to increase my hourly rate

(8 Posts)
seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Tue 27-Sep-16 15:09:24

I'm a freelancer. I've been freelancing for about 8 years. I put my day rate up once in this time, about a year after I started when I had established and proved myself. So it's been the same rate for about 6 and half/7 years. I know I am 'cheap' compared to many peers in the same field, but I know this tends to keep me in work most of the time.

I have recently changed my working hours as both DCs are now in full time school. It seems like a good time to also review my rate - and move to an hourly rate as I will now be working 2 school days and 2 full days, making a day-rate less relevant 50% of my working week.

I know the market rate for someone with my experience is about 20% more than what I currently charge.

Is it career/business suicide and AIBU to increase my rate by this much? Bearing in mind current economic climate as well. On the one hand I don't want to sell myself short, but on the other I don't want to appear to be taking the piss.

lemony7 Tue 27-Sep-16 16:53:43

What field are you in? Do you have a lot of regular clients? Would this rate be for new clients or existing ones too? Could you afford to lose existing clients if you charge any more?

I'm a freelancer too (when my health is good) and should really charge more for what I do, but like you, I get more work because I'm cheaper.

You want to be competitive but neither sell yourself short or charge too much! It's so tricky. Also, a lot of people get a pay rise annually, and if you've not had one in 6+ years you're due one.

SquawkFish Tue 27-Sep-16 17:07:05

Also a freelancer.

My rates will be going up in the New Year, they are cheap at the moment as I've just started out. I think that the New Year is a good time to do these things as it is a time of fresh starts for a lot of people.

Are you able to manage until then?

SandyY2K Tue 27-Sep-16 17:11:10

I guess it depends on demand for your field and the going rate, but 6 years is a long time to stay at the same rate.

ihatethecold Tue 27-Sep-16 17:12:15

The person who looks after my dogs when i go on holiday has recently put her prices up but im happy to pay it because she provides an excellent service and i trust her with my beloved dogs.
she is worth the extra money, if you feel you are then you should show that in your fees.

TheNaze73 Tue 27-Sep-16 17:18:43

It's all about supply & demand and where you pitch yourself brand wise. Go for it

CurlsLDN Tue 27-Sep-16 17:24:10

Go for it, don't undersell yourself, all businesses understand inflation. However 20% could be a painful leap for your clients, so you may want to consider increasing eg 7% a year for the next 3 years.

I don't agree that new year is a great time to increase prices, as that's the start of the last quarter of the financial year, when budgets are already assigned and it's hard to find extra cash. I would suggest either doing it now or at the start of the financial year (perhaps warning of the increase a month before the close of the financial year, so that your clients can plan the extra cost into their new budgets)

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Tue 27-Sep-16 20:46:01

Thanks for the replies. I agree 20% for existing clients would be a big jump. My plan would be to do a middle ground rate increase for them. For new and my more intermittent/occasional clients perhaps a bit more.

Thank you.

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