Self-Employed? Here’s How To Increase Your Hourly Rate

by Team Tradify, September 15, 2022

With the cost of materials, fuel, and other day-to-day necessities on the rise, it’s no surprise that many tradespeople have begun to adjust their own prices to compensate. In fact, in a recent social media poll conducted by Tradify, 81% of tradespeople who responded said that they planned on increasing their rate before the end of the year.Free Charge-Out Rate CalculatorIf you haven’t updated your charge-out rate in a while, now is the time. Inflation is showing no signs of slowing, so it’s important that you’re able to adapt in order to maintain healthy cash flow and keep good profits coming in. So, where do you begin? How much should you adjust your rate? How do you make sure a rate hike won't cost you customers?

Short on time? Skip ahead!

1. Recalculate your charge-out rate

The first step is to recalculate your charge-out rate. Where your rate may once have been fair considering previous price levels, things have changed. You need to take into account all the expenses that come with doing your job and adjust your rate accordingly. Here’s how to calculate your charge-out rate so that it matches the market.

Stuck on how much to charge? Use our free charge-out rate calculator!
Free Charge-Out Rate Calculator


2. Give your clients a heads-up

Carefully consider how existing and potential clients will react to an increased rate. The last thing you want is to damage your reputation or lose clients, but you also need to make sure that you’re doing what’s best for your wallet.

🏁 If you’re fulfilling a short-term job 

Completing a short-term job where the price has already been agreed upon? If so, it’s probably not worth trying to change your rate. A rate change on a job like this will most likely diminish your client-contractor relationship and could even lead to a dispute.

Focus on getting the job done so that you can start charging your new rate to other clients.

🗓 If you’re fulfilling a long-term job 

On longer-term contracts, it pays to have a discussion with your customer. Explain to them the financial burden that inflation is placing on your business and how rising material costs have reduced the cash flow and profit coming into your business. If you can appeal to them and give valid reasons why an agreed-upon rate may need to be increased, you may be able to reach a deal that keeps you in a good financial position.

🤝 If you’re doing a new job for an old client

If you’ve been re-hired by an existing customer, you can start right off the bat with your new charge-out rate. Just make sure that they’re aware of the new rate and be sure to get their acknowledgement of this in writing in the form of an accepted quote. This’ll avoid any possible quibbles or misunderstandings when it comes time to send your first invoice.

3. Update any mention of your charge-out rate online

To avoid any confusion and eliminate fruitless enquiries, it’s vital that you update any mention of your charge-out rate. Start by doing an audit of your own website and social media accounts. Then, if you’re on any small business directories, ensure that those are up-to-date, too.

Not on a trade business directory yet? Try these out!

4. Give the rest of your business an upgrade

Great job management software like Tradify can go a long way in making your business run more efficiently, even in the face of issues like rising inflation. Tradify seamlessly streamlines all your admin processes like invoicing, quotes and estimates, and even integrates with popular accounting software like Xero, Quickbooks, MYOB, and Sage.

Get your business in the right position to handle anything the world throws at it, sign up for a 14-day free trial or pop over to one of our live walkthrough webinars to see it in action.

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This article is not intended to be financial advice. Please discuss your individual financial situation with your registered financial advisor, bookkeeper, or accountant.