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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.

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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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