A guide to setting up maintaining and refining a billing schedule and structure for the independent consultant and freelancer.
Whenever starting out a new venture; whether it is to be on your lonesome or even with a bunch of mates, one of the most perplexing of all processes that must be dealt with and most carefully at that is how to establish a fee structure and what type of billing model and scale should be adopted.
With your future and income generating potential depending heavily upon you getting it right the pressure really is on. It does not matter what the field you have chosen is the basic process is still the same. So when it comes to establishing a freelance or consulting fee/billing schedule there will be a number of factors that you will need to evaluate. Some of these can be classified as major constricting or domineering factors that may or may not be closely linked to prevailing market conditions and other industry specific factorials including:
Industry Category – The type of industry that you wish to develop in and establish your particular business skills in will have a direct bearing that can often be limiting to any fee or billing structure and range you might need to conform with.
You may for instance be a computer and network security specialist who has a particular penchant for service industries and service industry personal and systems management and security. In this case the hospitality industry may be your window of opportunity.
Any other particular skills and expertise that your consulting capabilities may cover should not be simply put on the shelf and left to wither. It would be best if you could incorporate them into your overall business plan and billing structures even if just as added bonuses.
Every little bit helps when you are trying to sell yourself. This applies across the board regardless of whether your consulting expertise may be in PR, marketing, human resources, systems design and/or implementation, security, hospitality, construction or health etc.
Location – In many fields the location of both yourself and your potential customer-base can limiting factor yet in others it will be relatively a non-issue. For example a web designer can produce effectively whether at home or in an office but either way does not require that the web designer be permanently located at the customer’s premises for the duration of the job/contract.
Travel – Travel of course will also need to be factored into the billing schedule for most instances. Systems installation consultants may need to regularly visit remote and out of the way locations.
Published in: Personal Finance