Billing model for WPMS's for nonprofits w/ local branches

I'm trying to think through this:

The idea is to partner with the central office of a nonprofit that has many small local branches that each kind of run their own show. Currently the branches each work to develop their own web solution, whereas it would be much more efficient for them to all use the same template with minor customizations (i.e. a multisite network)

So the question is:
-- Do I sell a product to the central office, which it in turn provides as free product to all its branches (plus hourly support)?
-- Or do I create the product and sell it myself to the individual branches, with paid help from the central office?

(And of course, I'm open to general advice on the subject.)

(And of course, if I should offer both options, I'd appreciate any help fleshing them each out from a billing standpoint.)

  • Mason

    With any network, the ongoing pain is going to be in support. Is the central office planning to act as a mediator or does each individual branch go to you when they need assistance?

    There's real positives to going either way, just be sure to make it clear what's provided by default, what type of support is included, and what extras the might be interested in that you can make available.

    Exciting stuff man :slight_smile: That's exactly how I got started with WPMU years ago!

  • dschulzjackson

    Well, I was thinking about hiring a "buffer staff" of 1-3 members (depending on volume of clients) who become the contact people with clients and fix any of the "dumb stuff" that clients can mess up, and connects with me when there's something more significant. "Account managers", if you will.

    Does WPMUDEV provide any template agreement documents to support this specific kind of work, since it's fairly unique to multisite / WPMUDEV's niche? Probably wouldn't be hard to pull together (I'm guessing you've got them sitting on your comp...) This could include:
    -- Job descriptions for "buffer staff"
    -- Contracts to be made with organizations' central and/or branch offices
    -- Business model/plan/strategic plan docs

    Thanks for the encouragement :slight_smile:

  • Mason


    I'm afraid I don't have anything help in regards to that kinda thing. We're actually a really small team here and each staff member has so many hats and titles that job descriptions are almost meaningless (do ALL THE things!).

    We're totally a "grassroots" movement so our strategies, plans, and models, are all pretty fluid. We see problems and we work to solve them. That's honestly about the extent of it :wink:

    I'll ask our CEO @James if he has any other suggestions or resources, but I reckon your best bet is to find out from your potential customers where their greatest area of need is and then tailor your services accordingly.

    Hope this helps. Thanks!

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