Rush rates

Rush rates are a common practice in lots of sectors, not just freelancing. The basic principle is this:

All work requires a certain amount of time and planning. If a client/customer needs a job completing in a shorter-than-usual amount of time, that exerts pressure on the supplier to deliver and may involve overtime, working on non-work days (e.g. weekends of holidays) or rescheduling other clients.

The client/customer is charged a rush rate to compensate the supplier for the inconvenience.

Rush rates vary – I’ve seen anything from 50% to 100% – so the amount you add is up to you.

Should you charge a rush rate?

Firstly, it’s completely up to you as to whether you accept a job that’s been left too late – it’s the client’s problem, not yours. You might reasonably decide that the additional fee isn’t worth the inconvenience.

I know some freelancers who won’t take on last-minute work because it makes for stressful work.

If you decide to accept it, a compelling reason to charge a rush rate is that it educates clients that this isn’t the right way to go about working with you.

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