Independent Consultants


Wrestling with practical issues

This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #40367

    Hi,

     

    I am reviewing my fees and my terms and conditions after 18 months of keeping them unchanged. At the moment the reproduction of manuals is the responsibility of the client and I charge separately for travel (mileage). I was considering a more ‘all inclusive’ fee that incorporates manuals and travel but when I did the sums, particularly the travel can vary quite widely depending on how far the client is from my office base.

    I wionder whether any one would be willing to share how they handle this particular challenge? I am very sensitive to the current economic climate and would like to communicate value to my predomininantly SMME market but I do need to revise my fees.

    Thoughts?

     

    Thanks Marion

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  • #40379

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

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  • #43427

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

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  • #44467

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

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  • #40378

    I am in organisationl development and management development and my clients are from various industries from manufacturing to services to hospitals …..

    Sharon Machard said:

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard
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  • #40377

    Des Squire
    Participant

    Hi Marion
    As a rule of thumb I charge a fixed rate of R12500 per day for a group of up to 15 learners. This is exclusive of vat but inclusive of material etc.
    Travel and accommodation will be negotiated depending on where the training is to take place. I normally request the company concerned to arrange this for me.
    If I travel within a radius of about 600 km of JHB, then I charge AA Rates for driving to the venue and charge a rate for accommodation based on City Lodge accommodation prices plus R150 for evening meals. Some companies may also agree to book me into a local guest house or hotel.
    I might add that none of the companies I deal with have ever had a problem with this approach or failed to make the necssary arrangements and/or payments .

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  • #40376

    Thanks for your input Jaco – I also keep myself at the affordable level because I am dealing with small companies but I don’t market myself as ‘dirt cheap either’! Do you include expenses in that rate or charge separately ….
    I remember the days when I still charged under R4000 for a day and a large retailer challenged me on fees and then started arguing about whether I should be charging separately for travel! Needless to say, I never did do work for them!

    Jaco du Plessis said:

    Hi Marion

    Thank you brininging up this relevant issue. I’m also busy to research more on this. I had a few difficult clients this last 2 months and nobody wants to pay. they are a multi-million company, but dont see the bennefit of my relationship with them on the long run. I would just like say that you must make sure that it stays a win-win situation. Why must we ask the minimum price just because of their attititude towards developing their people? I dont say we blow their mind with our pricing (we are really affordable ,way under the R6000 per day) , but we are running a business.

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  • #40375

    Gavin Tonks
    Participant

    You first need to do a thorough cost exercise on your existing business and evaluate previous work over the last two years and formulate this into a per project and then per week, day and hour rate. By looking over past work you could also define the costs within say a 50k and 100k radius.

    By creating a summary table against current costs would give you a clear indication where you should be going.

    I personally prefer to give clients a concept quote which gives them the brief outline etc.
    the 2nd is the actual work.
    The 3rd is a sign off and completion

    Phone calls, travel, stationary and accommodation are always over extras as this is not my business and I provide clients with invoices or number of calls pertaining to their work for reimbursement as well.
    Hope it helps.

    I now have a practical solution and charge my clients a monthly retainer, which provides open access and then I quote on projects that the require. seems to be working well so far and everyone is happy.

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  • #40374

    Thanks Des, that is very helpful. It is useful to know that my approach is not ‘unusual’

    Des Squire said:

    Hi Marion
    As a rule of thumb I charge a fixed rate of R12500 per day for a group of up to 15 learners. This is exclusive of vat but inclusive of material etc.
    Travel and accommodation will be negotiated depending on where the training is to take place. I normally request the company concerned to arrange this for me.
    If I travel within a radius of about 600 km of JHB, then I charge AA Rates for driving to the venue and charge a rate for accommodation based on City Lodge accommodation prices plus R150 for evening meals. Some companies may also agree to book me into a local guest house or hotel.
    I might add that none of the companies I deal with have ever had a problem with this approach or failed to make the necssary arrangements and/or payments .
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  • #40373

    Thanks Gavin – that is sort of how I arrived at my rate. Gosh, didn’t even think of phone calls and stationary!

