You should lose at least one out of four assignments because you’re too expensive. If you land every job, you’re not charging enough, or, you are irresistibly charming. Either way, you should charge more.
Time from first contact with a client, to seeing any money from them: minimum 30 days. Yes, even if you get money up front. It will take them that long to decide. There is no fast money. Especially when you need it.
To accurately figure out how long a job will take, give it your best estimate, then add 10%. Then double it. Then ditch that number and recalculate. You will still be wrong. If it takes less time than you figured, you forgot something. Or the client will hate it.
For every person on the client side who must approve your work, add 12% to the fee. (20% for any spouse or brother-in-law.)
For every ten new people you talk to, five will call you back. Three will try you on an assignment. One will turn out to be a long-term client with a decent budget. Somewhere in there will also be a lunatic. Just hope it’s not the one with the money.
To determine your hourly rate, start with the annual income you need. Divide by 2,000. Take your monthly expenses, divide by 160. Add. Or just pick $150 per hour and see what happens.
The day after you receive a huge check, your productivity will drop an average of 82%.
Technically, there are always two days of leeway in any deadline. If you’re running behind, it’s three days.
On a $1000 project, you will need to endure $1000 worth of pain and effort. For a $300 project, it’s about the same.
When discussing your fee, every time you say ‘Um. . .’ you give away 15%. If you clear your throat, you’re working for minimum wage.
Now, continue to: