Setting a value for your time may seem unnecessary, or redundant, but it’s a valuable decision-making tool.
When you write up your first business plan or even start thinking about building a business, you’ll spend a lot of time setting prices for your products or services. It’s critical to value your products fairly, but in a way that allows you to break a significant profit.
The importance of setting a value
There are only 24 hours in a day, and seven days a week, so how you spend those hours plays a significant role in how fast and how effectively your business develops.
Valuing your time allows you to maximize your efficiency and get compensated fairly for your efforts. So, here are a few ways to properly set the value of your time.
- Estimate your would-be salary
Your first step should be to roughly estimate what your salary should be. Depending on your role as a leader and the size and nature of your team, this could get complicated. To get things started, imagine what your salary would be if you performed all your roles and responsibilities with your last employer. You may even want to use a tool like Glassdoor to see what positions in your industry, at your experience level and geographic location, go for.
Then, it’s a simple matter of dividing that salary by how many hours you spend working, on average, in the same time period. With that, you should have a ballpark of what your fair hourly rate would be.
- Evaluate your competition
Next, take a look at other consultants and entrepreneurs in your area, doing what you do. Do they list an hourly consulting fee on their site? If not, can you estimate one based on what they charge for services that include them personally?
- Evaluate your employees’ pay
You may also want to look at what you pay your employees. Obviously, you’ll have more responsibilities (and probably more experience) than your employees. You should value your time as being slightly higher than that of your highest-paid employee, at a minimum. If your business is strapped for cash or dealing with other financial variables, however, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your expectations here.
After taking these steps, you should have a reasonable idea of what your time is worth. On the surface, it may seem like setting a value for your time is unnecessary, or redundant, but it’s both a valuable decision-making tool and a way to fairly price your own services. The earlier and more accurately you can estimate this value, the better.