Upcharges for emergency freelance?

One day I got a call from a company I’ve worked with a little. They needed me to come up the NEXT DAY to do some emergency work and sketching in anticipation of the arrival of the big bosses. They need to sell their project at this critical stage.

They offer to fly me down and pay for the hotel. Fine.

I work a few hours in their office on that day, at the hotel that night a bit, and 6 hours the next day before jumping back on the plane to come home. They all claim to be very happy with the work. I’m relieved, because there wasn’t time for a mental block (which I’m famous for.)

In the past I’ve charged them $50/hr for regular (non-emergency) work. That may be low. i haven’t charged them anything for the time spent traveling to their facility for kick-off meetings. They always cover travel and housing costs.

What should I charge for work with so little advanced warning and turnaround time?

What should I charge, if anything, for travel and meeting time? If I only work 3 hours and spend 5 traveling, but my entire day is occupied by their business, then how do I charge for that?

Any input would be appreciated.

FLW

if it were me…I would charge $1500.

Not billed according to hours worked…but billed at that for the services provided. Doesn’t matter how much effort/hours you work, all that matters is what is delivered. Good luck!

Charge them by the day, even if you are traveling a partial day, but you should make this payment agreement in advance so there are no misunderstandings. I wouldn’t raise my rate if it were “emergency” work, but if the actual work exceeds eight hours I would charge “overtime rate” in excess of the “daily” rate. This too should be made clear from the outset.

In the past I’ve charged them $50/hr for regular (non-emergency) work. That may be low. i haven’t charged them anything for the time spent traveling to their facility for kick-off meetings. They always cover travel and housing costs.

This indicates that you have worked for them before and they must, therefore, value your work. If THEY value your expertise then they should know that there are other companies that do too. Simple supply and demand.

When you are away from your office, you are not free to work on other client’s projects (even if you do not have any at the moment; which your emergency client does not need to know).

At the very least you are not available for new work if it walks in your door while you are away, and you can not look for new business.

I would certainly charge at a premium as unlike other occasions where you have budgeted your time, expenses, life based on a defined contract, this time you have been asked to provide a one time service (hopefully more of them) - and expedited at that. They should be expecting to pay a premium (I know I do for fast service) however this may be where you need to negotiate.

Being the first time, they may/will not be aware of an increase in rates for such emergency services. Depending on how budget conscious the company is, there may not be additional funds alloted to pay for your rate hike so before submitting your invoice chat with your contact and give him a heads up on what your thoughts on payment are (negotiate the terms for now and from now on - get it in writing). Hopefully it will turn out to be beneficial for both you and your client (reliable resource/repeat client).

As for a raw figure, $800-$1000 sounds about right. Hope they screw up again! :slight_smile: