Set Expectations with an Acceptance Agreement

handshakeAs a marketer, you're probably relying on a lot of third party applications and resources to bring your campaigns to life.

I've written before about how setting expectations with your customers drives customer satisfaction… there's also a way that you can help drive your own satisfaction – build an acceptance agreement to set the tone with your third party relationships.

Acceptance agreements set some game rules for the vendors you work with before even starting. Acceptance agreements contain things such as:

  • Who owns the intellectual property on a project.
  • Who owns the resources (graphics, code, etc.)
  • Whether or not payment delays or penalties will be implemented if work is not completed within promised timelines.
  • When and how resources will be transferred in the event that the relationship goes south.
  • Whether or not the third party can delegate the project and work to other companies or resources.
  • Whether or not the third party can promote the work they are doing.

Perhaps you even have some personal likes and dislikes when working with vendors, meeting timeliness, dress codes, documentation, formats, etc. Having a standard acceptance agreement to initiate a relationship with your vendors will save you some headaches and even avoid some legal issues down the road. I would recommend them!

Much like an employment agreement with your employees will avoid conflicts with employees, an acceptance agreement can avoid issues with vendors and third party resources.


  1. 1

    Doug, are you reading a project management book? Now, don’t blog tomorrow about project scope creep or I will know that you are. What you say is very true and anyone that has good solid project management skills would recognize this.

    It sounds easy to do, but it is not. Especially when the project was not defined well with desired outcomes.

    I have seen huge problems like you talk about here with drawings especially. After they are re-engineered and changes made, who does own them? Deciding this upfront seems like tedious work but it can really solve a crisis situation later.

    Good post, but put the PM book away!:)

    • 2

      Hi Joe!

      No, I’m not – but I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve been blogging about the last few years and I don’t think I’ve spent as much time on the strategy and leadership as I have on the finite details.

      As well, with the launching of another startup I’ve been working with (Koi Systems), we want to ensure that every dollar spent has a great return on it. As I continue to work on that project, I’ll continue to share this type of advice.

      I’ll try to keep mixing it up between macro and micro, tho!

      Thanks Much for the feedback!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.