Signing on with us
We love what we do. We do it quickly and efficiently. Our crisis management business dictates that we are ready to go on a moment’s notice. We have noticed that many crises have to be addressed on weekends and at night. That’s fine with us, because we know that you can’t wait a few days before protecting your assets and reputation.
Even if it’s not a crisis, our nature and habit is go address issues and fix problems immediately. If you’ve decided to you need better speaking, writing or presentation skills, we want to get you started. If it’s negotiation, crisis management or risk communication, why not start now?
We want to send you the course materials, so you can start learning and thinking right away. We will do so based on your email, your fax, your execution of our confirmation form or you verbal instructions by phone. We don’t want unnecessary administration to get in the way of helping you.
If your organization has any special administrative procedures that are required in addition to the above, it is your responsibility to tell us of this in writing before we proceed. These procedures might include budgets, contracts, insurance or any other matters.
We love our work, but we do not love unnecessary administration. If we can’t start work quickly on your project, we will not be as confident of success. Your retaining of us is the first indication of your authority and ability to make quick decisions—a requirement for success. We will assume you have that authority and ability until you indicate otherwise.
It is our policy to charge fees which are fair and reasonable. Fair and reasonable are words that are not as hard to define as one might think. We know what fees are being charged in the marketplace for consultants with less experience and fewer qualifications. We set our fees accordingly.
The law directs us to consider several factors in determining fair and reasonable fees:
- Our special skills and expertise
- The time and effort required and spent on your case
- The difficulty of the matter and its importance to you
- The amount involved in your dispute and the legal and factual issues
- Your instructions
- The results obtained and
- Any special circumstances such as urgency and your ability to pay
Our fees are initially recorded calculated on the basis of time spent by senior consultants and support personnel working on your case. The fees may be adjusted, if appropriate, to reflect one or more of the other factors mentioned above. Each consultant in the company records the time spent on each matter. We each have our preference for recording our time, including simplicity when travelling. Normally a palm pilot or computer program is used. Often emails or phone calls are a good record of time spent.
Each consultant is assigned an hourly rate reflecting that person’s education, experience and skill. Currently, senior consultants’ rates range from $300 per hour to $750 per hour. Clerical and administrative work is conducted starting at $95 per hour, and is usually a flat hour on simple assignments. We adjust our hourly rates annually to accommodate the increasing experience of the members of our company, and our investment in technology. You are encouraged to discuss the potential costs of each matter with the person in charge of your case at any time.
Even during crisis response, we try to send out an invoice every thirty days, so that you know your status in your financial investment in response and success. An invoice can also be triggered by the completion of a training program, simulation or other well-defined module of work for you. Invoices are also triggered by your ordering our books, CDs or DVDs. Finally, when a component of our work for you is completed (research, messages, crisis plan writing, etc.), one of our consultants will submit dockets and that will trigger an invoice.
We understand that the cost of our work is a significant investment in our expertise. We always have the most cost-effective consultant perform the appropriate function for you. We rarely docket for two consultants working at the same time on the same specific issue. Exceptions might include our lead consultant obtaining a second opinion, seeking input on language, cultural or regional issues and so on.
In addition to the fees charged, you will be responsible for out-of-pocket disbursements and expenses we incur on your behalf. General disbursements can include charges for the use of portable equipment, photocopies, on-line research, couriers, fax, postage, telephone calls, and travel expenses.
Our final account, may not be based solely upon time expended. Our clients have chosen us because we have a particular expertise and a reputation for achieving excellent results effectively and efficiently. Accordingly, our final account will also take into consideration those factors previously discussed.
Thus, when we do render our final account it is a reflection of the value of the services provided.
If we have set a budget, we make all efforts to stay at that amount unless you assign additional tasks.
You should appreciate that there are many factors which are beyond our control, but contribute significantly to the costs of serving you. As an example, we cannot project at the outset the number of calls to and from outsiders (NGOs, reporters, civil servants, politicians, etc.) may be required.
There are many other costs which cannot be predicted with certainty. Nevertheless, we do our utmost to control these costs and to ensure that time spent on your file is necessary and advances your interests.
If you have any questions or concerns, then please raise them with us immediately. It is important to the success not only of our professional relationship, but ultimately to the success of your project that you understand our billing policy, and are in agreement with it from the outset of our relationship