[vc_row][vc_column][dt_fancy_title title=”www.civit.it” title_align=”left” title_size=”small”][vc_column_text]The number of women starting their own business is growing at an astounding rate with no chance of slowing down. The opportunity and desire for female entrepreneurs across many fields have not been absent of challenges; as expected. Embarking in male dominated industries like technology and engineering to the consultant life of branding, social media and marketing, can present some difficulties in terms of reaching the level of success that is deemed worthy.
In our careers, especially those of us that are small business owners and bosses, it is important to understand that it’s OK to demand the fee that you deserve. Consulting fees are tricky in that you have to narrow down the number that makes sense for the industry that you are in, your expertise and quality of work experience. Your rate or fee can also establish your respect “on the street” and create a reputation for you that can bring in more business.
Here are some points to consider when deciding what you and your company are worth:
1. Knowing Your Business:
Understanding the effort, work product and customer base of your business is key when trying to solidify a fee. Ask yourself: What are my customers looking for?; What type of work do they need (proposal, social media presence, presentation, etc.)?; and How much time and resources would be needed for a typical project and/or task? These will help you narrow down what may be reasonable based on your field and geographic location.
2. Freelance / Consultant Fee Types:
- Hourly – Entrepreneur.com tells us that “To figure out an appropriate hourly rate, you can either use a source like the Careers in Business website to see what consultants earn in your area, or decide how much you’d like to earn in a year and do the math to turn that figure into an hourly rate.”
- Project – Typically, entrepreneurs work on a project by project basis which includes a set schedule of completion with milestones with a given budget. If this type of fee is chosen, you and the client should negotiate a fixed fee based on the effort needed, length of project and/or your work history. If you are just starting out, expect this fixed rate to be a little lower than your counterpart; do not get discouraged as this experience will build up your resume.
- Retainer basis – Certain occupations such as attorney, event planner and/or interior designer have a set monthly fee which allows them to be available to work for the client at will during the agreed upon timeframe. As a consultant, many clients may need your expertise at random points throughout their business activities and this method may make it easier to secure your time.
Check out Consultant Journal models and fee calculator to jot down your financial worth as an entrepreneur across these types!
3. Having the Conversation
As a consultant/entrepreneur, any discussions that deal with payment, contract and agreements should always be face to face initially. This can set the stage for a great relationship. Before you meet your clients, you should already have a pretty good idea of what type of services you can and will provide and the type of rate you have chosen. Conversations with your client will iron out the details. The conversation should allow you to be firm in your demands, realistic with the work you can produce and gain a level of respect that will travel to the potential next client.
Talking, asking and negotiating your fee is tough because it’s essentially an awkward conversation. To avoid this inevitable feeling, do some homework beforehand. Negotiations may be necessary and once done so, follow up with something in writing so that everyone remains on the same page. Don’t be afraid to demand what you deserve; your fee should increase over time as you gain more experience and build out your client base. People will pay for quality work especially from fearless Womeneurs™ they trust![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]