Join Date: Oct 2005
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Hey contractors that work with public entities!
I'm starting a company that will be selling services mostly to public entities. Having worked quite a bit in the public sector and having worked on RFP's, contracts, and the like directly, I am familiar with a good deal of the screwiness that goes on as well as with issues paying properly.
I want my company dedicate as much energy as possible to actual service and as little energy as possible to dealing with screwball organizations that want me to play bureaucratic ping pong all day with their underworked legal and administrative staff. I am looking for ideas for structuring payments and contracts that public entities will actually accept and encourage them to make life easy on everyone.
For example, I am considering padding my prices with hefty fees to account for legal expenses and my own time for contract negotiations, expected delays in billing, and the like. However, massive discounts will be given for accepting a standard contract (or something close to it), up front payment, etc.
In short, I want to charge customers for the services they need. Only those who need all this legal and bookkeeping crap will be charged for it, the customers that don't need it won't have to subsidize it. I know people say these headaches must occur because these institutions are legally required to do certain things. However, I've worked with enough different public institutions to know that the interpretation of what is required is all over the place and that most of the stupidity absolutely is not necessary.
Or am I out of my mind? Have you found mechanisms that actually work? Are there any great ideas you tried that backfired?