What are Barry's Fees and Expenses?
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THE FACTORS EFFECTING BARRY'S FEES
There are several interacting factors that Barry considers in setting his professional fees. (Sorry, it's not simple.)
- The intensity of the roles required by the project: (see note #1)
- Trainer (most intense)
- Writer/materials or program developer, etc. (least intense)
- Number of persons to be served (see note #1)
- The amount of preparation time needed to do the work at a high level of quality (see notes #2 & #4)
- Number of days of work and whether the days are separate or consecutive (see note #3)
Complexity of the work to be done, as in whether: (see notes #1 & #4)
- needed materials already exist or must be developed
- the challenges, problems, or numbers involved in the work
- The work time lost to Barry because of time needed for travel to your site (see note #5)
NOTES - DETAILS ON THE FACTORS EFFECTING BARRY'S FEES
Note #1 - NUMBER OF PERSONS SERVED - The larger the group, the more complex will be the training and activities, the more can go wrong, the more energy required, and the more complex and stressful the leadership role. Basically, I charge a lower rate for groups of 25 persons or less, and a medium rate for groups larger than 25 but not more than 150, and a higher rate for groups larger than 150. Of course a few persons either way of those cut points are not significant and do not matter.
Note #2 - PREPARATION TIME - I do NOT specifically charge clients for preparation time unless that preparation requires considerable time or requires creation of many new materials. In these cases, payment for this time is always discussed and agreed upon in advance. Also, I will gladly negotiate a discounted "package price" for the project. If the total project is to actually develop materials, I will do the work in my own office (see "E" below) and I will charge a different, lower rate for that time.
Note #3 - THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LENGTH OF CONTRACT & FEES - Barry is a full time private consultant & trainer and as such, he has business and personal needs just like his clients. The trickiest aspect of his business is the lack of a steady, reliable income. That is why longer term contracts are so desireable and one reason why Barry is willing to discount his fees for longer term projects. Please consider the benefits of this for your own cost savings when deciding how much work to include in a contract with Barry.
Barry's work is not limited by organizational or a supervisor's constraints because he is the boss. That means that he can work with you filling many roles, and with a group of people in the same program at many points over time in a sequence of development. His work with you can be on a limited or a very in-depth and long term basis. Contracts can be as short as one day, or can last several months or even years. In fact, as a staff developer, his preference is to do longer term, developmental projects because they are more personally and professionally satisfying. Therefore, the longer the term of the contract and the more work it provides, the greater the discount on the project fees will be.
Note #4 - BARRY'S EXPERTISE - In addition to working in areas of his known expertise, Barry also tries to select related consulting & training opportunities which allow him to learn or expand his experience and expertise. When that is the case, he is very careful to candidly discuss his strengths and responsibilities with clients and to do nothing that would negatively impact the success of your project. Specifically, he will not accept any assignment for which he has any concern about delivering a successful result.
Further, when an assignment requires greater learning to do it well, Barry knows that he will gain many future benefits from that learning and that the cost of the time to do that learning should not be born by the current client alone. That is why the issue of Barry's learning and growth is important here. He is willing to increase his discount for services in such a case.
Note #5 - TRAVEL TIME - Barry does NOT specifically or automatically charge clients for his traveling time. However, when Barry must travel, that day is effectively unproductive for him as a worker. Consider the issue of productivity when Barry must lose a day to travel to your site, work a day, and then lose a day to travel home again. That is why multiple consecutive days of work are so important to us all.
If travel must be done during work hours and travel requires Barry to use time during which he could be working with other clients, he must consider the time lost in pricing his services. The cost of this time is very reasonable since it is necessary to the work but we know it is of little direct value to the client.
TYPICAL FEES FOR CONSULTATION, TRAININGS, AND PRESENTATIONS
Please note that each project is individually planned, all the above factors are considered, and costs are individually calculated. However, here are examples of Barry's typical fees.
A - IF within 2 hours driving time of his home:
- Consultations, presentations, and trainings with groups up to about 25 people = $750-$800 per day.
