SOURCE: Women in Consulting

Women in Consulting

October 23, 2012 12:00 ET

11th Annual Women in Consulting (WIC) Survey Reveals Best Practices of the Most Successful Bay Area Consultants

Results Show Bay Area's Best Consultants Earned More Than Three Times as Much as Other Consultants, and Significantly Increased Median Gross Income for Second Year in a Row

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 23, 2012) - The most successful Bay Area consultants make more than triple the amount of other consultants, have significantly increased their gross median income for the second year in a row, and generally command higher rates, have larger organizations, and operate differently from less-successful consultants.

These are just some of the findings from the 11th Annual Women in Consulting (WIC) Best Practices and Compensation Survey, which will be discussed in detail in a webinar on Wednesday, November 7, 11 a.m. PST. WIC is a collaborative community offering professional consultants and small business owners a powerful resource to help them build strong businesses. The survey is the only one of its kind to reflect the state of consulting in the Bay Area.

"The WIC survey is of great benefit to consultants nationwide," said Avery Horzewski, president of AVE Consulting and WIC interim president. "The results underscore our mission to foster collaboration and truly provide tools consultants and small business owners can use to strengthen and grow their businesses."

The top 20 percent of survey respondents indicate that the best Bay Area consultants are surviving and even thriving in today's challenging business environment. As an example, the top earners typically maintain a complex business structure (corporation or LLC), count large enterprise companies as clients, are more likely to charge retainers or project fees (as opposed to billing by the hour), and generally charge more for their services.

"My business basically doubled between 2010 and 2012," said Norma Watenpaugh, founder and principal of the Phoenix Consulting Group, adding that most of her business came from Fortune 100 companies. "I have been referred to others within the same companies; I almost always work with at least one partner; and I heavily subcontract. I think partnering generally improves the quality of the final work and enables me to take on larger, more complex projects."

Watenpaugh goes on to say that maintaining good client relationships and working diligently to build a good reputation have also been important to her success.

Some specifics about the top 20 percent:

  • Their median gross income is dramatically higher, $373,000, compared to $99,720 for all respondents 
  • Two-thirds operate either as a corporation or LLC (which may be required to work with larger companies)
  • These consultants are three times as likely to have employees as the other respondents
  • They're 50 percent more likely to use subcontractors
  • They're also more likely to charge at least part of their fees up front, bill on a retainer basis, and work directly with clients (as opposed to being subcontractors)

The November 7th webinar detailing the survey results is complimentary for WIC full and Leaders Network members and $30 for all other attendees. To attend, register online at A free summary of the 2012 WIC Best Practices and Compensation Survey is available on the WIC website, and detailed findings are available online exclusively to WIC members.

About WIC
Women in Consulting (WIC) is a vibrant, diverse, and powerful community of consultants and small business owners working to build strong businesses. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998, WIC provides its 400+ members and affiliates a forum to connect and share with like-minded professionals. Established as a nonprofit, collaborative community to foster successful businesses for its members, WIC sponsors programs and activities to help members network, improve their skills, and thrive even in a tumultuous economic climate, and also provides consulting leadership and support to the community at large.

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