MSP How to quote for services

Kevin Caldwell
Kevin Caldwell used Ask the Experts™
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Hi Experts.  I own an IT services company and most of my customers are on the break fix model.   And they seem to be ok with that, but occasionally I do have someone wanting to know about a monthly service plan.   I have a potential customer that has 5 pc's.  One of those pc's is acting as a file server (but not an actual server OS).    
I am looking at a recommendation on how to set this up.   I don't see them needing a lot of help, possibly a couple of hours per month.  Let's say I have a contract for 3 hours per month at $105 per month.   And for 3 months, they only use 1 hour each month.  Do you carry those over?  What is something happens in 1 month that they need 10 hrs service?  
Just trying to get a feel on how to quote them something.     I think the idea is that you want to give the customer the feeling that they are getting a better deal to have the monthly agreement and that they don't have a large bill one month.
Thanks for the help!
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Senior Engineer
Commented:
At my previous MSP I worked for they had a few options....pay as you go....which sounds like what you are doing now.

Then they could buy a block of hours say 5 for the price of 4.  These were use them or lose them.  Trying to keep track of carry over would be a nightmare.

Then we had customers who paid quite a bit of money and had an all you can eat buffet.

Anything over the block paid for is billed at the normal rate.

Talk to some other MSPs that are not in your area so there won't be a conflict of interest or competition.

Any large city will have several.
Scott CSenior Engineer

Commented:
Then there are services you can bill on a monthly basis, backup, AV, service monitoring, etc.

A customer likes it when something breaks overnight and when they come in the next morning it's already fixed.

Or you can let them know something is wrong before they discover it and have to call you.
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
So another thing to consider, is not making yourself sweat too.  If you are 'on call' as well.  24hrs a day 7 days a week?  or are you a business hours guy (9-5)?  Some things to consider in your pricing.  Can you guarantee you'll be there within 2 hrs of the problem, 6hrs, 24hrs?  
Charge according to what you need to do or you will sweat that phone call every time.
And put up stipulations if your client has special needs, 24/7 (night, weekend work).  Turnaround time.

Just some thoughts, otherwise you are always at their beck and call and may sell yourself cheap.
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WakeupSpecialist 1
Commented:
Another thought is to charge your monthly rate based on the 5 computers?  or the number of computers they have.  Perhaps also documenting the SN/MN of each computer for your documentation and in case they try to pull a fast one and add more computers in the future and just swapping them around for you to just 'do the work' and not really get paid for more computers.  So charge something like a flat $50 (or whatever you feel is fair) a month per computer, for which you will work the only price they pay is for parts.  Or after hours/weekends work you can suggest a $20 per incident or per hour for your premium non business hours/days.  Just some thoughts.  Obviously you can cater it to whomever you want and however you wish.  And potentially give them some negotiating room if you feel it is necessary.
Kevin CaldwellOwner of RUseeingRed Tech Solutions

Author

Commented:
Thanks experts for all the great ideas so far!
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
Hey Kevin,

Anything else we can do to help you?  Or anything else need clarification?

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