For many professionals, an eventual transition into consultancy is a dream role, being able to pick and choose who to work with and engage with projects which are of genuine interest to you.
This can be an incredibly lucrative field, with a recent survey carried out by the Consultant Hub revealing that over 25% of consultants questioned earned between £80 – £100k each year.
Being able to draw on years of expertise in order to assist a business can be worthwhile not only for a consultant but also their clients. While in some situations this can be expensive for a business it is worth understanding why consultants are able to command such a high price for their services.
Consultants are often self-employed, as a result they need to understand their value. This helps them to decide on what they charge businesses for their services.
Keep in mind their consultancy is often a business, something they have left previously steady to work to do, they need to pay bills, manage their overheads and make sure the jump to consultancy was a sensible decision.
They determine their value based on their experience, track record and the benefits they bring to a business. Fees can vary, depending on location, length of the contract and the details of the project they are undertaking.
Consultants often have a wealth of experience within an industry. In fact, the results from Consultant Hub’s survey shows that the highest earning consultants often had over a decade of experience in specific sectors or areas of expertise.
As a business, you often enlist a consultant as a means to solve an existing problem within your company. From a strategic problem to a technical issue or help with a problematic project, a consultant can help provide impartial help and advice to overcome an issue. This willingness to pay for expertise and assistance, especially in technically demanding and fast-moving sectors such as technology and IT goes a long way towards explaining how consultants are able to justify their fees.
What does the business get from a consultant?
A consultant should be an expert in their field. First and foremost, business owners are paying for that expertise, a proven track record and skillset that can help a business to deliver the results it needs to.
The consultants you work with should be able to help your business navigate a problem or project effectively, using their knowledge of a sector and relevant experience to help guide your business.
This could be helping to devise technical solutions to a problem within an IT project, or helping to overcome issues within a manufacturing or engineering project. As a business, you should know what you want a consultant to help you to accomplish before you start searching for one, this way the consultant, and you as an employer both have a clear goal.
This also helps you to work out a timeframe for a project, this helps to identify the actual costs to a business involved in hiring a consultant. For example, a small project which might take two months is going to be significantly cheaper than a project that runs for a year.
Enlisting a consultant, regardless of cost, should leave your business in a stronger position, being able to learn and grow based on the expertise and knowledge you’ve picked up during your time working with your them.
Understanding the length of time you need a consultant for, and the end goals you have in mind for your business, can help ensure that you make the most of the contracted time you pay for and reap the biggest possible benefit for your company.