How to calculate your day rate

A client asked me the other day “what should I charge as a day rate?”. This is a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string type question, but they were embarking on a new venture as a self-employed consultant, and didn’t have a clue where to start.

They said they had googled the question and had come up with a figure of £454 a day.

“But you currently earn six-figures!” I exclaimed.

They explained how they had got to that number: annual salary divided by the expected number of days worked (220 is the average) = £494 a day. Hmmmm.

No factoring in for tax. No factoring in for business expenses. And no factoring in for the 20+ years of experience in their field that had led to them being approached to provide this consultancy in the first place.​

“Charge £1,500 a day”, I said.

They looked at me agast. “But that’s £330,000 a year if I do similar work for 220 days”.

Yep. And…?

Why would that be a problem?? Why deliberately limit the amount you can earn? Why? Why????

Consultants often charge multi-thousands per day simply because they have the skills, expertise and experience that warrants that investment. And maybe they only work 100 days a year. That’s amazing! They have set up their business to support the life they want.

How does that make you feel? Do you tut and think that no one is worth £1,500 a day, or are you inspired to take a look at your day rate (or the equivalent in your business) and see how much you should be charging for your skills, expertise and experience? I bet you’re selling yourself short and there is a little voice inside you that knows this.

Well, now is your time. It is time for you to turn that little voice that is asking what you should charge as a day rate into a thumping great roar that says I WILL CHARGE WHAT I AM WORTH!

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