In the New Proposal Editor, there are two components that define a proposal minimum term:
- Effective start date (the date when the proposal starts)
- Minimum contract length (minimum period of time proposal will be in effect for)
In this article we give some guidance in how to set these values for your proposal.
Effective Start Date
The effective start date can be thought of as the date when both parties to the proposal (your practice and your client) agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the proposal.
You should be sure to set the proper expectations for clients with this date as to the start date of your relationship with them.
This date should be set as the same day you will commence providing services to a client or earlier.
This date does not specifically indicate when billing will commence for services - this is controlled by the Billing Rules.
However, as billing and payment for services should be covered under the general terms and conditions of the proposal, you should also ensure that this date the same date or earlier that you will begin billing for services.
If you are unsure of how to set this date, you can leave this as the default of "On Client Acceptance" meaning the proposal comes into affect when the client signs.
Minimum Contract Length
The Minimum Contract Length can be thought of as the minimum period that the general terms & conditions included in your proposal will be in effect.
This should be set as the minimum amount of time you expect to be providing the services detailed in the proposal for the client.
If you do not have a time period in mind (e.g., you have ongoing services), you may want to consider the timeframe in which you would like to review your relationship, scope and price.
For example, if you have an annual review cycle for clients, setting this to 12 months may be a good idea.
Again, this date does not specifically indicate when billing will commence for services - this is controlled by the Billing Rules. However, you should consider when all billing will commence for all services detailed in the proposal.
For example, if you are not billing for a service for the first 3 months of relationship with a client (e.g., first 3 months free) - then this contract length should be at least 4 months to ensure you cover the first billing for this service.
Pro-tip: You can think of your Minimum Contract Length as a mobile phone contract or rental agreement contract. Once it is over, clients can continue to be billed, or you can determine whether they need to sign a new proposal.