Should I raise my rates during the Christmas period?

How to prepare for the festive period when there is less work and if a client does approach you, can you raise your rates?

On one hand, you feel like attaching a tap to your bank account and watching the money pour out for Christmas. On the other, you watch the work dry up during the festive session. Combine the two and it can make for a challenging cash flow!

Like all things, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s more a case of finding the solution that works best for you. If you’re happy ‘shutting shop’ and taking the Christmas period off, then surely that’s the perk of being your own boss. But if some one approaches you to work during that time, should you increase your rates?

I recently pitched this question at Freelance Mum and the general vibe was no, people already felt their rates were fair. Interestingly, even those whose businesses are busy during the Christmas period (such as a Business Choir and Gift-Wrapping service) felt it would be immoral to charge more, just because of demand.

However, if a client requests work to be turned around in super quick time at short notice, I’d suggest adding 20 per cent on top of the usual rate – but ONLY if you want to. After all, you can’t put a price on the time spent with loved ones.

I recently went to book tickets to take my girls to see Santa and was shocked to discover I had to pay more money, if they wanted to see him closer to Christmas. To me, that’s a bigger business, taking full advantage of children and surely the true spirit of Christmas?

As a freelancer, part of the appeal for me, is being able to slot work in around family life and adjust things accordingly. Above everything, always be honorable in business.

Faye Dicker, freelancer broadcaster and founder of Freelance Mum