders” should be involved in the project during the strategy, framing, and content phases.

6: When building a website or pages, each unique template will be well-designed and bug-free on desktop, tablet, and mobile on current browsers with > 1% market share. If a bug occurs on a new feature or new page, it’s certainly fixed at no cost. If we apply a change that breaks another page by accident, that also is fixed at no cost. However, if by combining elements to a custom page, or by changing templates, or by passage of months without services, you find a bug, in these instances we must charge for the fix as the cause of the issue is most likely not in the original work done by Lean Labs.

7: Revision and iteration is the very nature of creating a great website, but for launch purposes, we limit revision so as to keep the project on scope and timeline. We allow for one round of revision to a template (provided the requests improve the design and are in scope of the project and budget) and all future tweaks, improvements, etc. will be addressed with Growth-Driven Design budget either pre or post-launch as you choose. If you prefer to have more revisions prior to launch, this option is available, but we need you to bring up this key point before starting the project, as the scoping structure is slightly different. If multiple rounds of revision occur, we will budget for that separately.

8: Clients, as the SME (subject matter expert) should expect to be quite involved in collaborating with us.

Time commitment: please expect as much as 8 hours per week of work in the first few weeks of the project. This is spent gathering data, talking with internal stakeholders, holding strategy meetings with Lean Labs, and advising us in any content workshops.

Subsequent phases of a website build may require 2-4 hours per week. Inbound Marketing & Growth Driven Design require a combined 1-3 hours per week.

Content is defined as words, images, audio, logos, icons, and video. You’re responsible for the content of your website. If custom images / banners / infographics / graphics / logos / icons are needed for the website, they will need to be budgeted separately from site design with a clear scope of work for each item.

Messaging: you’re largely responsible for the messaging on your website. If we allocate budget towards messaging for key pages, we’ll provide a well-considered page flow (content outline), then we’ll propose a content prototype that has been considered for content value, SEO, style, and flow. If you wish to alter it after initial approval, you may. Please don’t expect that we’ll phrase things exactly as you would. We’re not you, but we’re great content creators. You’re always welcome to make edits in the CMS directly for personal style or taste.

Marketing: please plan to review strategy, provide answers to questionnaires, and have your SME’s interviewed so that we can create great content. We’ll ask that you fact check all work prior to publishing.

As launch approaches, please plan for two full business days for reviewing all pages, links, and applying final touches such as MetaData. Communicating launch plans to stakeholders within your company, and preparing the site for launch also takes time, and we’re available to present the new website to the company executives, if desired. 

By default, we allocate only 2 hours of project budget towards making any final tweaks or amends in the CMS on your behalf (as final tweaks in wording and graphics tend to happen as a project approaches launch). Once this budget is consumed, we’ll ask that either you make any remaining content tweaks in the CMS yourself, or allocate additional budget for further changes.

9: Expenses such as hosting, all software subscriptions or licensing, SSL certificates, video templates, font licensing, extensive or expensive stock photography (beyond $100 for most projects), voiceovers, or other expenses related to the creation of the product are passed through separately from the project budget agreed upon, or paid directly by the client. 

10: Website Design Services do not include budget for migrating content by default. This means that additional budget will need to be allocated to the manual transfer of ANY content, including pages, posts, news, resources, workflows, images, landing pages, and thank-you pages.  We can certainly budget to help with such migrations as needed, budgeted separately as its own project and billed hourly (as it’s almost impossible to accurately estimate the time required).

11: Monthly GDD (Growth Driven Design) Points: If we set up your monthly sprint with less points than your monthly retainer, we’ll add (rollover) those unused points to the following month. Occasionally, we may need to borrow points from a future month and use them sooner, to accomplish a larger objective than your monthly retainer affords. Our GDD system runs on a two-week plan and prepare and two week execute cadence. Any work that requires completion faster than this 4-week system will be considered “Rush Work” and may be charged double points.

12: Weekends are sacred. Our team does not work Friday night through Saturday night. Our design and dev team is based in the UK, so this means around noon on Friday parts of our team begin to sign off. We do limited meetings on Mondays and Fridays for planning purposes.

13: No Poaching Clause: When hiring Lean Labs, you agree not to attempt to recruit any of our team members, writers, or contractors to work directly for your company or another company. This is for the duration of the engagement and for a period of 3 years following the conclusion of any engagement.

14: Lean Labs would love to display your website, in part or in whole, as examples of its work in our portfolio. Since we’ll want to brag about our work a bit, we like to share anonymous metrics of your marketing performance with other clients and potential clients. If we build your website or redesign a prominent portion of your site, a very small and subtle site credit will be included in the design footer (“site by Lean Labs”). Displaying this for one year is generally expected, and we'd love it if you left it there throughout our time working together. Alternately, you can publish a blog post talking about your experience with LL and link to our site.

15: Limited Liability: Client agrees that the engagement with Lean Labs is with limited liability. Neither party shall be responsible to the other party for any financial or punitive damages in conjunction with strategy, site build, inbound marketing, hosting, growth-driven design, or any other service provided by Lean Labs.

16: How We Can Fire Each Other: Every client of Lean Labs is a volunteer, and we have the ability to fire each other if we don’t do our part.  Here’s how the termination of Marketing and GDD relationships are handled:

While some sprints are planned and implemented monthly and others quarterly, you’re renewing your engagement with Lean Labs every quarter year. Should you desire to conclude in a given quarter and not renew for the next, please provide written notice at least 30 days before the quarterly auto-renewal. If we decide to end the engagement, we'll do the same. This enables both parties to deliver on all agreements professionally and finish the quarter strong. Upon notice of termination, we’ll create a Termination Agreement listing the remaining work to be delivered and payments to be made, if any are due, to close out the engagement gracefully. 

17: Point Cost: Each year from 2015 through 2019 the margins at Lean Labs have become thinner to the point of being a challenge. To plan for rising costs, we’ve implemented a simple inflation based point cost adjustment once per year and found it to be amicable with other clients. Initiated on the January invoice each year, you’ll observe the cost per point to increase 4%, or inflation +1% (whichever is higher). We think you’ll find this very agreeable. If this is an area of concern, please talk to us.

Updated 4-3-20

Satisfaction Guarantee

At the end of any paid month, if you aren't happy, or you aren't getting the results you expected, or we aren't delivering the work we promised, give us 10 days to make you happy. If you still aren't happy after those 10 days, we'll refund 100% of your payment for that month.

Disclaimer: refund only available for the most recent month completed. Please, notify us prior to the end of the month. We can't honor refunds requested after the month ends. No refund available if you aren't keeping up or doing your part of the work. (Remember, we're partners here. We can't do the work without you as the subject matter expert for your business).