Women in Consulting, with which SAC® has an alliance, recently released a survey which they have kindly allowed me to share with readers here. You can contact WIC at: http://womeninconsulting.com/
WIC 2008 Compensation & Best Practices Survey
Key Findings & Conclusions
Seventh Annual Survey
Total Sample: 178 respondents; 65% from WIC community
Business trends remain positive; the economy is not hurting consultants.
Consultants are making their businesses more profitable.
Consultants see a big shift in their revenue levels, profitability and sophistication
of their businesses between 3-6 years after they start doing business.
The data gathered on business practices has been very consistent over the
history of the survey.
Overall Key Trends:
Social networking is becoming more prevalent and important.
Technology is impacting the way we work with our clients – both positively and
Virtual consulting teams are becoming more common.
Clients are increasingly concerned with containing costs, but are willing to make
the investment when they understand the value they will receive.
In consulting, experience counts more than being young and hip.
There are more consultants to compete with, some of whom are not very
qualified or experienced.
Clients are increasingly concerned with risks and security.
Average revenue continues to go up each year—currently at $203K.
70% of consultants increased their revenues last year and 60% expect to do the
same in the next 12 months.
Average hourly rates, project fees, and monthly retainer fees all increased this
Top 20% Consultants – Best Practices:
The top 20% of respondents in terms of revenue earned provide a view of best
practices that could benefit all consultants:
o They base project fees on value to the client vs. target hourly rates
o They’re able to maintain stable profits even when revenue declines
o They’re more likely to charge monthly retainer fees than the group as a
o They’re more likely to set fees based on ROI and/or value to the client
o They’re also more likely to use subcontractors and to mark up their fees
Over half use 5+ subcontractors
o They’re much more likely to charge some percentage of their fee upfront
o They spend more time on marketing than the group as a whole
Demographics of the Sample:
Respondents were 91% female, 9% male.
84% of respondents are located in the Bay Area, 5% in other parts of CA, 12%
Virtually all respondents have at least a Bachelor’s degree; more than half have a
Master’s degree, PhD or professional certification.
65% of the sample has over 7 years experience in consulting; 34% have more
than 10 years.
Respondents are in all stages of the consulting lifecycle: 42% are maintaining
their business at the current level; 32% are developing their business; 9% are
just launching or getting started, 7% are managing a mature practice.
62% are sole proprietors; 20% are incorporated; 18% are LLCs or partnerships.
© Women in Consulting 2008. Reprinted with permission.