Monthly Retainer provide a consistent, predictable revenue stream for freelancers and small businesses who often have difficulty predicting cash flow.
While it can be difficult to get started with this type of agreement, the rewards are worth it.
In this blog post, we will discuss why you should consider offering monthly retainer services to your clients, along with steps that will help you get started.
What is a monthly retainer?
A Monthly retainer means that a client pays in advance for an extended amount of time. This is typically done through a contract where one business dedicates a set number of hours per month to one specific client at a set rate.
There are many benefits to working with clients on this basis, including:
- A steady income stream that is predictable on a monthly basis.
- The opportunity to build trust and rapport with clients by providing them with continued access to your expertise over an extended period of time.
- A way for small businesses to have their marketing efforts covered while they focus on other areas of the business, such as sales or product development.
How do you get started?
Creating a monthly retainer with your clients is a great way to provide them with ongoing marketing services that are promised, while also providing you with an additional source of income.
Whether it's one client or multiple, this type of agreement will help ensure success for both parties involved.
If you are considering offering monthly retainers to your clients, there are a few steps you can take to ensure success:
1. Start small
Work with a few clients on a monthly retainer for an extended period of time so that both parties can determine whether or not it is successful.
Once this has been established and the client's needs have been met, you can expand your retainer service to include additional clients.
2. Set clear expectations
It's important that both parties are on the same page about how many hours will be dedicated per month and what services they'll receive for this amount of time.
A scope of work template is a great way to establish these boundaries ahead of time so there are no misunderstandings.
3. Implement a system to keep track of time
To make sure you're delivering on your end of the agreement, it's important that there is some way for both parties to easily and accurately access how much time has been spent working together.
You can use an online tool like Harvest or Toggl for this purpose, or you can simply use a spreadsheet.
4. Agreement Details
An agreement is important to keep track of all aspects of your relationship with the client, including how much is being paid each month, what services are included in this amount and when payment is due.
Mention the details clearly to avoid any confusion later. Before signing on with your first client, it's important to understand what you're responsible for and what is expected of them.
Make sure they are aware of all policies related to payment or cancellation before beginning work together so there are no surprises down the line.
Include payment terms, scope of work, and anything else that will make the agreement clear for both parties.
5. Structure a contract
While it's important that both parties are on the same page about how much time is dedicated per month, there should also be a contract in place to establish what will happen if either party wishes to terminate or change the terms of their agreement.
You can use free services to help you structure this clause and develop your freelance contracts.
There is a lot of information to consider when developing a monthly retainer agreement with your clients. Be sure you have everything in place before beginning so that it can be as successful and beneficial for both parties as possible.
6. Determine the retainer fee
This is very important because it sets the expectation and ensures that both parties are benefiting from this arrangement in equal ways.
You should consider your costs, along with how many hours per month you expect to dedicate to this client when setting your price point so there are no surprises.
7. Offer incentives
If you're looking for clients, consider offering a discount on the retainer fee if they sign up within 30 days of your initial outreach email or call.
This is an excellent way to build trust with potential long-term customers while also attracting new business through referrals and word of mouth marketing.
8. Payment Methods
Payment terms are an important component of the agreement. You should state that payments are due on or before the first day of each month, and include information about what happens if payment is not made in a timely fashion.
Allow Multiple payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe to ensure that you're able to receive payment easily and quickly.
9. Customer Support
Your clients will need support throughout the retainer process, so it's important that they are comfortable reaching out if something goes wrong or is lost in translation.
Be professional at all times while also being supportive, understanding and empathetic during this process and you will build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.
10. Be clear about cancellation
While it's rare for clients to terminate their retainer agreement with you early, making sure this isn't a possibility or included in your retainer fee up front can avoid any problems later on.
Be sure to mention that the client will need to provide you with a 30-day notice if they wish to end their agreement.
11. Report the feedbacks to the client
The monthly retainer is an excellent way to provide clients with consistent access to your expertise and services, which can lead to long-term success for both parties involved.
If you're considering offering this type of service or would like more information on how it can benefit your business, contact us today!
12. Review and repair it regularly
As mentioned above, it's important to keep the contract in good shape throughout the process while also taking time at regular intervals for a review of your retainer agreement so that both parties are aware of any changes or updates needed.
This will help ensure maximum effectiveness and benefits during this phase of work together.
Why should a business use a monthly retainer?
1. Builds Strong Relationship with Clients
A Monthly Retainer allows the agency and the client to develop a stronger relationship over time. If an agency works with a brand for longer, their work is likely to be better.
A monthly retainer will not only help build a strong working relationship between an agency and client but it also helps them reach greater understanding of the brand over time which leads to more effective campaigns and better ROI.
2. Ensures Regular Payments
A monthly retainer fee ensures that the client pays for your services each month, instead of "when they can."
It also helps avoid any issues with invoices not being paid on time because you will receive a set amount at regular intervals throughout the month.
3. Provides a Predictable Cash Flow for Your Business Each Month
A monthly retainer will allow you to maintain and plan your finances better because it provides a certain amount of income coming in each month, which is especially helpful if cash flow has been an issue. The client pays the same fee every time so you can expect the same amount of money coming in each month.
4. Save more time and money
Time is an important resource for any business owner and using a monthly retainer can help save both time and money because you will know the client is going to pay for your services each month.
Instead of doing all the tedious works of invoicing, you will be able to spend your time doing more important tasks like creating and managing campaigns.
5. Result Driven Approach
A monthly retainer allows agencies to provide a more result-focused approach for their clients. Instead of completing ad hoc tasks, the agency can focus on specific goals that will help achieve greater results.
This is part of why setting goals are important in this arrangement because they ensure you know what your client wants and how you'll be helping them achieve it.
Be able to maintain your workforce and plan for the future more efficiently because you know exactly how much money will be coming in next month.
This allows agencies to spend more time focusing on what matters most, their clients' goals which leads to better results!
In any business, consistency is key. Whether it's how you communicate with your clients or the quality of work that they receive from you each month, there needs to be a baseline level of excellence.
A monthly retainer provides this for both parties involved because if something goes wrong, an agency can get back on track faster while their client will know the quality of their services won't take a hit.
A Monthly retainer is beneficial for both agencies and clients because it helps maintain strong relationships over time, provides a predictable cash flow every month which allows you to plan your finances better.
It also builds consistency in the work that's provided by an agency so they can always meet their client's needs while building trust with them at the same time.
Create a monthly retainer service agreement for your business today and reach your goals with the help of a stronger and more consistent team.