If you are a PR agency or other service business, here are some thoughts on maximizing your fees in today’s tough economic times.
Premise: Value is based on worth!
1. Fees should be based on fulfilling value, not tasks. Tasks make you a commodity.
2. Value is in the eyes or your client.
3. Billing in units is sure to make you a commodity and less profitable. You will never capture consumer surplus.
Always quote "project" fees not an hourly rate. It opens doors for client discussion. Clients feel they are not always on the clock and this can lead to new work. Project fees are an agreed-upon investment in return for a agreed-upon result. Don't be afraid of using the "change order." The construction industry does it all the time.
Billing rates should be used to measure client profitability, not how you determine value. If a client asks for your billing rates tell them you don't use them to determine price (use the word "investment" instead of price.) Tell them you quote project fees based on many different criteria. If a client has a crisis, are you going to quote them an hourly rate?