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. This is typically when the services within will commence.
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 is set as the same date or earlier than 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 effect 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/the time frame that the pricing present will be valid for.
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.
Please note: You will not be able to use the bulk renewal feature unless the service(s) in question have reached or are beyond the minimum contract length.
If you use annual engagements, the minimum contract period should be set to align with your annual engagement cycle.
In this engagement strategy, contracts should be set so that the minimum contract length aligns with your renewal cycle.
If you use continuous engagements the minimum contract period should be set as the minimum amount of time that the pricing will be valid for, or alternatively the minimum contractual term that you require a client to commit to.