Will Design for Dollars: Considerations for Setting Fees

Image by sniphe

Image by sniphe

When you go into business for yourself, setting the right fees could help determine your success. It can be difficult to figure out what to charge; after all, it’s much more than knowing how much you want per hour. Start brainstorming by thinking about the following considerations:

  1. Overhead. What are the actual costs of your business? Between rent, office supplies, insurance, salaries, any legal services, and other necessities, what do you need to stay in business?
  2. Billable hours. If you’re freelancing, a lot of your working hours are going to be spent marketing and attracting future clients, as well as accounting, doing paperwork, and networking. These things can’t be charged, so you’ll need to base your per-hour fee on the number hours for which you can actually bill your clients.
  3. Competition. Obviously, you can’t charge too little or you won’t make a profit. At the same time, charging too much means you won’t get any business.
  4. Expertise. What you can charge will depend on your level of expertise. Obviously, if you have years of experience creating ads that sell, you can charge more than if you’re just breaking into the industry.
  5. Outside services. Are you ever going to need to hire a photographer, copywriter, or delivery service?

To get started on the details, look at AIGA’s Center for Practice Management to learn about setting your freelance rate, or check out this blog post for a thorough explanation of knowing how much to charge clients.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

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    Sanjeev Kumar

  2. Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    nice resources.

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