How should you prepare for the festive period when there is less work? And if a client does approach you, can you raise your rates?
The saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ couldn’t be better suited for life as a freelancer. When the work is there, life feels abundant, but when it isn’t – it can feel pretty barren.
So, how is it possible to plan for the festive period, when it comes to work – and should you increase your rates?
I write as a voiceover artist and founder of Freelance Mum – the child-friendly networking group, designed to support fellow parents in business, so I know what a difficult time of year it can be, on many levels.
On one hand you feel like attaching a tap to your bank account and watching the money pour out for Christmas. On the other you watch the work dry up during the festive session. Combine the two and it can make for a challenging cash flow!
So should you increase your rates over Christmas and how can you prepare as a freelancer?
Like all things, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s more a case of finding the solution that works best for you. If you’re happy ‘shutting shop’ and taking the Christmas period off, then surely that’s the perk of being your own boss. But if some one approaches you to work during that time, should you increase your rates accordingly?
I recently pitched this question to The Mothership (the Facebook Group for Freelance Mum) and had some interesting answers, but the general vibe was ‘no, people already felt their rates were fair and if they couldn’t balance work & family around that time, then they shouldn’t have taken the job’.
I recently went to book tickets to take my girls to see Santa and was shocked to discover I had to pay more money, if they wanted to see him closer to Christmas. To me, that’s a bigger business, taking full advantage of children and surely the true spirit of Christmas?
However, there’s a caveats, 1) if you want the work 2) is it worth it for your portfolio etc. Then do they want it during your normal work hours or is it to be done in “extra time. ” If it’s extra / to be done in super quick / unreasonable timescales I’d add 20% + on top of the usual – but ONLY if you want to do it.
An abridged version of this post featured in IPSE – Modern Work Magazine, in Ask The Expert.