How To Confidently Charge Clients For Your Time, Work & Expertise
Say you’ve worked 9 hours on a project and it’s time to bill the client. What do you do?
I used to always feel guilty about charging those full 9 hours. I’d justify to myself why I should shave at least an hour or two off the cost. Maybe part of the job had involved me learning something new, so that shouldn’t be charged, should it? Maybe I had to make changes that I should have pre-empted, so my fault, right?
Talking to other freelancers, entrepreneurs and startups, it seems that finding the courage to fairly charge for your time is a common pain point. We seem to undervalue our skill set and believe that our clients will question the invoice amount, all while already charging entry level prices. Unsurprisingly, this seems to be even more accentuated among my female peers.
If you’re anything like me, invoicing and asking for payment are possibly the worst parts of running your own business. A year or two back I realised that my very amateur attempts at time tracking in an Excel spreadsheet and invoicing through Word weren’t doing me any favours, and that I needed to look for something a bit more professional. Following some online research I stumbled across Harvest, online software that tracks time and expenses, issues reports and generates invoices. Now I know there are lots of programs and apps out there that can timekeep and issue invoices, but I liked the look of Harvest. Simple, straightforward and potential to grow with my business.
Save yourself some admin heartache
Harvest has saved me some admin heartache and allowed me to focus on the parts of my business that I enjoy. I can easily track time on my phone and desktop using a stop/start timer. Harvest creates visual reports that show me how I’m doing with client budgets. It generates customised invoices that look professional and clean, can send automated reminders for late payments and allows me to record payments. Additionally, I can see the income of my business and filter it according to chosen timeframes.
And as shallow as it sounds, for a time tracking and invoicing program, it looks pretty nice.
In terms of drawbacks, I’m not sure. I’ve not got the experience to compare it to more advanced invoicing and timekeeping software, although I’m definitely open to seeing what’s out there. Please let me know if there’s something you can recommend.
Quickly show clients that you’re worth what you’re charging
As a small business owner, entrepreneur or freelancer, tracking time is one of the most important aspects of your business, whether that be for invoicing, generating time estimations for future projects or confidently justifying to clients how the time was spent on the task that you’re charging them for. Without a structured system in place you’ll constantly be undervaluing your skills, spending more time on admin tasks than anticipated, and ultimately lowering your hourly rate.
Using Harvest has made it so much easier for me to justify to clients and myself why I deserve to be paid for the work that I do. Even better, they have a entry level plan so you can try and use Harvest for FREE, and then upgrade when you’ve got more clients and projects on the go. I pay US$12.00 a month as I’ve upgraded from the free plan and may still step up one level further when more employees come on board.
If you found this post helpful and want to try out Harvest, follow this link and sign up. You’ll receive $10 off your first month (if you sign up to a paid plan) and I’ll get $10 off too. Thanks and good luck going forward!