How Much Should You Charge?
This is always a hot question, especially when you are in the planning stages of your business. But that is also the best time to set your sights for how your business will give you the lifestyle you seek!
One of the biggest problems I see many new bookkeepers and consultants make (yes, I made this mistake myself too!) is to set their rates too low. Do not undervalue the benefits you provide others! If you don't value what you do, neither will your clients. You will also damage your credibility in your clients' eyes.
The first step in learning how much you SHOULD be charging for your expertise is to see what others are doing. You DO NOT want to set your rates below your colleagues. If you feel you need more experience, go ahead and set your rates closer to the lowest rates they are charging, but not at the bottom. As your confidence builds, you should raise your rates. So that means your rates should be going up at least once per year.
As a guide to follow and get your bearing on what other successful freelance bookkeepers and QuickBooks consultants are charging for their services, here is the latest national survey from Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks software, that you should take some time studying.
By reviewing these real world results, you will not only get a good idea about how much you can charge for your services, but also zero in on the profit centers you would like to develop and specialize in as you grow your business.
I'll look forward to hearing your comments about how you are doing in setting your own rates, or raising them as the need may be.
When it comes to your fees, the best way I've found to know if you're charging enough is to just go ahead and raise your rates, and then see if anyone complains. If absolutely no one is complaining, your fees are not yet high enough!!
And the best part is that when you charge just a little bit more than you really feel like you “should,” the clients you attract will be the kind who highly value what you do and are the easiest to work with. I've done this many times in my own business, despite the fear of losing clients (which is always there), it just doesn't happen. The only clients you are at risk of losing are the price shoppers who are the hardest clients to work with and don't pay on time or value your services anyway.
So again, think long and hard about how you want your business to succeed, the kind of clients you want to serve, then set your rates (fearlessly) in line with your intended outcome.