    Gavin Tonks said:

    You first need to do a thorough cost exercise on your existing business and evaluate previous work over the last two years and formulate this into a per project and then per week, day and hour rate. By looking over past work you could also define the costs within say a 50k and 100k radius.

    By creating a summary table against current costs would give you a clear indication where you should be going.

    I personally prefer to give clients a concept quote which gives them the brief outline etc.
    the 2nd is the actual work.
    The 3rd is a sign off and completion

    Phone calls, travel, stationary and accommodation are always over extras as this is not my business and I provide clients with invoices or number of calls pertaining to their work for reimbursement as well.
    Hope it helps.

    I now have a practical solution and charge my clients a monthly retainer, which provides open access and then I quote on projects that the require. seems to be working well so far and everyone is happy.

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  • #40372

    HI Marion

    As a customer I like to be billed on the output not the input. I would expect the training provider to determine the value of the product they were delivering and bill me accordingly – this value would be costed on all the inputs including transport etc…

    warm regards

    Sue

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  • #40371

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Thanks…………..believe Des has hit the nail on the head. Good luck!
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

    Sharon Machard said:

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard
    Share on Social Media
  • #43426

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Thanks…………..believe Des has hit the nail on the head. Good luck!
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

    Sharon Machard said:

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard
    Share on Social Media
  • #44466

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Hi Marion,
    Thanks…………..believe Des has hit the nail on the head. Good luck!
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard

    Sharon Machard said:

    Hi Marion,
    Just read your post regarding fees and how to charge….what industry are you in?
    Regards,
    Sharon Machard
    Share on Social Media
  • #40370

    Sjoe – value of the product! Now, one could have a great debate about perceived value vs. actual value and how does one measure actual value when you deliver management training.
    Would you be willing to share an example of how a service provider as done this for you?

    Susan Jane Allerton said:

    HI Marion

    As a customer I like to be billed on the output not the input. I would expect the training provider to determine the value of the product they were delivering and bill me accordingly – this value would be costed on all the inputs including transport etc…

    warm regards

    Sue

    Share on Social Media
  • #40369

    Hi Marion

    I ran my own consultancy for a bit and have great empathy for what’s it like on the other side of the fence. I admire you guys for sticking it out. Since I’ve rejoined the organisation I have found is that our financial guys are not interested in perceptions only the bottom line. A great deal of bleating from me about the company not understanding the value of training had very little impact. What i have learned though is that if I can demonstrate what value a training programme will add to the bottom line by doing a proper feasibiliy study they don’t argue much with the numbers at the end of the day-for them its about what the product costs us to make and the price we attach to that product – based on what the customer is prepared to pay -training of our people is an input to that cost if the price of the product is determined by the market then so should the cost of the inputs. I realise that doesn’t help your cost structure however what you may like to keep in mind is that by the time I approach a service provider to provide training I have already budgeted an amount that our company is prepared to pay to invest in future development of a certain individual or to address a problem. If you can work from that figure backwards you may find a different way to factor in your costs.
    warm regards

    Sue

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  • #40368

    Thank you Sue – food for thought!

    Susan Jane Allerton said:

    Hi Marion

    I ran my own consultancy for a bit and have great empathy for what’s it like on the other side of the fence. I admire you guys for sticking it out. Since I’ve rejoined the organisation I have found is that our financial guys are not interested in perceptions only the bottom line. A great deal of bleating from me about the company not understanding the value of training had very little impact. What i have learned though is that if I can demonstrate what value a training programme will add to the bottom line by doing a proper feasibiliy study they don’t argue much with the numbers at the end of the day-for them its about what the product costs us to make and the price we attach to that product – based on what the customer is prepared to pay -training of our people is an input to that cost if the price of the product is determined by the market then so should the cost of the inputs. I realise that doesn’t help your cost structure however what you may like to keep in mind is that by the time I approach a service provider to provide training I have already budgeted an amount that our company is prepared to pay to invest in future development of a certain individual or to address a problem. If you can work from that figure backwards you may find a different way to factor in your costs.
    warm regards

    Sue

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