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Many of us work as sole traders or freelancers. We sell our services online or in person, we make money from our crafts or talents, or we run our own businesses. It can be a way to a fantastic work-life balance and a wonderful lifestyle. It gives you a chance to do something that you love and to work flexibly. It can be a truly wonderful thing.
But, many freelancers and sole traders struggle with getting paid. Individuals and companies are often reluctant to pay up or to pay the correct amount, and many freelancers are unwilling to ask for money. If you’ve always been an employee before, it can be hard to suddenly find yourself in a position of having to ask for money or value your worth. Because of this many of us fail to get what we are worth. We accept low offers of payment, as we are so glad that we are getting paid at all.
This won’t ever work. You’ll find yourself out of pocket, demotivated and struggling to grow your business as you’ve got so little money to put back into it. You’ll also be seen as someone that’s easy to take advantage of, and so the cycle will continue. Learn how to get paid what you are worth, and you’ll earn more, grow as a professional business and get the respect that you deserve.
Seek Legal Advice
Seeking legal advice might seem extreme, but it can be worth talking to someone from Slack Davis Sanger Law Firm for your own piece of mind. You’ll know that your policies are fair and legal, and you’ll have a firmer understanding of your rights. You’ll also have representation if someone refuses to pay or makes a complaint in the future.
Set Your Rates
If you want to get paid what you are worth, you first need to work out what that is. You need to set your rates, advertise them, stick to them and not be afraid to tell people. This can be difficult. If you offer a service, such as writing or consultancy, where there’s no equipment needed, you just need to work out how much your time is worth and decide whether you want to be paid hourly, or per job. Then, think about how much you’d expect to be paid as an employee with your knowledge or experience.
If you create a product, say you make occasion cakes, there’s more to consider, and each project will have its own price to cover materials used as well as your time and skills. But, price up the equipment and ingredients that you use a lot and come up with an hourly rate of pay.
Customers often fail to understand that if they are paying for a unique piece from a freelancer, that they need to pay for their time. They expect to pay for the product like they would from a high street store. Failing to release that the store had covered the labor costs. If you’ve got a website, it can be worth publishing your payment policies and explaining that you charge an hourly fee so that you can earn money. If not, print your policies on your invoices and don’t be afraid to tell people if they ask for an explanation of your charges.
Do Some Research
One problem we have is coming up with that number. If we’re unsure of how to value our time and talents, we just pluck a number out of thin air. This isn’t your worth; it’s a random, meaningless number. It’s probably far too low too. Instead of guessing, do some research. Look online to find people that offer the same or similar services to a similar quality. Take a look at their prices or ask for a quote. You can also join groups on social media and get to know other home workers who can advise you.
You are much more likely to be paid promptly if you are professional. Agree on a price before you start work, then, send a well-written invoice, specifying charges, late fees and policies. If you need to, follow up later. But, always be professional. Be friendly, but don’t get chatty, and only ask for money in emails, never over social media or chats. It’s more professional, and it gives you a paper trail.
Your worth at the start of your career won’t be the same as your worth in a few years. It grows with experience and improvement but also with the rising cost of supplies and energy. Evaluate your fees every few months to make sure they still accurately reflect the work that you do.