Price Sends a Signal
When I’m not working on Poker Copilot I do IT consulting in Germany. Specifically in Java projects. Due to Poker Copilot’s success I don’t really need to keep doing consulting. And I don’t find it the most enjoyable work in the world. The consultant’s dilemma is this: well-run IT teams typically don’t need external consultants. Therefore it’s almost certain that any consulting gig will be in a somewhat dysfunctional environment.
If I don’t enjoy the work much, and I don’t need to do it to meet my expenses, then why continue? A very good question! So I’ve taken that old advice of hiking up the rates to at least make the work more finanically rewarding.
They say price sends a signal. If you charge average rates, you are presenting yourself as an average consultant, barely nothing more than a commodity. If you charge 50% more than your competition, you are presenting yourself as a superior service. When a potential customer needs the best to solve their problem, they may be willing to pay the premium. The higher rate also signals an ability and willingness to work in senior roles.
So as of yesterday, I’ve dramatically hiked up my Java consulting rates.
I’m also doing this because I feel I have more to offer than many of my peers. Often an IT consultant has previously only worked as an permanent employee programmer for a big organisation for many years, before going it alone. Whereas I’ve founded, run, and sold a consulting firm, in which I led to completion projects of various sizes for all sorts of clients. Business analysis, writing specs, building and mentoring a team, database modelling, usability are all areas I’ve worked in. So I feel that I’m short-changing myself when I charge the same rate as a “body for hire”.
Will this succeed? I don’t know. If it fails…more time for Poker Copilot. If it succeeds…good!