Category Archives: Business Of Consulting

‘On the pricing of services work’→

Matt Henderson of Makalu shares his thoughts on pricing in technical services work in this post from his firm’s blog. He hits on:

  • Determination of a minimum hourly rate
  • Making adjustments according to supply and demand
  • But what about the others?
  • Hourly or project? Effort or value?
  • But what about value pricing?

When I started Makalu, over a decade ago, I remember longing for a user’s manual to help with questions like, “How much should I charge?” and “How should I price my work?” This article describes how we approached these questions, and includes discussion of the recent controversy over the pricing of the 37signals’s (@37signals) blog redesign project.

On the pricing of services work by Matt Henderson

Specific Ideas for Freelancers Looking to Move Up the Value Ladder→

Brian Casel hits on some specific ideas for freelancers looking to move up the value ladder.

Are you getting tired of churning out WordPress website after website for clients?  Is managing SEO for clients getting more competitive and less rewarding?  Have some specialized skills but don’t know how to package and monetize them?

Here a couple ideas that I think are perfectly under-served and ripe for some talented freelancers to go after and make a name for themselves.

Flaws in Handling New Business Inquiries→

The WAV Group had researchers pose as consumers and make inquiries with real estate brokers.

They found that:

  • 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to.
  • Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5
  • Average number of email contact attempts was 2.07
  • Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours)

Their results are about right for technology consultants as well, in my experience.

Amateurs Get Angry With Clients. Professionals Educate Them.→

Paul Jarvis, writing for 99U:

There are certainly times when we want to turn into the freelance version of Donald Trump, screaming “You’re Fired!” at everyone we disagree with. But the truth is, we deserve the clients we get. Bad clients aren’t the result of some cosmic force working against us, they’re more likely the result of our own actions.

Frustrating clients are the result of some misstep we’ve made along the way. To do our best work and work with the best people, we need to be diligent in our relationship with our clients.

His suggestions on how.

IT Consultants Need To Be Multilingual→

IT Consultants Need To Be Multilingual

Alan Weiss, on IT consultants, for ContrarianConsulting.com writes:

Just this morning, an IT consultant complained that I was unfair castigating IT people for not being customer-oriented, and he prided himself on being a “level three” service provider, or some such thing. Right in his letter of complaint, he was being obscure. He was speaking his language, not mine, but expecting me to adapt to him. Is level three good or bad? Who cares?

Consultants need to speak their clients’ languages. Bankers talk about defalcations. Insurance people will cite “churn.” Hospital management is concerned with capitation.

You get the idea. Do a little homework so that you’re talking in terms the client or prospect is accustomed to using. Don’t talk about “OD interventions,” “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” or “hygiene factors.”

Most sales are preceded by the ability to communicate effectively. Most referral business comes from delighted clients who have been heard. So please stop telling me to reboot.

Why Self-Employed Consultants Fail

Karen E. Klein did a solid interview with Alan Weiss on the topic of “Why Self-Employed Consultants Fail

Many former executives who have been downsized or have taken early retirement in recent years are consulting today. Rather than making a healthy profit, most scrape by or fall on their faces, says Alan Weiss, president of Summit Consulting Group in East Greenwich, R.I.Weiss recently wrote The Consulting Bible, a how-to on establishing a lucrative practice. Weiss, whose 1992 book, Million Dollar Consulting, is in its fourth edition, spoke recently with Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about what it takes to make a solo consultancy thrive.

Read the interview here.

Making Money != Starting a Business

Today is my birthday.

(That really isn’t relevant, but it seemed like a good way to open today’s blog post.)

The other day I ran across an article in the current issue of Inc. Magazine (thanks to Ryan Healy for mentioning the article so I would take a look at it). Last night I finally got around to pulling up the article online and to reading it through this morning.

The article caught my eye because it is by Jason Fried of highly successful 37signals, but it kept my attention because he starts off early on in the article by stating a principle I’ve long held (in fact I based the founding of the IT Consulting Success Strategies community upon it). Jason states it like this: Continue reading Making Money != Starting a Business