Fees and Contracts for Consultants
May 28, 2009 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Enough people suggested it that I have started to do strategic management consulting on my weekends. My clients now are pro-bono until I see a horizon for costs. What are some resources on fees and what should I have them sign so that I can better manage the consultancy?
posted by parmanparman to Work & Money (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There are 3 primary ways you can charge your time, in my mind:

1) by the hour. You set a rate (say, $200/hour) and bill your time to them as you spend it.

2) Monthly retainer. They pay you $x per month, with the expectation that they will get y hours of your time (lower rate than in 1), to engage them on multiple tasks.

3) fixed-price. better for situations where you can define a discrete task, objectives, and deliverables at the beginning, and then give them a price upfront.


Which one you choose depends upon the nature of work that you're doing. As for signing something, some sort of standard but simple contract should work. Our proposals are typically 2 pages, with 1 additional page of boilerplate around scope, payment terms, "best efforts", confidentiality, use of information, etc.
posted by nyc_consultant at 7:22 AM on May 28, 2009

Give them x hours pro-bono (where x is larger than what you've currently provided them) and then provide them the you go hourly rate or retainer fee you'll be charging. Provide them with a regular statement showing how much time you've spent on their problem, how much pro-bono time is left and the fee once the pro-bono time expires.

Don't wait for costs to appear on the horizon.
posted by forforf at 9:31 AM on May 28, 2009

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