- Presentations and trainings with groups larger than 25 = $1000-$1300 per day
- Request mileage reimbursement at 30 cents a mile
B - IF travel to a site exceeds two hours driving time from his home OR the site is within the continental US and requires an airline flight:
- For consulting, $750-$900 per day, plus expenses.
- For consulting, trainings or presentations with larger groups in these distant settings, the fee is $1000-1300 per day, plus expenses.
- C - For work outside of the continental US which requires extensive travel, call Barry at 630-668-2605 to discuss the requirements. The only added factor here is the time required for travel.
- D - If the work involves meetings which Barry should attend (ie. to learn new information) but for which Barry does not provide leadership or facilitation, his usual fee is $75 per hour unless it is a part of a day of work for which a day's fee is charged.
- E - For projects Barry can work on at his OWN office he typically charges $60 per hour for a shorter project (1 day or less), and $50 per hour for projects of more than a day.
- For multi-day or longer term projects, Barry will submit a proposal for the whole project and all of the costs involved including a "quantity DISCOUNT". We can negotiate from that to a final contract that is agreeable to both parties.
TYPICAL FEES FOR GRANT WRITING & OTHER SUCH PROJECTS
Please note that each project is individually planned, all the above factors are considered, and costs are individually calculated. However, here are examples of Barry's typical fees.
- If the work involves meetings which Barry should attend (ie. to learn new information & be a part of planning) but for which Barry does not provide leadership or facilitation, his usual fee is $75 per hour unless it is a part of a day of work for which a day's fee is charged.
- For GRANT WRITING and other such projects Barry can work on at his OWN office he typically charges $50 per hour for a shorter project (1 day or less), and $40 per hour for projects of more than a day.
- For multi-day or longer term projects, Barry will submit a proposal for the whole project and all of the costs involved including a significant "quantity DISCOUNT". We can negotiate from that to a final contract that is agreeable to both parties.
The client pays my travel and other necessary expenses, which I promise to keep reasonable.
- I prefer to fly a main air carrier but I am glad to travel coach class.
- I always seek the lowest fares possible.
- Whenever possible, I inform clients of the opportunity to combine their trip with that of a second client so my expenses may be shared (usually 1/2 for each client)
- My hotel/motel needs are simple. (Cost estimates are about $70 a day.)
- Super 8, Motel 6, Holiday Inn, etc. are just fine.
- I do request arrival and a motel room the night before an event unless it is a short drive from my home
- My expenses for meals will be very reasonable too. (estimated at $20 a day without lunch)
- Clients usually provide my lunch, which is usually on-site. A sandwich and Diet Pepsi are fine.
- I usually request $8 for breakfast and $12 for dinner, but often spend and seek reimbursement for less
Mileage, tolls, parking, shuttle/taxis, etc. - I will request reimbursement for:
- Mileage from my home to the Chicago airport at $.30 a mile (varies with which aiport, but is often about $15-$20)
- Any highway tolls (estimated at $1 in Chicago).
- Long-term economy parking required at the airport in Chicago (at $13 a day, but add one extra day since my initial arrival at the airport is usually in the afternoon and my return is usually later evening, an additional 24 hour period.)
- Taxis, shuttles, or limos in your location (if I do not rent a car)
- Car rental is usually necessary when I will be in a location for several days. I use Avis and always get a 4 door compact car. (estimated at $50-$70 a day, varies greatly by market)
- Some of the on-site travel expenses can be eliminated if the client will provide a staff person as a driver with a car. It's your option but it's often only practical for a one day visit.
HANDLING OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS
Barry suggests two options for accounting for his project work. He prefers the first option but the choice is yours.
- OPTION #1 - LUMP SUM PAYMENT - Barry's original contract proposal includes estimated expenses. When it is time to invoice the client, Barry keeps all receipts and invoices the client for the total amount of the contract. He accounts for expenses directly with the IRS through his own accountant and corporate taxes.
