Consultants, lawyers, accountants bill for time. For good or bad, the traditional time and expense way of billing still prevails. This means that your time is valuable to you (as a professional) and to the client (as an expense). Every hour that you bill, the client pays out of their profits. Every dollar you bill hurts their bottom line. . . unless you deliver more value.

Bill rates differ considerably by staffing leverage and type of work. That said, it’s not unrealistic that you are billing $250 a hour, working 8 billable hours a day, then you are likely billing $2,000 per business day. Continuing with that logic, if client gets a 5x return on your work = you need to deliver $10,000 of value a day. Isn’t it reasonable for the client to get a good return on your efforts?  After all, they are paying your fees out of their profits.  Their staff is committing their time. Opportunity costs.

Consulting value

Sure, there are caveats.  

  • The results are not immediate. Results cannot be guaranteed.
  • The results are subject to “implementation” and variables not within your control.
  • Strategy work does not translate immediately into a metric.
  • Risk management avoids a potentially expensive thing in the future.
  • Change management is needed, but does not immediately translate into revenues.
  • Technology enables savings, but involves lots of fixed cost up front.

I get all that.  The question remains, did you have a $10,000-worthy day?



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