For only the second time in ten years, Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd’s prices are going up. Read on to find out when and why.
When I started Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd back in April 2011 our day rate was £650. This was based on the results of a calculation suggested in the excellent book, “Starting And Running A Successful Consultancy” by Susan Nash.
After a couple of early years when business was particularly good, the company’s turnover crossed the threshold for mandatory Value Added Tax (VAT) registration, and so VAT started to be added to the invoices. As many clients can claim the VAT back due to their organisation status, or are VAT registered themselves so could get VAT relief on their spend, this has never been a big issue.
In 2015, I increased the Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd pricing to £700 a day. This was a modest rise to help compensate for slowly rising costs. And that’s it — since then, the price charged for what I do hasn’t changed in seven years. Until now.
From 1st April 2022 our fees will increase to £800 a day. This will apply to customers throughout the UK and be the new base rate against which all overseas billing will be based too.
Why is this happening now? There are three main reasons.
Seven years is a long time without price increases
Most businesses regularly adjust their prices according to a range of economic factors. That’s because their prime motivation is making as much profit as possible. I take a different approach.
Sure, I want to make a profit — the income I earn from Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd is how I feed and house myself and my family — but the main motivation for what I do is enabling and inspiring people to bring about change. I want volunteers to make a bigger difference in the world, and the people who lead, engage and deploy those volunteers to be better supported and equipped to enable that change to happen. That I make money to live on is a happy byproduct of that work.
So, I haven’t varied the company’s prices for seven years because I’ve been focused on the value of the work I do, not the costs of running a business or day-to-day living in our modern society. There comes a time though when that needs reviewing, and that time is now because…
… The cost of living is going up
As I said before, Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd is my only course of income. What I earn is what I have to live on, whether I have a good or a bad year financially. And anyone who thinks nonprofit consulting is a path to untold riches is living in an alternate reality from the one I live in.
Covid-19 has been hard on all of us. Many were furloughed, others lost their jobs and had to find new employment. Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd wasn’t eligible for any help from the UK government because it wasn’t the kind of business they wanted to support. I got through it but, with the cost of living rising for all of us, I have to make a change.
So, I am increasing Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd’s fees by £100 a day from 1 April 2022. That’s an increase of £14.28 an hour. Out of that has to come rising running costs, income tax and corporation tax on profits, so it’s not like I’ll be retiring to a Caribbean island because of the price rise!
Why aren’t the fees increasing by more, then? I considered this. I looked at £840 a day, a £20 an hour increase. I think what Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd offers is worth it, and client feedback seems to agree. But the company’s clients, mainly civil society organisations themselves, are also facing rising costs and I have to be mindful of that. I want to avoid pricing Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd out of the market. To that end, a £100 a day rise in fees seems fair, for now.
Supporting the free stuff I provide
Over the last few years, I have provided an increasing amount of free resources for the sector. Individuals and organisations don’t have to be clients to benefit from these, they are there for anyone to access. They include:
- Eleven years of free blog articles on a wide range of volunteer engagement subjects
- Fortnightly #200wordtuesday posts on social media, like this one
- The Advancing The profession podcast
- The Cuts and Change eBook
- The “Open Letter to Senior Managers & Boards of Volunteer Involving & Deploying Organisations in all Sectors”
Whist it may not cost you anything to access these resources, it costs me time to produce them, and that’s time I am not earning income from paid work. For example, the Advancing The Profession podcast took 33.5 hours to prepare, record, edit, deliver and promote. In that same time, I could have billed for £3,350 of paid work!
So, Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd’s prices are going up in part to help fund my work to continue to develop free resources and materials. As long as I can afford to keep the business going, I’ll keep producing them.
There you have it, when Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd’s prices are changing and three reasons why.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or get in touch direct.