One of the most common questions when starting your managed services provider (MSP) business is how to draw up MSP contracts. We're not lawyers (if we were, this site would be a whole lot different), but what we ARE good at here is good old fashioned research.
So we took a little time and went browsing on Amazon for some books that might be of use when drawing up a service agreement for your MSP.
Karl is well known and respected in the MSP field. At one time his book looked like it listed for $50, but the current price on Amazon shows that you can get it for less than $40. The book is an intensive guide to the specifics of contracts and service agreements for SMBs, however if you're looking for marketing or sales advice then this probably isn't the book for you. Along with the book, Karl includes samples of Service Agreements so you can get up and running right away.
Matt's guide is a little more pricey than Karl's, topping out at just under $100 - but you're getting a tome jam-packed with information. In addition, Matt also includes a CD-ROM that includes sample contracts and other useful MSP templates such as website templates, sales letters and even an elevator pitch. Also on the CD are webinar recordings sample pitches.
This aptly named book is from the folks over at MSP University and covers just about everything it says it does. Weighing in at almost 600 pages, this book touches on contracts, services pricing, delivery, sales, marketing and hiring. It doesn't include a CD but it does promise that buyers get access to a number of downloadable assets including forms, sales collateral and webinars.
The title on this volume pretty much says it all. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of professional services agreements then this is the book for you. Gurwin covers most of the standard agreements and talks about the differences and similarities between them. He also highlights the major parts of a contract used in negotiation by either party.
This book's author, David Tollen, has degrees from Harvard Law School, Cambridge University and U.C. Berkeley, If you feel like you need to pay a lot for a good contract, then this pocket guide is the right choice. Tollen discusses the finer points of contract language. No CD with this book either but it does feature a full-length contract available for download.
This is by no means a complete list. Whatever contract you decide to go with, always make sure you have it checked over by a lawyer for completeness. This might get a little pricey, but if you've already saved money by drawing up a contract yourself, it's worth the piece of mind to know that you didn't leave anything out.