What not to do

What should you do now you’ve built a better letter of intent (video 1)?


In this video you will learn the searching questions you should ask BEFOREsending a letter of intent and the things you should definitely avoid AFTER.

Download your “Guide to What (NOT) To Do

If you’ve used my STAR checklist, you’re in a great position to tell whether your letter of intent is a disaster which needs rebuilding or is good to go. If it needs rebuilding then you’ll need to watch video 1 to learn how to improve your letter, download my Framework to provide a structure to start from scratch, or buy my 500-Word Letter of Intent.

Although you now have star content, you need to ask whether a letter of intent is the right strategy for you, your partner and this project. Just because they exist, doesn’t mean you HAVE to use them. The key is to use them sparingly and wisely.

Before you send it, ask the other side these questions:

  • What are the really good reasons to start work NOW and not simply wait until the project contract is agreed?
  • Does everyone in the project team fully understand the risks of working under a letter of intent?
  • Have the project partners agreed the key provisions for your project – works, time, cost and quality? If not, what makes them think that starting the project will make it easier to agree those issues when everyone is busy carrying out works and services?
  • Are the contractual requirements of regulatory authorities, funders and other stakeholders met by your letter of intent?

A full set of scoping questions are in my downloadable Guide on What (Not) To Do.

If you only remember one thing from information, let it be this. Although a letter of intent is meant to be a temporary contract, there are no guarantees that the project contract will be signed.  Here’s what you should not do:

  • You should not get distracted by the works.
  • You should not treat the paperwork as done and dusted.
  • You should not assume a project contract will be signed  – it’s up to you to make that happen.
  • You should not extend the scope of the works.
  • You should not agree a new letter of intent covering more works.
  • You should not pay or ask for payment over and above any money limit set out in the letter of intent.

My top tip? As soon as the letter is sent, organise a completion meeting – which must be before the works under the letter of intent are finished. You should make it clear that you won’t be letting anyone go home until the contract is agreed and signed.

If you can’t agree, it’s far better to part ways amicably after the initial works are complete than spend 7 years in court trying to work out if you had a contract!

You should still ask yourself, is it wise to use a letter of intent given the risks? These and how to sidestep their pitfalls are covered in video 3.

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