by Ashley Livingston
Here are five reasons why you should absolutely raise, or even double, your rates today.
1. You’ll have more money
More money is, of course, an obvious benefit. When the stress of being able to make ends meet is eliminated, you become more productive. With a higher income, you’re able to invest time and money in your personal wellbeing through proper health care, mental health days as they are needed, and vacations. These are all necessary for a person – especially an entrepreneur – to thrive, and give 100% every day that they show up for work.
But an increased capacity to splurge isn’t the only benefit. An entrepreneurial or freelance lifestyle comes with a degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. When you double your rates, you’re putting in yourself in a more secure position. Not only will you be able to pay down debts more quickly with a higher income, but you will be able to build a hefty emergency fund, contribute more significantly to your retirement account, and build a buffer to cover you during slower times.
2. It improves the freelance market for everyone
Many times we, as women, aren’t as bold as we should be when charging our customers or clients. Just as in the corporate world, where we are more hesitant to ask for raises, and when we do, we ask for less, as entrepreneurs we charge lower rates and we are quicker to negotiate them.
This is bad, not just for ourselves as individuals, but for female entrepreneurs across the board. When everyone charges premium rates for premium work or products, it sets realistic expectations for the people who use our services. When we charge a cut rate price, or are too quick to negotiate our rates, we make it more difficult for the next female entrepreneur to charge a higher rate or hold firm her price.
3. You’re not charging for just your time
Your rate needs to account for more than just your time. It also needs to account for your overhead like supplies, technology, office space, and health care. If you need help calculating this minimum base rate – the one that you will never drop beneath – you can use this calculator over here (http://ashleythedeveloper.co/posts/how-to-set-freelance-rates#calcForm).
That’s not all your rate should cover, though. You also must account for the value that you are bringing your clients or customers. You’re providing a solution for your clients and customers, one that will probably yield a significant return on their investment, over and over. Be sure you’re rate acknowledges that value.
4. It makes you look more valuable to clients and you can package your services in different ways
By charging higher rates, you’re able to express the value you’re bringing to your clients in a more obvious way. Also, by increasing your rate, you have the opportunity to repackage and rebundle your services so that you are offering a greater value to your clients. As an example, which sounds more impressive: a person charging $40/hour to build a website, or a person charging $5,000 who provides a custom website designed to solve the client’s needs, a full SEO workup, and several hours of post-project support.
5. You can focus on your products and your work, not selling
When you’re charging double what you did before, you only need half the amount of clients you did previously to maintain your income. This is great news because it takes the pressure off to constantly scope and sell new clients. These activities will always be a part of your day to day life, but your focus can return to your actual business – the part you love, where you can create and build products and projects you’re really proud of.
I’m Ashley Livingston, web developer, blogger, and freelance coach at http://ashleythedeveloper.co. I run two courses to help both new and experienced freelancers up their game and take their business to the next level. Crafty person, loves popcorn and goats.