2. What costs specific to my business do I need to include when calculating my rate?
Now that you know the estimate for your net hourly rate, you can start stacking it with other needs.
For instance, the costs you will need to incorporate into your calculations differ wildly depending on your sector.
Let's say you're a freelance IT'er. You'll need to take into account at least the following yearly and monthly fees, and investments:
- Heavy duty laptop and peripheral equipment
- Software needed to provide your services
- Renting an office space or coworking space
- Office supplies and furniture
- Fast internet connection
All of these costs need to be equally divided over all of the billable hours that you'll be working per year to make sure they are covered by your income.
3. What difference does it make that I'm setting my freelance hourly rate in Belgium?
Two freelancers rendering the same services in different locations might be earning a significantly different amount of money for a number of reasons.
For instance, setting your freelance hourly rate in Belgium should take into account that Belgium is one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. A Belgian freelancer will therefore need to set a much higher rate than someone having to pay less taxes in order to end up with the same net wages.
The same goes for social security contributions in Belgium, which will be calculated based on your annual income.
4. What am I offering that is special?
If you begin to look around, you can find examples of people that earn more money an hour despite offering what you might consider more or less the same services as others who earn less.
For instance, some trainers such as Tony Robbins have asked €10, 000 per hour. This informs a question you could ask yourself: What type of services did he offer that was worth as much as that? Then you can compare the services you are offering.
Before setting your hourly rates, it is important that you build your brand accordingly. Whatever hourly rate you then set, you can rest assured you're getting enough clients and you might even surpass your weekly and monthly targets.
Since you intend to gradually grow your brand, set up an affordable hourly rate initially. When you consistently deliver excellent services as a freelancer, then you can gradually increase your hourly rate as your brand is growing by the day.
In the long run, folks do not pay for the intrinsic value but for the 'perceived value' of your services. That is why branding is the perfect way to change the game. When two freelancers provide the same services the better brand more often than not wins.
Experience and expertise
In order for you to maximize your earnings, you can figure out how to make the most of your existing experience and skills or even consider gaining new skills.