Putting together a consulting services agreement is usually quite a pleasing task. After all, the fact that you’re producing one usually implies you’ve signed up a new client and can look forward to additional revenue.
It’s essential to remember that an IT consulting services agreement is there for the benefit and protection of both parties. Your client needs to know what they can expect from you, but you also need to make clear what you expect of them. Here are five essential considerations for when you next put an agreement together.
1. Operating hours
Unwelcome interruptions are sadly just part of the job for many IT consultants. The occasional unexpected disturbance is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish clear boundaries.
By making your operating hours clear in the consulting services agreement, you can make sure clients know when they can expect to receive your assistance. If you do offer after hours support, now’s the time to establish whether or not clients should expect to pay a premium.
2. Exactly what systems you cover
Usually, firms expect their IT support provider to cover everything in their infrastructure. However, there are usually some items you can’t really support effectively, which need the assistance of a third-party. Make sure you are very clear on the scope of what you are supporting, and ensure clients know that they cannot continually add new systems without perhaps having to renegotiate your arrangement.
3. A list of exclusions
As well as listing what you will support, you should detail what you won’t support. Third party databases, accounting systems, and CRM packages will often find their way on to this list, and clients should be encouraged to make sure they have appropriate vendor support in place for these systems.
4. A limitation of liability
Every consulting services agreement should include a clause that limits your financial liability in the event of a serious system failure or other problem. Exactly how this should be worded will depend on your country of jurisdiction, and you are advised to seek professional advice to ensure you make use of the correct legal language.
5. Details of your client’s obligations
As said before, contracts are about the obligations of both parties concerned, and there are probably several things you need your clients to adhere to. Perhaps they are responsible for changing their own backup drives, for example? Customers should also know that they should seek your advice before adding hardware or software to the network. Give some serious thought to what you expect from your clients and make sure they understand the importance of these obligations.
What do you make sure to include in every consulting services agreement? Let us know in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue.
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business