By Renee Maler
Wednesday, July 6, 2005; 4:30pm EST
Women in Consulting Survey Shows Continuing Economic Recovery in SF Bay Area. Average 2005 consultant revenues of $146,000 up 28% since 2002.
San Mateo, CA, - June 27, 2005 - Women in Consulting (WIC), a San Francisco Bay Area umbrella organization of seasoned professional consultants, announced today results from its latest annual survey that indicate a continuing rise in business for Bay Area consultants. The findings also suggest strategies for consultants to maximize their revenues and promote their business in this stage of economic recovery.
Survey results of both WIC and non-WIC members included the following conclusions:
60% saw an increase in revenue over the previous year
73% expect revenue to increase in the next year
Average total revenue increased steadily from 2002 to 2005 ? from $104k, $115k, $139k to $146k, respectively
However, average hourly rates and project fees remained flat this year, pointing to an increase in workload
With such findings, WIC?s survey demonstrates that women are thriving as independent consultants, with 88% of respondents stating that consulting is a significant source of income, as opposed to merely a supplement to a primary job. In fact, 60% are further contributing to the economy?s momentum by hiring subcontractors, and these respondents report higher average incomes than consultants without subcontractors.
In exploring challenges experienced by consultants, the WIC survey also points to best-practices to improve their business and revenues, such as:
Revenue is higher for consultants who charge project fees versus hourly fees
Be willing to walk from an unprofitable deal ? bidding low causes price erosion and decreases the perception of your value
Have different rate structures ? hourly, project, retainer ? to match client needs
Research market rates and adjust for seniority, competitive niche, target customer, size of company
Don?t underestimate project times, which is a common pitfall ? build in a buffer, add rates for changes and extra services, such as ?rush? projects
Outsource to subcontractors with lower fees, where appropriate
When projects change and need to be renegotiated, review client objectives and discuss what is going over the scope of the agreement; give choices for what can be done within the fee and provide estimates for additional work
?It?s clear that women continue to emerge as a dedicated and successful segment in consulting,? said Deborah Henken, President of WIC.. ?Our survey shows that WIC members enjoy greater success than consultants working without professional support, particularly since consulting is still viewed as a non-traditional field for women and intimidating to some. We are happy to share these findings to help women succeed on an independent path and to benefit the entire consulting community, including corporate clients.?
About the Author
Women in Consulting is a dynamic organization of seasoned professional consultants in more than 30 specialties, ranging from engineering to financial advising and marketing. WIC?s dual mission is to provide companies seeking consultant talent with access to a premier resource of top tier consultants and to provide a forum for consultants to share information and to effectively manage and grow their consulting practices. A non-profit corporation, WIC was established in 1998 as a collaborative community to foster successful consulting practices for its members. For more information, visit www. womeninconsulting. org.