Should your charge more for urgent projects?
Fee overruns and other “extras” resulting from work in exceptional circumstances are common (doctors on duty, night locksmiths, etc.) Why should things be different for a freelancer? We’ll explain how and why you should charge more for urgent projects.
1. Urgent projects: can you deal with them?
Fear of doing something wrong, not satisfying your client, not making the most of your skills, or failing to meet deadlines... It is clear that urgent work is a stress factor and a source of great frustration. So, you should think carefully when you are offered this type of urgency. Above all, it is necessary to question your ability to take on such working conditions. But you must also ask yourself whether such a contract has real value in and of itself (is it a long-term customer, for example).
2. Learning to manage urgent tasks
Be careful, when you accept to do urgent tasks, it should not be accepted if you think it can be unhealthy for you or for your clients. You should not sleep 2 hours a night simply because you are incapable of refusing a contract. Obviously, refusing a project or task is also a delicate matter, but it should be thought out carefully. In short, it would thus be justifiable, if you do decide to undertake the urgent project, to charge extra for the service.
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3. Increase your rates … Yes, but how?
Urgent work, due to the difficulties that accompany it, is usually billed 2 to 3 times more expensive by freelancers. Obviously, this rate is not a rule, depending on your area of activity, your schedule and the level of urgency, of course, (translating 1000 words in 1 hour or 3 hours is not of the same level of urgency). Just be careful that your request for a raise is not tantamount to extortion. The rate must be reasonable in respect to the production conditions imposed and must be justifiable.
Working on weekends and nights would normally require a raise, as for any paid work. A customer who cannot understand this is certainly not serious...
4. Dialogue with YOUR clients
Initially, it is necessary to initiate a discussion with your clients and explain to them the constraints that may weigh on you should you accept their proposal to urgent work. Your flexibility and speed while being able to “produce” quality content are the reasons that, among other things, motivate your overbilling. Also, do not hesitate to detail how your other clients may be affected by the situation.
But the discussion must also be initiated with your current customers. If you are likely to fall behind on your other work, do not wait to notify them. The opposite would be detrimental to your reputation and therefore your business. In any case, it is better to refuse the urgent contract than to endanger your other commitments.
By now you will have understood, urgent work deserves above all to be surcharged! Freelancing falls in the same category as any other work. The key to success is undoubtedly communication.