Dear YouDig?

By John Swansinger, Partner in the Real Estate and Construction Practice Group at
Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs

Dear YouDig,

Good News – our amazing sales team just sold another huge contract!  Bad News –  the Buyer dumped ridiculously one-sided terms and conditions on us.  Our negotiation efforts were met with “do you want the work or not?”  We are happy to stand by our work but these terms go too far.  How do we make a deal?

-Rock and Hard Place

Dear  Rock,

Can you make an acceptable profit if you perform the work to specifications Rock? If so, RESPECT THE CHECK!  Always fear the form, but if want to stay in business, you need to make money. If the buyer won’t negotiate it must mean that you are replaceable. To prevent your fearless competitors from beating your brains in on all bids, you must develop ways to reduce the risk by improving your performance standards ….outside of the documents.  Consult your insurance team and determine which of the additional risks are insurable.  Study the specifications cold and make sure you aren’t reaching beyond your capacity.  If there are tight performance standards and time requirements, push your project management team to step up. If payment timing is strict, force your billing team to make the account a priority.  If all of the stepping up turns out to be too much, you are better for having gone through the process, YouDig?