Focusing on the payouts offered by focus group facilities, I'm going to challenge status quo and request a more fair/equitable rate for services rendered.
Focus on What Matters
Listen up, focus group industry leaders near and far. I may be a focus group of one, but I have a thought with which the masses might agree. If you want to attract good talent for your next research study, please up the ante! Gone are the days where a $50-$60 payout is acceptable. Let me tell you why the minimum acceptable bid should be at least $80 for a focus group payout (or more even if you want quality > quantity).
Focus on What You Want
First, there are admin costs for the participant – namely joining your panel, completing screeners, and being verified for participation. Then, there are executing costs – such as driving to/from the location, arriving on time (or early), and actively partaking in the focus group activities. For all these efforts, a fair wage is due; for the purpose of staying consistent on my blog, I assign the average hourly rate of all US citizens that is $25.72. More so, most people who are available for your study need care arrangements for their children, and where I’m from the going rate is at least $15/hr. All and all, for the time exerted on each line item this all adds up to nearly $80. For demonstrative purposes, I’ve even supplied a nifty chart.
Focus on the Bottom Line
As with anything in life, pulling together a project balances time, quality, and money; and, it is important to find a zen spot that maximizes all three elements for both parties involved (i.e. your company and my hard work). The main point I'm trying to make is that if I feel fiscally rewarded for my involvement, I just might take your questions a bit more seriously and provide you with less superficial comments or insights. So, please prioritize raising the focus group payout - even at the expense of your budget because it will pay off in the end.
Focus on the Present
OK - one last thought. If we're negotiating away from the BATNA of $80, you might as well entice me with triple digits and offer a Ben Franklin (i.e. $100). If you invest in me, I’ll invest in you!