Back in June 2007, when Lewis Hamilton was in his inaugural year on the formula one circuit, I wrote about how a gardening company should set about looking for a central contract that would bring in revenue at above the normal market rate.
In my experience, many traders have a 'just enough' policy when it comes to selling themselves, which leaves a fraught and desperate scramble to reach targets for the year end.
We have already worked out how to set an hourly rate, but look what extra value you can provide that enables you to sell yourself at a higher price.
Remember, you only need to add one pound an hour to your rate and there is two thousand pounds a year extra on the profit line; bear in mind, it costs you the same to sell yourself at £15.00 as it does at £16.00 or higher.
I am not suggesting, especially at this financially sensitive time that everyone 'ups' their rates because it is likely that there is a hungry business, looking to fill a hole in their schedules, who will happily undercut you.
You may well be a business who has a menu of rates based on your needs and you are happy to stick to that. But, what if you have one under performing contract that is dragging your profits down?
You have three choices. 1. Continue as you are and accept the situation. 2. Ask your client for an opportunity to reassess the prices you are charging and risk them saying no (this also reveals your hand) or 3. Look to replace the contract with something that pays more.
Finding the contract is the hardest part so do some research and try looking for someone with a need - if you are confident and comfortable that you can deliver a quality service, the client will be happy to pay your higher rate.
I used Lewis Hamilton as an example because it is a classic case, especially as he is now rumoured to be worth £100 million a year. He will be able and obliged to pay that little bit more.
Has the financial climate affected your business? - feel free to leave a comment.