You may be new to consulting, or you may be re-evaluating your rate, but whatever it is – here are a few things to keep in mind, when determining how you charge for your services.
1. If they can do it, you can do it
If you’ve taken the leap towards independent consulting, you would have no doubt faced a wide range of insecurities and even fears – but you have faced them, dealt with them (or maybe still are) and here you are. So how do you assign a value to your services in a world where, historically, you have been used to having that value assigned for you? Think about consulting rates in 3 rate buckets:
- Highest: Strategy and Organisational consultants
- Medium: Business Consultants - Typically the "Big 4" consulting organisations
- Lower: Niche companies and independent consultants.
Typically, the lower-rate consulting bracket are those independent consultants who may not offer a global brand presence nor the the security and risk management that larger consultancies provide. So, as an independent consultant, leveraging your network and attaching yourself to business networks like Talmix can leverage some of the disadvantages that a typically “freelance” consultant would be faced with.
2. When you don’t agree with a client’s budget, it’s not the end of the road.
The Talmix platform enables clients and consultants to have direct discussions about project requirements and budgets. It’s absolutely fine to review the project description, and if you don’t agree with the proposed budget to deliver what the client is expecting, to propose something different - as long as the project context justifies that.
Many clients know exactly what they want - many have worked with contractors before. But many clients may be posting projects in areas where they may not have the expertise and would be willing to discuss project budget adjustments and project subject detail. If you are able to show additional value throughout the process, you may have an argument for negotiating a higher rate.
3. Understanding your value means you can start to negotiate
When it comes to negotiating a project budget, remember that it's probably the first real interaction you’re going to have with the client - giving them their first taste of who you are.
That's why it is critical that you know your subject matter well - and if you aren't able to offer alternatives within a negotiation, you’re not in a good position to negotiate. As a guiding principle, it’s not a smart thing to lower your day rate – it will be very difficult to recuperate it. However, when you find yourself in the negotiation period, why not consider offering some added benefits to the client - for example, a lower rate at the start of a project, or a discounted rate of some sort, until they get to know you better. Make it part of an interaction that demonstrates you can be flexible and agreeable. Remember that in the end, it’s never a good idea to leave a negotiation if there’s nothing left on the table for both parties.
Do you need help managing a project budget or discussing a project concern? Get in touch with us today.