Clearly state what you want to know It helps to be specific, e.g. 'the death record of person A'. If you want to know 'anything about person A' you might want to specify the type of records you are most interested in, e.g. birth, marriage and death, passenger, land or military records.
Include details of what you already know If you are asking about person A, include all the key details that you already know and records you have checked. This ensures that I don't spend time looking for what you already know.
Specify the maximum time you want me to research I won't go over your time limit and if I find your answer sooner I stop then.
Tell me when you need the information If I need to visit an archive to research your question but I am going there anyway I won't charge you for my travel time. If you want to know asap and I have to make a special trip, I will charge for travel time.
Things to know
Integrity matters to me. I will always treat you fairly.
Some answers can't be found, perhaps because the records were not made or did not survive. Some searches don't yield results. If I spend time searching I need to charge you for that time even if I don't find your answer. If I don't think I can answer your question, because of the records you have already searched or after a few minutes of searching myself, I will tell you and not charge you.
I don't make assumptions about what is interesting to you. I don't include research you haven't asked for or exclude research you have asked for. Sometimes, in the course of researching your question, I find other records that look interesting. When that happens, I mention them in my report to you.