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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Should You Use Fixed Prices for Long-Term Computer Maintenance?

Fixed prices might sound good to clients, but they are not always the best for computer business profitability. If you offer a fixed price for long-term computer maintenance, you probably have sold the clients a network already and are now offering to take care of it for a certain amount per month. While you might think it is a good idea to offer a fixed price “subject to these restrictions,” this idea is not going to be very appealing to clients.

Protecting Yourself with Fixed Prices

Draft a fixed price agreement that is limited from the start. Don’t offer overall coverage and then slowly take away the “overall” part by adding a lot of restrictions. You need to be up-front about your fixed price offering and make it look like a gift.

You also need to control every move of your clients, including adds and changes in the original agreement. You want to avoid the company computer guru meddling with your system. Your fixed price agreement will have to change if someone is making your job more difficult. Training the guru so he/she knows what is permitted and what is not and when to call you can also prevent problems.

Fixed Prices: The Low-Down

Fixed price maintenance contracts are a possibility for any computer business. But you have to make sure you have allowed for contingencies at the beginning so you don’t have to restrict clients later or risk doing work for free. Fixed price contracts look great for clients and for you, but you have to be very careful to compensate yourself for all time spent.

Added By: Computer Consulting 101