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Contracting day rates

 
#1 Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 09:25

Andrew

Mention was made in a recent thread that £800 per day is “far from big time”.

This begs the question, well what is big time? Working as a contractor with a strong bus/strat pedigree, how high do contracting rates go? If 800 is small change, how much can realistically be billed? In my experience, once you start billing over £700/day you start popping up various reports within finance departments and become a very easy target when costs come under pressure………

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#2 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 09:34

Village Idiot to Andrew (#1)

I think the reference to "big time" was not about achieving higher day rates, but about the comparison with a senior role within a consultancy.

Even at £1000 / day, you're only going to make £200k per year, with no benefits.

As a partner in a consultancy, you're likely to see twice that.

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#3 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 10:13

jj to Village Idiot (#2)

To make £200K per year at £1000 per day you need 200 billable days. This is rarely realistic.

Similarly whilst £800 per day sounds like a good salary it is not a salary it is a day rate. You may get 200 days, 100 days or 10 days billable.

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#4 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 10:14

Mr S. Kint to Village Idiot (#2)

Right now I'd be over the moon if I earnt a quarter of that.

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#5 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 14:50

anon to Mr S. Kint (#4)

"....200 billable days. This is rarely realistic."

Hmm, have averaged 240 days per year since 2003.

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#6 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 15:11

Tom to anon (#5)

240 days? self sourced? Billable every single day? Not as a contractor to other consultancies?

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#7 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 15:25

Andrew to Tom (#6)

yes

yes

yes

correct

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#8 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 15:55

Cynic to Andrew (#7)

Any contrator with near 100% utilisation is usually either:

a) Working his/her butt off (40 billable hours + the same again desperately scrambling to find next week's work).

b) Almost completely dependent on one FTSE client with a huge budget (which one day will come to an end).

c) Very, very lucky.

Either way, it's usually not sustainable. If you are managing to make it sustainable however, PLEASE let me know because I'm desperate to get 100% utilisation without excessive dependence on one or two clients or having to spend almost the same amount of time on top the billable hours doing business development work.

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#9 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 17:01

Tom to Andrew (#7)

Nicely done sir. Hats off to you. Rather than the usual jealousy and criticism found on this website!!

I'm lucky if doing 140 days per year at around the 650 per day mark.

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#10 RE: Contracting day rates
06/04/2009 17:41

hanz to Tom (#9)

Are there any tax advantages to contracting? (ie. corp tax vs. income tax)

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#11 RE: Contracting day rates
07/04/2009 21:55

CON-tractor to hanz (#10)

Hanz - tax advantages are paying yourself salary + dividends thereby avoiding NIC and higher rate tax - also many creative things you can do with expenses!

Vilage Idiot - £200K per year at 40 hrs / week, your own boss and a family & social life vs. double that as a partner with NO life, bitching, back-stabbing, sent on assignment to Timbuktu for years on end at short notice etc. etc. No brainer really! (if you actually make it to be a partner, whereas anyone can be a contractor)!

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#12 RE: Contracting day rates
08/04/2009 09:28

anon to CON-tractor (#11)

Where did 200k come from? That would be £900 per day, 5 days a week for 11 months of the year. Unless you're doing something hideously soul destroying like configuring some obscure part of SAP I'm not sure this is likely.

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#13 RE: Contracting day rates
08/04/2009 10:22

Village Idiot to anon (#12)

£200k = 200 days a year @ £1000 a day.

Not entirely unrealistic. I have often seen 12-month contracts for project managers of large transformation projects at these sort of rates and durations. Also worth pointing out that £200k is not the same as a £200k salary.

As others point out, the work is likely to be fairly dull, but lucrative. Hours are likely to be reasonable.

For me, the biggest disincentive of contracting is that it basically halts your career progression. You end up doing the same thing again and again.

Not everyone will make partner, that's for sure. But for those who can, I think the work as a partner (and the professional opportunities if you chose to leave the partnership) is much more interesting than contracting.

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#14 RE: Contracting day rates
08/04/2009 13:26

Sas to Village Idiot (#13)

If you don't mind giving up your soul to be a Partner.

Have you ever met a partner who is a genuinely nice human being? After 13 years I still await the first!

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#15 RE: Contracting day rates
08/04/2009 13:30

Anonimator to Village Idiot (#13)

Its simply not true that contracting halts your career progression.

After moving from a large consultancy to contracting I can literally apply for the roles I want to do.

Just because someone doesn't sit me down and give me an appraisal doesn't mean I don't progress, Progression is a skills and experience related thing not simply because you hit some promotion gateway on time served and chargeability.

I am managing bigger, more complex projects with bigger budgets and more people.

And most of my staff are consultants from 2 consultancies.

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#16 RE: Contracting day rates
13/04/2009 10:47

Alphanso to Andrew (#1)

At our consultancy the rate per day will differ as new contracts come in, we charge £2,700per day, and we have no problem with clients calling us. We have so much work that we are booked up for the next 18 months plus. We can charge this much because we consult in such a way that our clients will tell others about our work, and it's superior quality.

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#17 RE: Contracting day rates
13/04/2009 16:53

ABC to Alphanso (#16)

Alphanso - think you missed the point completely. This thread is about day rates for individuals going it alone and not what a consultancy company charges its consultants out at.

Correct me if I am wrong but just how much of the £2,700 do you see personally - I'm guessing not a lot?

(and if you get the whole amount then what do you consult in / where do I sign up?!)

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