I was wondering what the pay rate is for marketing and sales consultants that mainly work with startups. I know some companies hire on commission-base only and some offer share/equity in the company but was wondering the ones that pay on an hourly basis what kind of rate are you paying?
I've seen everything from $65-$150 / hr for startups. I know that's a big range, but it really depends on the seniority, relevance of experience, and rolodex of the person you're working with. One benchmark to think about is that $100 / hr is about a $200k salary. Now granted, that person will have to pay taxes, health insurance, office space, equipment, etc., so it's not a direct comparison to a full-time salary + benefits.
One thing that could influence this answer is whether or not you plan to offer equity as part of the compensation. If you do, obviously the hourly rate should go down. I've never structured a hybrid relationship myself, but have heard that the legal contract can be a bit tricky (anyone have more info on this? Maybe should be a question of its own).
For reference, large management consulting firms' (targeting large companies) rates can start at $150+ per hour for associates 6-months out of undergrad. Someone with 4-5 years experience is probably billing at $250-300 / hour.
A good consultant sells a solution. Not time. Solutions are valued based on the ROI they provide the client.
Any consultant that quotes you a "billing rate" without understanding the scope/breath/depth of the work -- well, I reccomend you get someone else. You don't need someone to take your watch and charge you for telling the time. Find someone who will solve your problem.
A senior marketing consultant is going to be around $125/hour typically as a baseline. If it's heavily strategic work it might be somewhat higher. If it's less strategic work you can likely get a lesser rate. All in the negotiations. Type of work they'll be doing, how hungry they are, etc.
I'd love to hear someone else's perspective/experience in terms of an agreement with cash and equity. Mostly what I've seen is it's pretty loose in figuring out. I'm sure many have a more systematic approach to it.
From the consultant side, the rule of thumb is to charge around 50% above what you would earn in a salaried position to account for the points Joe mentions above. So if you would earn $150k salary, then around $115/hour rate is roughly comparable to that assuming 2,000 work hours in a year. But then you factor in the going rate for the type of work you're doing, competition and so on.
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