How to Charge a Rush Fee for Your Services

Mar 01, 2021

Sometimes, your clients are going to want work done faster than what you usually offer. If you’re thinking of charging a rush fee, there’s a right (and wrong!) way to do it. 

A rush fee can help you make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of. But if you’re feeling unconfident about pricing your services, you might be overwhelmed by the thought of creating a fee like this! do you actually go about doing this? 

In today’s blog post, I’m going to share how you should implement a rush fee in your business. Let’s dive right in! 

What Is a Rush Fee? 

Sometimes, you’re going to have clients who want work done faster than what you usually offer. Other times, clients want to have something done much faster because of a time-sensitive situation happening in their businesses. 

No matter what the reason is, sometimes service providers are asked to go above and beyond the scope of what they typically offer. In these cases, many times, people choose to implement a rush fee. 

In short, a rush fee is an extra amount paid by the client to ensure delivery in an expedited time frame. This might sound really appealing to you, but I’m actually going to flip the script here! 

Rush fees aren’t always a good idea… and let’s talk about why. 

Should You Charge A Rush Fee? 

Before we dive into specifics on rush fees, let’s take a second to think about the business you’re working to build. 

Try to look at everything from the client’s perspective. 

  • How will this decision make them feel? 
  • How do you want to kick off a client relationship? 
  • Do you want to show clients that you’re willing to back them up and go the extra mile? 

In all honesty, charging a rush fee makes clients feel like you’re cheap and that they can’t expect you to go above and beyond. 

You’re being given an opportunity to form a true partnership with your clients. When they ask for something outside of your typical scope, you can show them that you’re really taking care of their needs. 

Consider what the extra money does for your business long-term. A rush fee might just show your client to expect that you’re never going to have their back — or that it will always cost them. 

Don’t Let Clients Take Advantage of You

Although a rush fee can start client relationships off on rocky ground, there ARE times when it’s a good idea. You never want to set yourself up for clients to take advantage of your kindness. 

That’s why charging a rush fee depends on WHO you’re working with. 

Some small clients will always choose to take advantage of your policies. It’s like that classic saying: “give an inch, and they take a mile.” These types of clients will always push to see what else they can get for free. 

You need to be careful if those are the types of clients you’re working with.

In those circumstances, you should consider charging a rush fee to help establish some boundaries. In that case, I recommend calculating a 20% rush fee.

Related: How to Figure Out Who Your Ideal Client Is

Mindset Shifts Surrounding Charging a Rush Fee

We’ve already established that a rush fee depends on your unique circumstances. But as you grow in your business, you’ll start working with high-quality retainer clients. That’s when you need to shift your mindset! 

If you’re starting a long-term relationship with a dream client, your goal should be to land that client and secure their trust.

Your goal should be to work with bigger, more high-end clients in your niche. As you do that, boundaries stop being so much of an issue. 

These clients appreciate you and your expertise — they don’t take advantage and look for freebies. In these cases, charging a rush fee probably isn’t the way to go. 

Try to shift your mindset around rush projects to an opportunity instead of a burden. 

High-end clients are allowing you to step up and show them what a partnership with you would be like. Focus on showing them why they should trust you and choose you—that you’ll always have their back and provide top-notch service. 

Charging a rush fee is a decision you should think through carefully. As you build your business, a rush fee should be something you avoid—especially as you work with high-end retainer clients! 

Consider building a rush fee into your retainer price. Your best clients are willing to pay for your services, and these moments of urgency are how you show that you are valuable. 

Don’t burn bridges in client relationships by relying on a rush fee. Instead, always over-deliver when possible to build a great long-term relationship with your clients! This leads to more referrals, which helps you get more clients and continue to grow your business long-term. 

Have any questions about rush fees? Ask them in the Profitable PR Pros Facebook group! I’m proud to say that our community is supportive, and we love helping others get their agencies up and running. If you’re looking for a fantastic group of professionals to interact with and learn from, this is the group for you!