Rush jobs can be stressful. And you should be paid very well because of that.
I used to work with a printer that had a sign posted on their door. The sign read “Your lack of planning is not my emergency”. Clients can have a rush job for a variety of reasons. But often, it’s due to a lack of planning. The project was sitting on their desks for six weeks before it rose to the top of the pile.
Next thing you know, you get a call from the client saying, “ I need this yesterday.”
If you don’t charge rush fees, you will pay the price for their lack of planning, and that is simply not fair. So what should we charge for rush? There is no set rule about the number. Standard rush charges start at 50 percent, but it can sometimes go as high as 100 percent. The rule to keep in mind is that the less time you have to work, the higher the percentage you charge for the rush.
Clients know rush means more money, whether they acknowledge it or not. This can be a fuzzy area because there is no standard for what constitutes a rush. That’s why you need to establish what your normal pace is and what a rush is. You also need to let your clients know from the moment they say, “I need this yesterday,” this situation qualifies as a rush.