I am setting up my own freelance business and have checked out the going rate for work, but I know from colleagues that rates have been dropping recently due to the credit crunch. I don’t want to price myself out of the market, but I also don’t want to undersell myself. What is the best way of going about this?
This is a good question. And my advice would be to go to market with the rate you have quoted – as this must be the rate you feel comfortable charging – and wait for the response. If clients accept this rate, great. If clients tell you they are being offered lower quotes from other people who have comparable expertise and skills to you, decide first how much you want this client’s business and then make a call on adjusting your rate. If a client wants you enough, and values your reliable and quality service, it will take more than cost to attract them to another provider. Aim to compete on quality, not cost.
On a final note, you might be interested at an online hourly rate calculator developed by the good people at Freelance Switch. You can check it out at http://freelanceswitch.com/rates
Hope this helps.