I’ve written before in regards to the concept that IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) should ideally give attention to their core competencies, and build Strategic Alliances along with other businesses to offer the products and services that fall outside their specialty. Doing so means deliver the best intend to your clients.
But once you have found someone you’d like to forge a relationship with, how will you structure a strategic alliance?
Whatever make up the relationship takes, it is prudent to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) or Confidentiality Agreement. This document would claim that as the partner will almost certainly become aware of information about your small business and your customers business, which they won’t share this info.
Next you’ll want to define perhaps the relationship is a where you will refer business right to your partner to figure on under his or her name, or whether or not will be sub-contracting available for you – providing a need to your client beneath your name.
If you will probably be engaging the strategic partner using a sub-contract basis (an example might be engaging a fellow IT company to help you with a server roll-out project) then up-front you’ll want to define the terms of the relationship.
In addition on the NDA you’ve already signed, a Consultancy agreement is usually commonplace. Such a contract would re-iterate the terms of the NDA, but additionally include statements which the sub-contractor would accept not engage your client directly. In other words, the buyer remains yours.
Additionally, you have to set up-front expectations with the relationship. This might include:-
A project scope – defining the task to be delivered as well as the standards your small business works to. Think about server naming conventions, equipment labelling, quality at work, etc.
Financial expectations. The payment, either fixed fee or hourly rate, you consent to make to your sub-contractor, whenever you expect to be given a bill from their site (after a project, weekly, monthly) so when and how payable that bill (monthly, by electronic transfer).
Professional standards – the sub-contractor is representing you for the client. You may wish these phones dress accordingly, perhaps wearing a logo emblazoned shirt you provide for many years. You may also declare that the sub-contractor telephones you upon arrival at the client site and before they leave.