If you’re just starting out consulting, going from your salaried rate of, say, $30/hour, to a consulting rate of $60/hour–or even $80/hour or $125/hour–usually seems crazy and unrealistic.
If you’ve been consulting for a while, doubling your consulting rate may still seem insane–you don’t want to lose clients and/or business.
After all, if the price of, say, a loaf of bread doubled, would you still pay that much for it? Or would you switch to something else? Tortillas? Pita bread? Matzoh? Naan? Arepa? Would you give up bread completely?
Now, what if the price of WATER doubled?
Most of us could easily figure out substitutes for bread, but for something as essential as water, there are fewer substitutes. Most of us would just have to cut way back on our use. (Of course, the other alternative would be to simply pay more, and either shift our budget around or make more money to pay the increased cost).
Ideally, you want your consulting services to be essential to your clients–like clean drinking water.
But, for most of us, our clients CAN go without our consulting services. They’d find alternatives and substitutes.
Yes, I guarantee there’s a tortilla or a pita version of you out there that your clients could use. Maybe they’d just switch to some other starchy alternative, like rice, potatoes, or corn.
Either way, there’s a consequence for you, my gluten-y consulting friend.
Of course, you could branch out and start being not just the tortilla, but the tortilla chip, the taco shell, the tostada for your clients–just at a higher price. But I digress…
So what do you think: Is it realistic to double your consulting rate?
If not, how much do you think you could raise your rates today?
If you think you could actually double your rates, how would you do it?
What would the consequences be for raising your consulting rate in your niche?