A fellow student asked me the following question:
“A company has approached me to conduct a market research yielding results on target market potential, price ranges for services, competative environment, forecasting of profits & costs, etc…how much does something like this cost? I have only done this type of project as part of my job included in my salary in full time positions at furtune 500 companies…so I would not have any idea…I would appreciate your input. Thanks. I have not idea how long it will take me, or how many hours it will be, I am doing it alone for the first time. I have only done it with a team w/in the corp world.”
You can use your experience from the corporate world to work out the costs for this project.
To get an estimate, I would suggest the following:
Set up a project plan. In here you write out the type of survey you will do, the questions you are going to answer, the data you are going to use and how you are going to report on the results.
In the project plan you include a timeline. How many hours will it take to perform the different steps of the project. Here you can use your expertise to get the estimates in place. Include an additional 20% of time to be on the safe side.
Although you have only done this before in team work, you probably have an idea how many people in the past worked on a project and how long it took. On your own it will take longer as you cannot easily do things simultatiously, but that’s why you plan out when you are going to do what.
As for the quote, it depends first of all the costs you will have to make. Do you need to travel? Do you need to buy special data or will all be delivered by the company for whom the project is. You can always include a special section in your quote in which you state that any travel costs will be charged separately.
For your hourly rate, most market research agencies charge around £100 to £150 per hour (it is the same value for dollars). If it is your first probject you can consider a discount. But I would aim for something in that region.