How much to ask for informal consulting?
May 1, 2014 8:46 AM   Subscribe

A coworker of mine asked me to help his friend out with some excel problems she is having. I am good with excel, so I agreed. We've talked and are all set to go, but I have no idea how much to ask for.

It feels like simple stuff to me, but I use excel so much for reports that almost everything, other than complicated pivot table aspects feel simple to me. I have no idea how much to ask for per hour. I currently make less than I should per hour (something I am working on), so I want to ask for more than what I make at work, so that does not feel like a good guide.

I was planning on asking for a minimum, no matter how long this takes but am even coming up blank on that. I don't want to overcharge and would like to see if I can get more business out of this, but on the other hand, this is somewhat specialized work.

For the record, I'm going to help her link data across sheets and set up some means to do expense tracking and budgets. I'm expecting to ask her how she wants things to look and then set them up and explain how to use them.

I am in NYC and my google searches have led me to nothing. I have read some of the previous questions but am still feeling lost.
posted by Hactar to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A coworker of mine asked me to help his friend out with some excel problems she is having.

Is your coworker expecting you to charge their friend? Is the friend expecting to be charged? It seems a little unclear, and if you propose a rate when they expected to get the work for free, this isn't going to go well with anyone.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:51 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

A good rule of thumb is consultant's hourly rate = 2x employee's hourly wage, or 1/1000 empoyee's annual salary.
posted by mr vino at 9:05 AM on May 1, 2014

This is just my opinion: for someone who doesn't consult regularly, something like $25/hour if it's truly basic/tutoring level, $40 (or whatever meets/exceeds your day job hourly) if it's "regular work" you're doing on the side, $80 if it's beyond their merely being stuck and a professional is usually required.

If this was something you did regularly and/or you had a website/portfolio or you just felt like selling your time dearly then you could charge quite a bit more, but it sounds more informal than that and maybe that it's a little late to provide a $100+/hour number out of nowhere.
posted by michaelh at 9:08 AM on May 1, 2014

I would quote a flat rate for an anticipated number of hours work, with an additional hourly rate if the job is more is more involved than anticipated. Since you do not contract out your time for this type of work professionally, I would come in towards the lower end of the scale. In the past I paid someone $75/hour for this type of work. So perhaps you want to step in at around $50?
posted by elf27 at 9:08 AM on May 1, 2014

Since this is friend to friend, offer a few hours up front for no charge.

Then, if the INDIVIDUAL is paying, agree on a nominal rate, like $20 hr.

If the individual's COMPANY is paying, charge $50-100/hr.

posted by gnossos at 9:49 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

coworker of mine asked me to help his friend out

Unless you or your coworker phrased this very misleadingly, this sounds like a "friends helping out friends" thing, not paid consulting. If it's at all unclear, I'd definitely recommend double checking.
posted by philipy at 5:44 PM on May 1, 2014

« Older How to stop thinking about my relationship?   |   Best Klingon words for Scrabble? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.