This page is intended to inform new clients about establishing a consulting relationship. If your organization has purchasing protocols (Requests for Proposals, Requests for Quotes or application process), we usually just follow those to make things easier. If not, and depending on the scope of the project, the following steps explain the process of creating a consulting agreement…
I talk with an initial contact person by phone or in person to determine what services are needed. We begin to establish if there is a fit in values, approach, availability and capacity.
Often, a one to two hour in-person meeting follows with one or more people at your site or a mutually agreed meeting place. I will need some information about the context and your goals. This could include a description of:
- how your organization, program or Board of Directors is working;
- the successes and stage of development of the context we’re talking about, including current opportunities and challenges;
- what you want to accomplish, why and when;
- any ideas you have on how to accomplish what you’re setting out to do (and you don’t have to have any);
- the level of resources and people available to support this goal.
Together we will ensure that you’re comfortable and informed about:
- What working together might look like
- Co-creating a customized service that works to meet your goals;
- My experience and references, as you would like;
- A plan and timeline to go forward.
Then, usually within a few days, you will receive a 1-2 page proposal describing the following:
- My understanding of your context and goals
- A methodology, service description and follow-up processes;
- Depending on the scope of work you might also receive a more detailed work plan with defined phases with associated goals, measurable outputs on a timeline, linked to the costs;
- Consultant and client roles and responsibilities.
We confirm that the proposal details are in line with what you want or need. Or it is revised, if necessary. Often, should the timeline allow, I follow up with a purchase of service agreement that references the proposal, which is signed and exchanged by both client and consultant.
Going forward, we plan timelines and logistics together and keep each other informed, as needed, as the process unfolds.