Find out if you're undercharging

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October 08, 2013
Find out if you're undercharging.

thumbnailOne of the hardest parts of starting your business or freelancing is trying to figure out what you should charge. Years ago after accepting pennies on the dollar for work, I decided I wanted to get really serious about freelancing. I wanted to dive in headfirst and never look back. But I didn't know what to charge.

So, I did what any real professional would do and I Google'd it. There were countless blogs and articles that attempted to break pricing down and give me a good idea about what I should charge. It was all too much for me to process until I just decided to charge what I felt was good and increase steadily each month.

Pricing is a tough area for some of us, especially those of us who are passionate about the work. Many of us wouldn't mind doing work for free just because we like it so much, but then, that's irresponsible. So again, we're left with the age old question, "What should I charge"?

YourRate.co

That's where YourRate.co comes in. It's a no-nonsense calculator that tells you how much you should charge. They ask 3 simple questions: how much do you want to make per month? How many hours a week do you want to work? And how many weeks do you want off a year? After inputting the info, you'll get a figure that gives you your hourly rate.

The key to YourRate's approach? It's not about what the market will bare, it's about what you're worth.

Pro: It's simple. It was created solely to figure out how much a freelancer should make an hour.

Cons: It doesn't include expenses. And this is really minor, but be aware that you want to factor that type of thing into your desired income per month. It's no biggie to include on your own, but it's definitely something you'll want to think about. However, the calculator does double your rate for some expenses such as taxes.

yourrate

Here's a picture of my ideals. I'm dreaming, but obviously you need to make sure these are figures you're comfortable with and go from there. You also may want to see how this fits for you if you don't do hourly and only do flat rates (like myself). The idea of this website is obviously to get you to value yourself more and charge more for what you desire. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of charging what 'the guy down the street' charges; you're not the guy down the street, if you're not meeting your goals what are you doing?

Are you undercharging? How do you calculate your rate? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image/thumbnail, money image via Shutterstock.

Kendra Gaines

Kendra Gaines is a freelance designer from Virginia, USA. Connect with her.

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