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What is the value of my work?


What do I put on the invoice? Pricing and consulting.

Prices express value for the service provider, recipient, and the social and economic environment. If there can be only one price in the end, which determines the #value now and by what criteria?

Like other members of the consulting profession, I also have difficulties setting a price for my excellent work. I am torn between wanting to do my client as much good as possible and having a material benefit from my work. 

So what is a helpful criterion to set a price for consulting work? 

  • First, there is my current need for material equipment. But that can be extraordinarily volatile, and what can my client do about it if I happen to be broke?
  • Then there is the current urgency with which my client needs my services. However, I am reluctant to exploit my counterpart’s needs to my advantage.
  • The actual material benefit could be a criterion. But what about the excellent benefit, and what does it mean if my client does not use a good job of mine?
  • The market price is a possibility that could free me from my decision dilemma. The only question is, which market do I go by? There also remains the question of whether a market price will meet my needs and those of the client. 

I would like to see a culture of negotiation in the consulting business, like in the cattle market in the past. There it was possible to find out where the needs and pain points of the business partner were in a ritualised dialogue. And both partners could decide freely in the end. 

As I write this, I realise that my work and the need to make a profit may be based on two different ideas of relationships. 

  • A good counselling relationship is free of demands on the client. He is free in his wishes and decisions.
  • However, when writing an invoice, I am required to make a demand on him. 

So how do I quantify the monetary value of my work with so many conflicting determinants? 

I think I will join the „market“.