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What is scope creep and how do you stop it?

Often we might not even realize scope creep is happening until it’s too late. Here’s our quick guide on how to identify scope creep as a creative independent and how to put a stop to it ASAP.

So, what is scope creep?

Scope creep is that super cute thing that happens when your client asks for more work than originally accounted for. This can mean extra deliverables, meetings, rounds of revisions, or simply extra days spent waiting for delayed feedback.

Why is scope creep a red flag?

It’s not a big deal in bits and pieces, but consistently letting your clients get their way can add up over time to more stress and less pay for your entire team. It’s great to be flexible and adapt to new requests, but you should mostly charge for changes.

How to ask for more money

Make sure your clients understand up front that changes to your project plan may have fees associated. It’s easier to set this expectation early. Then, when “scope creep” starts to happen, remind your clients that you need to calculate new fees before accommodating their requests.

Issuing a change order

If your client is asking for work that wasn’t outlined in the original scope, send a “change order” detailing new deliverables and corresponding costs. This can be as simple as an email, but should be sent in writing and receive written client approval before your team begins any extra work.

Wait, can I really do that?

F*ck yes you can! Time is money, and this is a standard practice at large agencies. Recognizing when you’re in a “scope creep” situation can be hard if your scopes aren’t super detailed, or if you aren’t tracking your team’s progress on the original scope doc. Wethos Virtual Studios has budget and project management tools that enable independents to better track the progress of projects.

It’s time to stop working for free

At Wethos, we’re on a mission to make sure every small studio founder has the tools they need to earn more money and grow their business. That’s why we just launched new tools to help you track budgets and keep tabs on potential scope creep situations.


Ready to transform your one-person shop into a full-service studio?