- The benefits to the client -The client pays a lump sum which includes professional fees and expenses. The client does not have to handle details such as tolls, parking, or other costs. Also, the client is assured of a fixed cost for the project which can not increase during the work, regardless of actual costs to the consultant. This is the simplest method for the client.
- The benefits for Barry - What is simple for the client is also simpler for Barry. He can be paid for his work more promptly because he does not have to send you receipts and a detailed accounting of his expenses. He can wait until time when the pressures of work are less, and then deal with the business/taxes side of his work. Also, he is assured a fixed amount of income during the project. A known future income is important to Barry.
- OPTION #2 - RECEIPTS ARE SENT TO THE CLIENT - Barry's original contract proposal includes estimated expenses. When it is time to invoice the client, Barry sends all receipts in a detailed accounting of actual expenses to the client with the invoice. The client accounts for actual expenses and deals with taxes.
- The benefits to the client -The client pays a total which includes professional fees and only the actual expenses. Some business offices and or grants require this approach.
- Drawbacks for the client - The client must handle details such as tolls, parking, and other costs. The client is not assured of a fixed cost for the project . The actual cost of a project can increase during the work when the actual costs to the consultant are increased beyond original estimates. Although Barry will always work to control project expenses, airline costs and some other expenses are frequently changed.
- The benefits for Barry - Barry will be reimbursed for his actual expenses, even if costs increase during a project.
- Drawbacks for Barry - Barry hates it when the business side of his work conflicts with doing what he loves, (working with educators). Detailed accounting to a client takes more time, often when time is at a premium. When Barry must put off working on invoices (which must contain expense accounting) so he keeps focused on consulting & training, he is also putting off getting paid until later. That is not so good.
PAYMENT OF LONGER TERM CONTRACTS
When a contract extends over a longer period of time, such as more than a month or two, Barry will ask that the contract specify periodic (monthly?) payments of a fraction of the total contract. This ensures that his expense costs (credit cards) are routinely paid down. Barry and the client will discuss and agree on which approach to use.
- The fractional payment amounts can reflect the actual fees and expenses for that shorter period of time, OR...
- The fractional payment amounts can just be an even division of the total amount.
EXAMPLE #1 - A contract for 4 months of work totals $7400. Using the 1st choice above, Barry invoices at the end of each of the four months as follows to reflect actual work done:
- Invoice for Month #1 = $2700
- Invoice for Month #2 = $2000
- Invoice for Month #3 = $ 700
- Invoice for Month #4 = $2000
- TOTAL INVOICED = $7400
EXAMPLE #2 - A contract for 4 months of work totals $7400. Using the 2nd choice above, Barry invoices at the end of each of the four months for $1850 (1/4th the total each time).
OTHER EXPECTATIONS OF THE CLIENT - The client also provides:
- Any required AV equipment (such as overhead, screen, VCR and monitor or projector)
- Easel and flip chart paper pad with 3-4 colored markers & tape, pins, or other means for hanging paper
- Duplication of all handouts and other materials, masters will be provided in advance
- Seating & room arrangement as specified by Barry Sweeny
- (After project completion) A brief written statement describing the client's reactions to Barry's work.
BEST PRACTICE RESOURCES, INC. CONTRACT CANCELLATION POLICY
Contract cancellation is most often caused by:
- 1. Inadequate needs assessment
- 2. Lack of clarity in definition of goals
- 3. Inadequate understanding of the processes involved in leading complex change initiatives.
IF needs assessment, planning, and collaborative contract negotiation are properly done, all of these problems will be avoided.
When a contract is thoughtfully negotiated and freely entered into, it is a statement of the good faith intentions of each party to do important work together. When Barry and the client each sign a contract, BOTH parties expect the other to honor that statement of intent. To do otherwise makes contracts meaningless. Therefore, contracts should only be broken under the most unusual and unavoidable circumstances, and NOT just because something has changed. If something has changed the contract should be adjusted to address the change.
- Barry will always do everything possible to fullfil his part of a contract, on time, as expected. (If you want an example of the extent to which Barry will go to keep his commitments, just read the "North Carolina/Delta Airline" story.)
