Freelance Life: How Much Are You Worth?

With less hiring right now for traditional employee jobs, it seems more job seekers are taking on paid projects instead, i.e., freelance or contract work.

          Whether by choice or by necessity, one of the hardest parts of being a freelancer is trying to figure out how much to charge. Yes, I am begging the question – how much do you think you are worth?

          First of all, think about how much money you NEED to make to keep the lights on, food on the table and a roof over your head. Next, make a list of expenses related to your business – equipment, office, meetings, travel, and of course, taxes! If you are not sure about these things, try to break them down monthly. For example, you may allot $500 a month for meetings, which can include lunches, drinks, travel to meetings, coffee, and anything else you might need. Equipment, think about any big purchases you may need to make – computers, smart phones, printers, etc.

 Then, you need to figure out how many hours you want to work each week – and how much of your time you realistically can bill clients for. While it is great to be working every day, it rarely happens. A good estimate is that you will spend one-third of your time billing, one-third of your time doing non-billable work to support clients (admin/organization) and one-third of your time working to get new clients.  

         The next part of the equation is tricky. What do your competitors charge? You want to keep your prices near your competitors ?  Curious about your competition? 

         A word of caution on rates: at least initially, you may be inclined to lower your rates in order to earn money, feeling the pressure to bow to a client’s needs. Only do this if you a) really – and I mean REALLY – want to do the project; b) your lights are about to get shut off; c) the project can honestly help you build your business with the likelihood of more work; or d) you have absolutely no other work to do and an empty calendar.

          It’s really important to do some research on rates and set yours before you go diving head first into something. It will help you to organize your time and know when to say yes and when to say no to an offer.

Vocabulary

 Allot (to allot): destinar, alocar, repartir.

Freelance: doing particular pieces of work for different organizations, rather than working all the time for a single organization.

Texto adaptado para propósitos pedagógicos. Pode ser visualizado na íntegra no link descrito pela fonte.

Fonte: http://www.lifetuner.org/article/417-freelance_life_how_much_are_you_worth

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