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Any advice?

topcatny

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A former boss contacted me recently and asked me if I would do a small consulting project for him. The project is to develop a business plan for a new apparel line a major apparel brand wants to launch in Fall 2009. The work is the easy part, I've worked on this type of project throughout my career. The only difference is it has always been a part of my job to do so, this is a side project that he wants me to come up with a fee that the company would pay me. Any suggestions as to what I should charge? I don't really know what the going rate should be.

A couple of things to consider:
1. While I am currently employed there are no competition issues. I recently made the move to enterprise software sales, selling to retailers and apparel/footwear manufacturers.
2. I do not like my new job and see it as a bad fit for my skills and personality. I am hoping to make the move back to wholesale apparel/footwear sales in the near future.
3. I never wanted to leave the company that I would be doing this project for. I was put in an awkward position within the corporation and got caught up in an internal power struggle. Unfortunately for me all my advocates have clout in all other areas of the corporation. While they were upset that my position was eliminated they couldn't or wouldn't step in to stop it from happening.

Anyone have any good suggestions or ideas?
 

kwilkinson

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Take the amount of hours that you envision yourself realistically working on it. Then, charge that out on your salary now, or your salary when you worked for him, whichever you feel is approrpriate. Then add 15%.



Good luck, btw! Hope this opens up a door for you to get back into the industry.
 

topcatny

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My wife suggested that kind of fee structure as well.

I am actually hoping he will present my plan to others in the company , they will like it and he can then tell them "well, the guy you let go that I told you not to let go is the one who worked on this for me. Maybe we should look into finding him a job in the company again."

Originally Posted by kwilkinson
Take the amount of hours that you envision yourself realistically working on it. Then, charge that out on your salary now, or your salary when you worked for him, whichever you feel is approrpriate. Then add 15%.



Good luck, btw! Hope this opens up a door for you to get back into the industry.
 

Piobaire

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Just to clarify before I offer any advice:

A company laid you off and now has approached you to do an assignment, that would have been part of your former job, on a consultant basis?
 

topcatny

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Just to clarify before I offer any advice:

A company laid you off and now has approached you to do an assignment, that would have been part of your former job, on a consultant basis?


Basically. The structure of the company makes it a little more complex.

I was originally hired to manage a sales force for the US of "fashion" product for a global company. My boss was and still is part of a Global business. He reports to a management team at the company Headquarters in Europe. The job they had hired me for was a big focus for them. Although the business was small they felt it needed attention not only to grow but to create the right brand image for the company. While I worked for people in Europe all of my sales numbers reported into the US operating division.

3 months into the job my sales team was moved entirely under the US operating division. So now not only my were my sales numbers affecting the US division, but my overhead and P&L were coming from them as well. 9 months later when the US division was missing their target numbers for the year they started looking for places to cut overhead. My division being the smallest in the US was one of the first to be affected. They eliminated my job (as well as others in the company) and rolled my sales team into other divisions in the company.

Again this was something the European team was not in favor of but they couldn't, wouldn't or didn't do anything to stop it.

Now the person who originally hired me (and still reports into Europe) is asking me to do this project for him. My former boss who I am still good friends with is very well connected in the company at least in Europe. We get along well and approach the business similarly. If given the opportunity he would hire me back in a second, unfortunately he does not have any openings at an appropriate level/compensation for me right now. So, I am interested in doing the project for a number of reasons. I enjoy the work. I can do it easily and well. I want to keep some connections within the company so when the time is right I might be able to parlay it into a great job within the company.
 

Piobaire

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Well, I would think Kwilk's advice is good, but you need more of an upcharge. Your old hourly, plus 15%. That 15% is merely "PIB" or pay in lieu of benefits (vacation, retirement, SS contributions, healthcare, etc.). Then add on even more as a contingency portion, and make it a material amount. Don't screw them, as you obviously want to maintain the relationship, but make them pay a premium over and above what it would have cost to keep you on board, or you are shorting yourself.
 

VKK3450

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Fuck that, charge them consulting rates. You should be able to get a handle on what daily rates are for the type of work in your industry, and charge accordingly.

That is unless you think that this will get you back into your company

K
 

thekunk07

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^this kind of thing happens often in advertising.

Figure an hourly rate commensurate with your experience, decide how many hours you think it will take and add 15% more hours on top as it will invariably take longer than you think.
 

Thomas

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Well, I would think Kwilk's advice is good, but you need more of an upcharge. Your old hourly, plus 15%. That 15% is merely "PIB" or pay in lieu of benefits (vacation, retirement, SS contributions, healthcare, etc.). Then add on even more as a contingency portion, and make it a material amount. Don't screw them, as you obviously want to maintain the relationship, but make them pay a premium over and above what it would have cost to keep you on board, or you are shorting yourself.

Originally Posted by VKK3450
Fuck that, charge them consulting rates. You should be able to get a handle on what daily rates are for the type of work in your industry, and charge accordingly.

That is unless you think that this will get you back into your company

K


+1 here.

The thing about the consulting rates is this: the reaction could run either way. Price yourself too low, and the company has an economic incentive to keep you off the payroll. Price a bit higher, and you give the firm incentive to bring you in-house. Price too high, and you risk backlash.
 

topcatny

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Well, I would think Kwilk's advice is good, but you need more of an upcharge. Your old hourly, plus 15%. That 15% is merely "PIB" or pay in lieu of benefits (vacation, retirement, SS contributions, healthcare, etc.). Then add on even more as a contingency portion, and make it a material amount. Don't screw them, as you obviously want to maintain the relationship, but make them pay a premium over and above what it would have cost to keep you on board, or you are shorting yourself.
Originally Posted by VKK3450
Fuck that, charge them consulting rates. You should be able to get a handle on what daily rates are for the type of work in your industry, and charge accordingly. That is unless you think that this will get you back into your company K
Originally Posted by thekunk07
^this kind of thing happens often in advertising. Figure an hourly rate commensurate with your experience, decide how many hours you think it will take and add 15% more hours on top as it will invariably take longer than you think.
Originally Posted by Thomas
+1 here. The thing about the consulting rates is this: the reaction could run either way. Price yourself too low, and the company has an economic incentive to keep you off the payroll. Price a bit higher, and you give the firm incentive to bring you in-house. Price too high, and you risk backlash.
Thanks everyone. I realized I do have a consulting rate to work off of. I worked up a proposal to do some consulting work for a company in my current job and we established my hourly rate. We basically made it up based on how they bill others in the company. So at least it is a starting point. I am sure we will end up negotiating the final cost anyway. If I come in too high my former boss will not be afraid to let me know. The thing is I'd do the project just to get a job in the company again. But some extra cash would be nice too.
 

globetrotter

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It should work out to 10K or so. if you do the hourly computation, and it works out that this is a 5 hour job, I'd say not to charge them, I wouldn't want to bill somebody for $2,337 or something like that.


good luck, in any event.
 

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