Average Consulting Rates by Industry in 2020 Infographic

In a value-based model, how do you keep clients from sucking you dry? How do you put constraints along with the list of services? My customers tend to ask questions for a lingering 5 years and call and text all hours of the night and on weekends. Does being a consultant in the first place naturally discourage this?

However, there may actually be more danger in charging too little. Let’s dive into the psychology of pricing — along with the different methods and factors to account for when calculating your own prices. Determining the value of your services is often tied up software consulting rates in your own self-worth, making this conversation even trickier for most people. For example, if you’ve worked as an employee for the last 30 years and never made more than $50 an hour, it might seem inconceivable that your services are worth $100 an hour.

Some clients are more often asking for custom billing plans to help them quantify their return on investment. With these factors in mind, you can start building the framework of the consulting rate you’d like to charge. Using a formula or fee calculator like the examples listed below is a good jumping-off point. If you’re feeling frustrated by all the options, we’ll also walk you through common fee structures and how to get started with calculating your own rates. Sectors within large consulting companies are multiple times as profitable as sectors with fixed fees – EY, McKinsey, etc.

Cons of hourly-based fees

If a client requests an hourly rate that’s below your normal fee, it’s important to be flexible and negotiate. Consulting fees vary drastically by industry, and it would be impossible to list an average hourly rate for every industry. The table below lists the average consulting hourly rate by industry. How much experience you have in your industry influences how much you can charge.

consulting fees

If you find out that your colleagues are charging more than you are, you will start to have second thoughts about the amount you have set. If your colleagues are making more, you are allured to charge a higher fee than you are charging now. You want to gain a big amount of money, but at the same time, you know that people might not be ready to give that much money to a starter. It can be hard to convince yourself to charge less because that would be a waste of time.

Share based

Then do your research and look at competitor prices to see how you stack up. Company revenue and investment must be less than $250,000 to qualify. This strategy may prove to be the most successful and easiest to implement for consultants of every experience level.

If the market rate for an average consultant is $100 per hour, then the “market rate” will be between $50 to $150 per hour. There are several different ways to calculate what you’re going to charge, especially when you’re factoring intangible aspects like experiences, skills, and expertise. These calculators are a great way to start off figuring out your own consulting rates. On the other hand, once a client pays for something, they subconsciously give themself the right to ask questions and waste your time. Hence, many consultants, even though it may seem like a paradox, avoid fixed fees with projects like this.

  • Here’s a marketing consulting fee estimate by Jason Falls.
  • Here’s how you set your consulting fees using the project-based method.
  • If you’re not having success with value-based pricing fees currently, analyze your current sales conversations.
  • No matter what situation you find yourself in, you have the ability to adjust your fees accordingly.
  • If you can do that, you’re well on your way to implementing value-based pricing in your business.
  • If it costs you $30,000 on internet, electricity, telephone bill, transportation, and other expenses, you now have a total of $130,000.

Jesse Sumrak is a writing zealot focused on creating killer content. He’s spent almost a decade writing about startup, marketing, and entrepreneurship topics, having built and sold his own post-apocalyptic fitness bootstrapped business. A writer by day and a peak bagger by night , you can usually find Jesse preparing for the apocalypse on a precipitous peak somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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Either way, every business owner will opt for the best value for them, so ensure you can deliver as expected and track the ROI, and this route might just pay off. You may also want to include a quarterly review of your pricing structure and adjust it upwards if you win clients. If you would normally charge $4,500 to build a custom website in three weeks, you should charge higher if a client wants it ready in one week.

When working as a beginner consultant, you are not working 40-hour weeks, so it is only right to enter 20 in the field of work hours per week. This will allow you to remember the exact amount of money you can charge for your fees. If they were to hire you or someone else to provide the service you are about to provide, they’d be paying for all of those things out of their own pocket .

How to Determine Consulting Fees

As small business consulting is also in demand, the pricing range will also be higher. Here’s an estimate for small business consulting rates as per PayScale. One of the earliest challenges many consultants face is how to price their consulting services.

consulting fees

The end value is different from the input—and your consulting fees should reflect that. As you can see, the average hourly rate varies widely by industry. However, the table provides a general idea of the ranges that can be expected. Once you’ve figured out what to charge for your consulting services, you should think about how you’ll take payments.

What is the flat rate for business consultants?

This will help you determine the best rate suitable for your consulting business. You may find that you have more clients than you can handle. This might suggest that you have priced your services too low and need to increase them.

Additionally, you can create special accounts for your clients. First, determine what you want to earn yearly based on a figure you’ve previously made as an employee. So let’s say you want to make $100,000 per year, calculate your running costs and add it to your salary expectations. If it costs you $30,000 on internet, electricity, telephone bill, transportation, and other expenses, you now have a total of $130,000.

That is why we suggest you use this method with the clients you’ve already formed a collaboration with. They may also wonder why would the consultant invoice for a lower number of hours. After all, the client has already accepted the highest possible number. At the same time, the client has the possibility to control their expenses. They want to be sure they won’t exceed the number of hours you’ve agreed upon and get additional expenses. Usually, these projects can reduce the company’s profit.

How Many Consultants Offer Productized Services

I’m now debating whether to present my proposal/SOW without costs, and during this presentation have a conversation/come to alignment on the perceived value the work will bring. Or do I proceed with a presentation of the proposal/SOW with fees (based on an estimated # of hours), and then work on a value-based pricing model for my next/future client? The only other detail worth noting is that my potential client has not been be able to articulate their growth goals . For instance, you can weave in questions such as, “What would be the value to the company if this weren’t a problem? ” or “What impact would it have if you could do XYZ better? ” This question can actually be a valuable part of the coaching process, because when clients are coached to think about the value of the engagement, they get much clearer on their goals.

Grow Your Consulting Business

Will you charge by the hour, per project, by performance, or will it be a combination? Make sure you make this decision based on the project you’ve been asked to work on, how your client works, and the structure that you think will get you fairly compensated. The competitive landscape and your physical location are the final components that will influence your consulting fees. While you don’t need to mirror your competition’s prices, it’s important to weigh in how much others are charging to remain competitive.

This way, the cup fee with the hourly rate of $100 is $4000 at maximum. This method is the same as the previous, with one difference. Namely, in this case, the client receives an assessment of the hours of engagement. For example, we will state that an engagement will take 30 to 40 hours. The key aspect of determining this type of fee is building trust with the client. In other words, the price of a working hour is clearly defined, as well as how much you charge for it.

With the right strategy and mindset, consultants can earn five or six figures — or even more — per month. As you might expect, the majority of consultants (80.23%) want to increase their fees. Clients are often willing to pay a premium for consultants who have demonstrated expertise in their industry.


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