Preparation means you get more than you bargain for

As an independent consultant, I am responding to the challenge that the training industry is getting greedy (Personnel Today, 24 January). I would suggest that buyers are too focused on the ‘supermodel’ (won’t get out of bed for less than 1,500 per day) perception of consultants.

If it were as straightforward as getting 400 per day for three days per week, then that would be fair comment. However, those three days need to be sold in the first place, often involving more than one (free) meeting, which involves travel (time and cost), and time and effort to put a (free) proposal together, which is supported by phone and e-mail contact (also free). And remember, we are often competing with others, so even then the work isn’t in the bag. Oh yes, and then there’s the development time for the actual piece of work itself, which good consultants will do – even for coaching that may appear to be unstructured.

So factor that into a year’s working time, and you’ll find that lots of it is actually spent marketing, selling and developing – which isn’t directly chargeable to the customer. Let’s also remember there are things such as premises to fund, insurance to pay, professional subscriptions, continuing professional development costs and just doing the books… the things that many of us take for granted.

It may look like a supermodel lifestyle. But you know what they say – all that glitters ain’t necessarily gold.

Karen Footman
Managing consultant
Change Intelligence

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