Retained Services – our way of helping you bring your big ideas to life

Retained Services – our way of helping you bring your big ideas to life

We put a lot of thought into creating ways to bring consulting to everyone. To achieve this we created three ways clients can work with us:


A group of powerful, focused tools to help schools get timely information to achieve quick wins. Priced starting at $895 and available for purchase on a p-card, these engagements are perfect for institutions with tight budgets or onerous purchasing procedures. Read more about our Self-Service offerings here.

Consultant Guided

Starting at around $14,000 these solutions are pre-packaged versions of the most frequently requested proposals. We can offer these packages at a price advantage by removing the proposal generation process and the extensive relationship building phases often required in customized solutions. Read more about Consultant Guided solutions here.

Self-Service and Consultant Guided solutions offer consulting at a significant cost savings. This savings is achieved, in part, by making the engagements highly structured. As we created these solutions we knew that this structured approach wouldn’t work for everyone. We sought to offer ways to work with us that would allow for maximum flexibility without the convoluted mega proposal and its ambiguous pricing. The result is what we call “Retained Services.”

Retained Services

Retained Services is different from our other two product categories. It is not built around packaged solutions but around three different ways that we can work with you to achieve your desired outcomes.

1. Guaranteed Max Price (GMP)

GMP is internal lingo for the traditional proposal process. You tell us what you want and we write a proposal to achieve the work. RFP’s are generally done this way. Price is Right rules apply here – no going over the number named.

2. Retainer

Think of a retainer like a subscription. It’s a great option when you need us to join your team for a period of three months or more. For a monthly fee we reserve time to devote to your work every month. The retainer can be adjusted to meet changing needs. You can increase, decrease, or pause as you wish. To us, it’s a win-win.

3. Staff-in-place

Sometimes our clients say this is too good to be true, but it really is true. You can hire our team members as temporary employees on a project basis or to get you through a certain period or transition, growth, or uncertainty in you organization. This approach is one of our most popular project offerings.

When does Retained Services make sense?

We think about it in terms of projects and initiatives. What’s the difference?

  • Projects focus on one or two goals and are usually less than six months in length.
  • Initiatives are usually made up of multiple projects.
Developing a new program – that’s a project.
Building a new website, implementing a CRM, and a new shopping cart solution – that’s an initiative.
Defining the structure and duties of a new position – project.
Having us fill a position on an interim basis while you conduct your search – initiative.

Retained Services is the best way we can work with you on an initiative.

How much does it cost?

Here comes the answer you probably didn’t want. It depends. It really does. The three factors that drive pricing in this area are:

1. Engagement length – longer engagements mean a steadier revenue stream over time for us and cost savings for you.

2. Time commitment – how much time do you need? A few hours a month vs. a few weeks a month? Do you need us to come on-site? It all affects pricing.

3. Sales cost – every time you ask us to get on the phone, revise a proposal, or come on-site to do presentation, we have to recover that cost if we win the work.

These factors influence the total price of a retained services engagement. As always, we will be transparent in our pricing and forthright in our approach.

Is Retained Services right for you? You can learn more about our Retained Services model here. You can read about some of our retained services clients on our blog.