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It’s not a good idea to operate your MSP without having a business agreement in place. If you’ve been working with clients without the right protections in place, today’s the day you should start requiring clients to agree to legal work, before any actual work is completed. Your days are numbered, so take the first few steps by reviewing business agreements and understanding what should be included in all your documents.

Be upfront with expectations

Nothing in your agreements should surprise your clients. Business agreements should reflect expectations that were already discussed during the sales process. It’s important that you clearly define your edges before sitting down with your clients to review the legal work. Clients should be fully aware of the services your business can and cannot provide. Don’t keep secrets from them.

Only address critical issues

As we all know, the main reason for having a business agreement in place is to protect you, your business, and your employees from liability if something goes wrong — that’s it. Don’t overcomplicate your agreements. While you should ensure that you’re protecting your business assets, outlining every possible negative outcome is a bit overboard.

Only address critical issues in your business agreements. Think big, not small. For example, your business agreements should include the following key legal protections: liability, jurisdictions, non-competes, and disclosures. For any other essential agreement clauses, consult your attorney. Agreements are designed to limit responsibility, not create uncertainty between you and your clients.

Keep your MSP agreements simple

Do your business a favor by keeping your MSP agreements simple! For instance, don’t use overly complex words in your agreements when simpler ones will do. You’ve got nothing to gain and everything to lose by overusing your “expansive vocabulary” to clients.

Why should you keep your MSP agreements simple? The truth is you don’t want to give clients reasons to mistrust you. Your agreements don’t need to be 10 pages long. Keep them on the shorter side if possible. What if the tables were turned? Think about how you’d feel if a vendor plopped a wordy agreement on your desk. Would you begin questioning it? 

To avoid any misunderstandings, the terms within your agreements should be clear, concise, and concrete. You want your MSP agreements to achieve your goals, protect yourself and your business, address critical issues, and set expectations. Don’t add anything more than what’s needed. In these situations, the old saying “less is more” has never been more appropriate and fitting. The best MSP agreement is one both you and your client forget about after agreeing to.

Photo: Raw Pixel / Unsplash

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Gary Pica

Posted by Gary Pica

Gary Pica is a pioneer in the managed services field. He is one of ChannelPro's 20 industry visionaries and MSP Mentor's most influential leaders. He has already built two top-performing MSPs. Today, Gary is the President of TruMethods, a training, peer, and accountability firm aimed at helping IT solution providers reach their full potential as MSPs and cloud providers. Gary shares the key ingredients that transformed his business and his life through his training process. Today, hundreds of IT providers around the world utilize the TruMethods business transformation framework.

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