Traditional and Online Networking Among Top Advice for Business Success
San Jose, CA – September 20, 2010 – Women in Consulting (WIC), a collaborative community of professional consultants and small business owners, today announced the results of its ninth annual compensation survey. Key findings indicate that consultants are optimistic about their consulting practices. Almost half (49 percent) of the respondents reported their revenue increased last year, while 69 percent expect revenue to increase this coming year. Moreover, the vast majority (84 percent) are long-term consultants with no plans to stop consulting.
Responses from the nationwide sampling revealed:
- Average (mean) annual gross revenue was $205,000, up from $172,000 in 2009
- Median gross revenue was $120,000, up from $115,000 in 2009
- Net annual gross revenue after paying subcontractors/employees is down this year, suggesting that consultants are making more use of subcontractors to expand their service offerings and keep more business within their practice
- Median gross revenue for the top 20 percent of respondents is stable compared to 2009 ($300,000 vs. $299,000), while net annual gross for this group is higher ($392,000 vs. $336,000 in 2009)
“This year’s survey results clearly indicate a shift in mindset to one that is filled with optimism for the coming year,” said WIC President Avery Horzewski. “Consultants are energized, focused, and employing an array of marketing and business practices, including social media, to ensure they achieve their business goals. More importantly, they’re adopting a positive approach to building their businesses versus buying into the negativity that has surrounded the economic downturn the past two years.”
In addition to compensation trends, WIC’s annual compensation survey also tracks the best practices employed for long-term success. This year’s results show social media coming into its own, while nothing trumped in-person connections with existing and potential customers for building business.
- Social media usage is pervasive, with LinkedIn by far the most popular social networking tool—92 percent of respondents reported using LinkedIn while, the number using other top social media tools ranged from 53 percent (blogging) to 72 percent (online communities).
- Social media effectiveness is up across the board, except for Twitter. General consensus is that social media is best for building overall awareness versus generating specific business. Although many respondents stated that LinkedIn produced work.
- Traditional networking is seen as the most effective way to proactively generate business, followed by establishing strategic relationships and asking clients for referrals.
- Increasing their confidence is the top reason respondents said they were able to charge more for their services, with value-based pricing, diversifying, and improving expertise, messaging, and marketing materials also ranking high.
“While my gross revenue was similar to last year, my profits grew 250 percent,” said Renee Daggett, president of AdminBooks. “I attribute this to a number of factors. Our increased social media efforts have garnered surprising results and fantastic feedback. We also revised our internal procedures, and updated our website, sales and welcome kits, and e-newsletters, and are pleased with the results.”
A free summary of the WIC compensation survey is available on the WIC website, and detailed findings are available online exclusively to WIC members.
The public is welcome to attend a webinar on Wednesday, November 3 at 11:00am. PDT that will summarize key findings. The webinar is free to WIC members and $30 for nonmembers.
About Women in Consulting
Women in Consulting (WIC) is a vibrant, diverse, and powerful community of consultants and small business owners working to build strong businesses. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998, WIC provides its 400+ members and affiliates a forum to connect and share with like-minded professionals. Established as a nonprofit, collaborative community to foster successful businesses for its members, WIC sponsors programs and activities to help members network, improve their skills, and thrive even in a tumultuous economic climate, and also provides consulting leadership and support to the community at large.
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