February 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm #739167
Ok, I know there are lot of super smart, savvy individuals on this forum, so I thought I’d ask y’all and maybe gain some insight.
I am a self-employed graphic designer. I have several clients but I have one that is my main client and is my bread and butter. They prefer that I’m an on-site designer and I come into their office where I have a work station (they’ve supplied computer/design software, whatever I need). I am at the office 3-4 days a week (hours vary), and they are definitely my biggest client. Three years ago when I started we negotiated an hourly rate. This rate is a little less than what I charge to my other freelance clients but because I am using this office’s equipment and space I agreed to the lower rate. My issue is that I am raising my freelance rates across the board and it’s an easy solution for my other clients but I am stumped as to how to handle this one. I realize now we should have agreed to renegotiate the contract every year, but we haven’t. At the most I would like to increase my rate with them 5%, just to cover the cost of inflation. And as each year passes and I’m still here I’ll adjust accordingly. I love the people here and I enjoy coming in, but I do spend a considerable time here and I think I am missing out on making more money as my rate with other clients is more. The set up we have works best for me as I can focus on other projects and being able to invoice the company I am able to enjoy the benefits that come with being self-employed. A few times it has been brought up if I want to join them full-time and I’ve always been very honest since the beginning that that is not my goal. I will always prioritize them and make them my main responsibility but I like the flexibility that I have with different creative projects. My question is, how do I ask/request for this small increase to my rates in a professional/business way? I am beyond grateful for their business and definitely don’t want to change our agreement but because I work on-site, is my request fair? TIA!February 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm #740457
I am not a graphic designer, but I have done contractual/free lance work before, and if you’ve been working with them at the same rate for 3+ years, you are more than justified in discussing a rate increase. I would also keep in mind though that charging them a lesser hourly rate is pretty reasonable since you’re using their equipment (although I presume you have all of the same equipment at home since you have other clients), and are working considerably more hours for them. If you’re not interested in coming on full time, would you consider a formal part-time employment contract? That also might make you eligible for benefits, and you would be part of their annual review/raise process.