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How Much Should You Charge For Your Design Services? - RD136: How much should you charge for your design services? How many times have you asked yourself that question? It doesn’t matter if you are new to the design life or a veteran designer, that nagging question is always around. How much should you...

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How much should you charge for your design services? How many times have you asked yourself that question? It doesn’t matter if you are new to the design life or a veteran designer, that nagging question is always around. How much should you charge for your design services? There are many things to take into consideration when you ask yourself that question. Such as what pricing strategy you want to use for your design business. But regardless of which approach you choose, be it charging by the hour, by the project, or based on value, you still need to figure out how much to charge for your services. But where do you start? How do you know if you should charge $20 an hour, $50 an hour or $100 an hour? For project-based pricing, do you charge $500, $5,000 or $50,000 for a website? Figuring out how much to charge can get confusing. I'm going to share one way for you to look at things that may help you calculate what you should be charging as well as help you figure out what type of clients you should be going after. Look for the sweet spot The trick to figuring out how much you should be charging for your design services is to find that sweet spot between how much you charge your clients and how many clients you need to sustain the lifestyle you want to live. The first step is to figure out how much money you want to make annually as a designer. You could pick a number at random and say you want to make $30,000 a year, or $80,000 or even $200,000. Or you can try calculating your business and personal expenses, including savings plus money for leisure things, and come up with an annual salary to cover that number. Regardless of how you come up with the annual amount you want to make, once you know it, it’s time to look at your design rate versus your workload. For example, let's say you want to make $48,000 per year. $48,000 per year is $4,000 per month or $1,000 per week (based on four weeks per month. The extra days are your vacation days). At a regular 40 hour per week 9-5 job, your wage would be $25 per hour to achieve this. But as a home-based designer, you are not working a 40 hour per week 9-5 job. Chances are you are not working 40 billable hours per week either. You may be working 40 or more hours per week, but they are probably not all billable. To figure out how much to charge your clients and how many clients you need to take on, we have to do some calculations. There are several ways for you to make $4,000 per month such as. 1 client that pays you $4000/month 2 clients that pay you $2000/month 4 clients that pay you $1000/month 8 clients that pay you $500/month 16 clients that pay you $250/month 20 clients that pay you $200/month 40 clients that pay you $100/month Every one of these bullet points will earn you $4,000 per month. But if you imagine them like a bell curve, you will find a sweet spot somewhere in the middle that will be much easier to attain and maintain. That sweet spot is where you have the right number of clients paying you the right amount of money to earn your desired monthly income. While at the same time having a number of clients that is sustainable. Let’s look at those numbers again. One $4,000 client each month. Finding one client every month that will pay you $4000 may prove difficult for some designers. It will take a lot of work to acquire and onboard a new $4000 client every month. Not to mention that $4000 clients will demand a lot of you which could be stressful for you. Failing to sign a new client every month could leave you financially strapped. Forty $100 clients each month. At the other end of the scale, procuring forty $100 clients every month will also be very difficult and stress-inducing. You will need to spend a lot of your unbillable time trying to acquire 40 clients each month. Then, after onboarding all of these clients, you still need to find the time to produce 40 pieces of design work that month. That’s 2 completed design pieces per business day. Not to mention, lower pa

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