How to Price Your Work. A Simple Technique

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What Should I Charge?

How to price your work. Whether you’re making a piece of furniture or monster pillows you sell at craft shows, you have to have a day rate. Everything takes at least one day to make. Your day rate will change over the course of time.

How Much Do You Value Yourself?

For example my day rate used to be $500 a day, now my day rate is $1000 a day. It’s how much value you want to put on yourself, what you do and what you know. So let’s apply this to a piece of furniture. Like I said before everything takes at least one day to make. If your day rate is $500 a day and it takes two days to make a bed, your going to charge $1000 plus the cost of materials. If you are making items for a craft show you have to figure out how many of those pieces you can make in one day.

Pricing Your Work for Craft Shows

When it comes to craft shows, batching out things it’s extremely important because it makes efficient use of your time. So I know I can make 30 of these wine displays in one day. If my day rate is $1000 a day, that comes out about $35 per wine display that includes the cost of materials. Someone else may have a lower price or a higher price depending on what value they give themselves and their time. That is how you come up with a starting point for your work. And after that then you can adjust the price based on how well it sells or if it doesn’t sell. If you sell out of a certain item very quickly then you know you need to raise your price. And if it doesn’t sell you may need to lower your price. It’s that simple. Not taking into consideration that your product may be complete crap. If it doesn’t sell and it is crap, time to rethink.

Do Not Charge By the Hour

If you charge by the hour you will screw yourself. Because you will forget the cost of gas, you’ll forget how much time it actually takes to go to the store and pick up the materials, or you won’t factor in a mistake that you might possibly make. Charging by the hour and estimating hours will lead to you getting screwed. Plus having a day rate makes the math very simple and understandable for your client. They’ll know up front what it’s going to cost them. Employees charge their employer by the hour. Craftsmen and artists charge by the day. How do you come up with a day rate? Let’s start with a time value per hour.

Stop Screwing Yourself

For someone creating and making things with their skill and knowledge then you should never value yourself under $50 an hour. $50 per hour times a ten hour workday is $500. Start there and work your way up over time. Or start higher if you’re worth it. $500 a day for someone who has spent their lifetime building up their skills and knowledge is nothing. High end craftsmen and artist can charge $5000 a day because they have built up a reputation and a portfolio. Stop screwing yourself over and charge what you are worth.

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