With the ready availability of an app to earn money (Callmart), which can be used as a billing tool for consultation services, the game has been blown wide open. Anyone with some skills or knowledge to share can effectively run their own online consultation service. Of course, the existing methods of collecting payment for online consultancy services still remain, but apps such as Callmart make the process that much easier for both the consultant and the client, acting as that much-needed, trusted third-party intermediary.
So there’s no question about the fact that finding the right solution to collect payments is straight-forward. In addition to that, becoming an expert in pretty much any field can be as straight-forward as completing a course on Udemy. I’m not discounting the traditional process of having acquired a formal academic qualification – in fact these are the people who should be striving to make the transition into consulting, earning money by the hour or even by the minute as opposed to working an eight-to-four job (nine-to-five in some countries, like the USA) and having to wait for a pay cheque at the end of the month.
However, once you actually immerse yourself in the market and you perhaps even manage to establish that there is a gap for your consultation services, how do you set the prices?
Existing industry cues
If you work within a traditional corporate structure, you may or may not be aware of the fact that your employer makes at least four times as much as you do out of the work that you put in. So you get remunerated about a fourth of the value you actually contribute, but by no means does that suggest you should price your consultation service at four times as much as the salary you’re currently earning. It’s not as easy as that.
Generally, you’d want to look at matching your current salary, but only as a starting point, because from here on we’re going to add what needs to be added to the consultation price you’ll ultimately be charging.
Factoring-in the benefits deficit
The reason why you don’t want to match your salary as the upper-limit is that with a full-time salary comes many other benefits, such as medical insurance, pension fund contributions, unemployment eligibility, etc. So in pricing your consultation fee, when you’re branching out to do your own thing, work-in this benefits deficit, which you likely have to consider for the very first time in your entire life.
Finally, adding a worthwhile mark-up
You entertain the prospect of running your own consultation service driven by the possibility of earning more as a result of going directly to the market to source clients. So naturally, it has to be worth your while. The final figure you should come to should sit at around double what you’d earn working full-time for someone else who was hiring you for the services you otherwise want to sell directly to the market through your consultancy. So when you’re setting your by-the-minute billing in the Callmart app, for instance, the rate should add up to around double what you get paid by the minute at a full-time job in which you’re employed to complete the same tasks.