One of the trickiest aspects of being an interim manager is setting a fee that doesn’t sell your skills short. Here is our take on the qualities you need to get the best interim daily rate.
Interim managers are used so often by organisations because they are able to apply their high levels of skills and experience at short notice. Of course, when initial discussions have taken place, both the interim manager and the business need to get down to the nitty gritty of which rate or fee will be paid. To maximise your earnings, it’s essential that you develop a good awareness of your place within the labour market and the scarcity or value of your skills.
Tips for Getting the Best Interim Daily Rate
According to the Institute of Interim Management, daily rates throughout the UK range from £350 to £1,500. So how can you ensure that your rate is as high as it can be on that scale?
Be Financially Astute
The fundamental point is never to allow your rate to be eroded because organisations are unwilling or unable to consider the costs that you have to bear as a self-employed interim manager. Be clear on the percentage of your income that will have to be ‘sliced off’ to account for tax, national insurance, pension and unearned time such as holidays and exploratory meetings. Of course, you may want to be more flexible at the start of your interim career in order to gain testimonials and contacts but you should set clear expectations for your daily rate within a set period.
Have Commercial Acumen
When setting your daily rate, bear in mind is that you are not suggesting a fee for turning up and undertaking a number of tasks. The rate should relate to the value that you will have added to the organisation when the interim assignment is complete. Any assessment and proposition that you put to the company should be based upon factors such as cost savings, growth in turnover or your ability to deliver services or skills that the business doesn’t have. This clearly identifies your worth to the organisation and will improve the daily interim rate that you can negotiate. You shouldn’t allow the discussion to focus on comparable salaries of permanent employees – this simply isn’t comparing like for like and will undervalue your services.
Be Ready to Identify Opportunities
Don’t have one set daily rate that applies in all circumstances. There are a number of factors that may have an impact upon your ability to charge a higher rate. These include the interim contract being particularly short, greater travel requirements, how well your expertise matches the specific work’s demands, the availability of other suitably qualified interim managers and the difficulty of the assignment.
Be Results Driven
The most important quality that organisations seek in interim managers is the ability to deliver results. If you can demonstrate a strong track record in this aspect, you will be able to negotiate a higher daily rate. Your CV, LinkedIn profile and pitch should be full of examples and statistics of successful outcomes for which you have been responsible. If you are robust in the results that you can provide, the return on investment prospect of hiring you will become all the more attractive and you will be able to take advantage of this when setting a daily rate.
Know Where to Get the Right Information
Registering with a professional interim management provider agency such as Alium Partners will give you access to valuable data on the latest daily rates within your specialism. If you’re at the start of your interim career or prefer to leave the negotiation to the experts, this is a valid strategy for ensuring that you receive the best interim daily rate for each assignment.
Which qualities do you think are essential to landing the best interim daily rate? Please share your opinions below.