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Home Working & Sewing Businesses Discussions for sewers working from home or running sewing related businesses rather than just sewing for pleasure.

 
 
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Old 17th November 2004, 13:35
Stuart
 
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Default How much to charge?

I thought that it would be useful to air this topic. It has popped up a few times and seems to be a particular problem for newcomers.

The bottom line for any commercial activity is "whatever the market will stand" providing it makes an acceptable level of profit for you.

People that are new to selling sewing services are often uncomfortable about this bottom line and do not feel that their skills are necessarily up to it. This is despite clearly having skills that the clients lack.

In the early days newcomers will make mistakes, will underestimate the time certain tasks will take, and will have the odd customer challenge here and there. Some costs will have to be written off as part of the learning curve. If anything though a newcomer is more likely to overdeliver to customers rather than delivering something that is fit-for-purpose (that still delights the customer) and makes a profit. Moving away from being a perfectionist in a hobby to a business person is significant challenge.

As a basic rule of thumb, Lucy uses £10 per hour as a basic minimum cost to work out prices but charges a premium for any particularly difficult or urgent work. Materials are extra on top of this of course. Lucy benefits from discounts from established suppliers and although customers usually save on what they could have bought material for, Lucy has a healthy mark-on material.

Anything requiring special skills is charged at a higher rate on the basis that it is not the time that is being paid for but the skill. This also applies to tricky materials.

These rates are not generally shared with customers, these are just used as a basis for quotation although they are not a secret if a customer wants to understand the basis of charging.

This is certainly more than the minimum wage but has to cover a lot of overheads including equipment, insurance, accommodation, etc.

What do others think?
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