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The going rate

What are you worth?

Lucy Caldicott
Lucy Caldicott
3 min read
The going rate
Photo of antique cash register by Evergreens and Dandelions on Unsplash

I was chatting to someone this week - a talented expert in her line of work - about the quote for some work she's doing for me. She revealed that she'd been a bit nervous about asking me to pay her. We agreed that this bit of business life can be squirm-inducing.

In the very first new business conversation I had, I listened well to what the potential client was looking for, asked sensible questions, talked perfectly eloquently about what I could do. At the end of the conversation, they asked what my day rate was. I felt very unprepared and uncertain what to say. I managed to cover it up by saying I wanted to think through the work that I thought was required and I'd come back with a full proposal. Of course, I forgot to ask about the budget too!

A self-employed friend kindly shared his approach to setting a day rate. He'd calculated how much he needed to earn, then divided it by how many days he was actually available to bill clients (excluding weekends, holidays, days doing admin, days writing new business proposals, duvet days) and then divided the one into the other. He'd then done some asking around among other consultants to see if he was in the right ballpark.

I was astonished. I'd simply not thought of it like that. I'd been thinking about setting a rate based on what I think I'm worth. Self-doubt crept in. Charge too much and not win work because I was too expensive, or charge too little and not win work because I was too cheap.

I did win that first piece of work but the lessons learned ever since about how to set and stick to your day rate, not being afraid to quote it (it gets easier the more you do it), asking for a client's budget up front are invaluable. And so I share them here.

Interesting and useful links 🖇️

Inclusion London have put together some really useful tools here to help ensure Deaf and Disabled people’s issues are kept front of mind during the local elections on 5 May.

Elections will be held in these places and you have until 14 April to register to vote.

Here are some resources from Tell MAMA about awareness and support for staff during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan which began on April 2

Learning points 🎓

Did you know that turn out in local elections is roughly half that of general elections? Data here. Please vote!

Day of the Week 📆

For Stress Awareness Month, Charity Comms compiled a handy list of links to resources and tips to help people manage their mental wellbeing  

What am I reading? 📚

Beatfreeks is an organisation I used to work with when I was at UpRising. They do youth engagement and insight work. Well worth a look at some of their reports

What am I watching? 👀

There are some wonderful free to view films available on the BFI's web site. Black to Front documents the Brixton 1978 by election in which the National Front stood a candidate.

What am I listening to?👂

I really enjoyed listening to Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS and former Executive Director of Oxfam International, sharing her Desert Island Discs, and sharing what it was like to grow up in Idi Amin's Uganda and then come to study at Manchester University. Link here

Joy-giving things 😍

These tapirs were evacuated from Kharkiv zoo

And here's a link to a captioned video featuring the tapirs' kangaroo friends.

Have a great weekend


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