How much do I charge for a market research project for a company?

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.

master research

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5 Comments
  1. Value your time per hour based in your knowledge of the subject and if there is someone else that can do the job
    References :

  2. With your writing abilities, I would not say too much: it is fortune, and competetive ;)

    Seriously:
    Fixed price or per-hour? How are you delivering the results?

    Actual survey questions and answers that you create and summarize, or is it secondary research?

    Are you planning on doing cross-tabs? Those are a little more expensive.

    I would say somewhere around $100 / hour, put you have to lay out in the proposal exactly what is included and what is excluded (scope). Also include an expected # of hours to complete the work.

    I also would highly encourage you to become an LLC corporation (USA), because you don’t want to be personally laible for the results. Do this before engaging in any business transaction.
    References :

  3. First, you need to estimate how much time you will need to complete the project. Then, take the amount of time you estimate and multiply the hours by your hourly consulting fee.
    Professional marketing consultants charge anywhere from $125/hour on up. I do not know what comparative fees are in your area, or what the size of the company is, or, most importantly, what the scope of your market research project is.

    Has the company given you details of what they are expecting?
    Have you created a proposal for them?

    In the proposal you need to say
    1)that you will do a,b,c,d (depends on their needs)
    2) what the deliverables are
    3) what your fees are

    Good Luck
    References :
    Consulting experience

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