- Barry will not ask to be released from a contract, except in the possible case of an extreme emergency in his immediate family. (Note - Since starting consulting in 1987, Barry has NEVER asked to be released from or cancelled a contract .)
- Barry expects the client will honor the contract too.
- However, there are possible situations in which a client has no choice but to cancel a contract.
IF A CLIENT MUST CANCEL A CONTRACT:
- Barry will not charge the cancelling client IF Barry can arrange to work on that same date for a new client.
- However, depending on the amount of advanced notice of the cancellation, Barry may have lost most opportunities to arrange to work for another client on the date that was originally reserved for you.
- In the case that a client has cancelled a contract AND replacement work cannot be arranged, the following cancellation charges will apply to the cancelling client:
- 3 months written* advanced notice of cancellation, cancellation charge of 20% of the contract for the cancelled date, plus the cost of any nonrefundable travel tickets already purchased**
- 2 months written advanced notice of cancellation, cancellation charge of 25% of the contract for the cancelled date, plus the cost of any nonrefundable travel tickets already purchased**
- 1 month written advanced notice of cancellation, cancellation charge of 30% of the contract for the cancelled date, plus the cost of any nonrefundable travel tickets already purchased**
- 2 weeks written advanced notice of cancellation, cancellation charge of 40% of the contract for the cancelled date, plus the cost of any nonrefundable travel tickets already purchased**
- 7 days or less written advanced notice of cancellation, cancellation charge of 50% of the contract for the cancelled date, plus the cost of any nonrefundable travel tickets already purchased**
* Note - "Written advanced notice" includes email.
** Note - Assumes that " travel tickets already purchased" cannot be used in any future work with the same client. If tickets CAN be reused at a future date, the airline charge for changing the date of the ticket (usually $75) is all that the client will be asked to pay.
Note - Posponing a reserved date to another new date is NOT considered a cancellation. In the case of postponement, the client will be expected to pay any reasonable consultant costs, such as the airline charge for changing the date of the ticket (usually $75).
The "North Carolina/Delta Airline" Story
This story is presented here to illustrate the extent to which Barry Sweeny will go to honor his commitments.
"I was the opening trainer for an afternoon at a mentoring conference to be held at a nice resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The site was about a two hour drive from Raleigh/Durham Airport so...
Travel plans included:
- An afternoon flight from Chicago to Atlanta on Delta and a plane change in Atlanta
- An early evening flight from Atlanta to Raleigh/Durham
- A later evening two hour drive into the mountains to the resort. Late night arrival about 1-2 AM seemed OK as the conference did not begin until noon the next day.
- I planned to sleep late the next morning, and awake refreshed and ready to be a sparkling speaker.
Here is what actually happened:
- The weather caused the original flight from Chicago to Atlanta to leave about two hours late.
- Of course, I missed the connecting flight from Atlanta to Raleigh/Durham which was the last flight out that night.
- The next flight was early morning. IF that flight was on time, it would get me to Raleigh/Durham just in time to quickly drive to the conference, just in time to present at noon, my appointed time.
- I decided the "wait until morning" plan had too many uncontrolled variables and might not work as planned.
- I estimated the driving time from Atlanta to the resort in North Carolina and decided that was a better option.
- I rented a car in Atlanta to be returned to the airport in Raleigh/Durham the next day.
- I cancelled the flight leg from Atlanta to Raleigh/Durham.
- I drove all night from Atlanta to the resort in North Carolina, and arrived at 9:30 AM the morning of the conference.
- As my client had not yet arrived herself, I left a message assuring her that I had arrived.
- I arranged for an 11:00 AM wake up call, went to my room and finally slept for 1 and 1/2 hours.
- At 11 AM I was awakened. I showered, dressed, eat, and reviewed my notes about the client and for the presentation.
- At noon I was a "sparkling speaker" (I think). The training lasted until 4 PM.
- Then I climbed in my car, drove two hours to the airport at Raleigh/Durham and flew home.
- THEN I slept, happy that I had done my best and met my commitments."
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