Dismayed by yesterday's frustrated post on consultants' billing rates? 2010 may actually see some improvement in that area. I came across (this piece) from Consulting magazine, which claims that overall consulting revenue may be on the up and up for 2010, due primarily to increased client demand. And what comes with increased client demand? Improvements in hourly fees for consultants and faster sales cycles, both contributing to an overall increase in revenue for consulting firms.
According to Consulting's survey of over 8,000 consultants, 61 percent of consultants believe they will be able to raise their average hourly rates in 2010, up from 34 percent of consultants surveyed just three months ago. Only 5 percent of consultants think their billing rates will decline in the next year.
What this shows is a gradual balancing out of supply and demand for consulting services. Clients are seeking out consulting work at a greater rate now than in the past two years, and with fewer consultants around to get the job done, clients have less flexibility to bargain down the rates. But don't expect fees to shoot through the roof—a minor uptick, or even a leveling off, will be a sign of improvement for the industry, showing an overall lessening of pressure on consulting firms to keep costs down.
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