Rates – Let’s Talk Money

MoneyApparently the event planning world in Ohio is a very small world indeed. Since making it known that I was leaving my job, I have gotten call after call from fellow event planners, colleagues and my general network. There are rumors flying around that I have been (gasp!) laid off or worse, fired (yeah right – they begged me to stay). Everyone wants to know what I will be doing and why I decided to leave. Once they find out the real story the next question is: What are your rates?

Now I was expecting some rumble about my decision, but I was not expecting this. People actually want to meet with me, give me advice and most importantly they want to hire me. So now I am left with setting my rates, and fast. I already have several meetings set up next week for potential projects. Ah! I thought this would take a while. But work is work and I want to take advantage of this buzz while I can.

So all day, instead of doing actual paid work, I have been researching rates. There is a lot of contradictory information out there on what to charge. Some people charge by the type of work, while others charge a flat rate per hour. I have decided to go with a flat rate per hour. I think it will make it easier for me come tax time and easier for my clients to understand.

So this is what I have decided to base my rates on:

• What I was making as my salary, broken down into an hourly rate for 50 weeks a year (factoring in 2 weeks of vacation).
• My estimated expenses such as, my taxes, my benefits, equipment, location, etc.
• What other people are charging for similar services.
• A price range of pure profit that I would like to make.
• The fact that most freelancers only work 23 billable hours a week – the rest is spent marketing, bookkeeping and the general duties of running a business.

That gave me my base rate. Next, I put it into an equation to see what my estimated yearly income would be. Here is the equation I used to get my estimated yearly income:

(Billable hours a week) (my hourly rate) (50 working weeks a year) = yearly income

Wow! I can only hope to make that much! Which means I must start asking for these rates and pushing my skills and services! What do you do to figure out your rates? Do you charge per hour, or per project?

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2 thoughts on “Rates – Let’s Talk Money

  1. My rates vary depending on the project. I have one client for whom I do some content management, and that is billed by the hour. Mostly, though, it is per project or by the word count. For some projects, I’m willing to accept a little bit less because it is interesting work and/or it’ll be good for my portfolio. But I just got a gig that pays 10 cents a word, which is AWESOME. Knowing that a client is willing to pay that much for my work means that I am justified in charging other clients the same!

  2. Karen, 10 cents a word is awesome! Congrats! I’m going to try to be flexible with clients and some can be per word depending on the project. I’m going with an hourly rate right now because so far, most of the stuff people want to talk to me about are print pieces. We’ll see, but at least I have a starting point and I know my bottom line.

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