All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

What to charge?

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
I've got the oportunity to do a lot of paid gigs on my own, but what should I charge?
I don't want to overcharge and put people of rebooking me, but I don't want to undercharge and do myself out of a good income. I think I would have to work out an hourly rate as these gigs could be anything from one to four hours of music, obviously if it's four hours then I would be suplying music during some sort of break.
So how should I go about this, any ideas?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Taz!

It may be an idea to see what hourly rates are for similar musicians on, say, the musicians union site or similar. It would give you a baseline for setting your own fees. If you have an hourly rate it does allow the folks hiring you to decide how long your set will be. I do not know about this from any actal experience musically, but in my own professional work I do charge varying rates according to the type of event - dependenton the number of people/size of event.

Hope this helps
Kind regards
Tom
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Dosh ... [Loads "O" money] ...

Hey Taz ...

I think that there are two kinds of fees for you to consider ...

Your Actual [fixed] costs
... Motor costs, Fuel etc, Hire or supply of equipment [yours or hired], Insurance and the like ... {These ought to be at cost and non-negotiable} in my view ... ;}

Insurance for example can be spilt down to £XX per day ...

And your [Travel time] Labour costs ... {Which is negotiable, based on what you would like and what the other party is happy to pay}

Remember - A plasterer will charge £XXX per day [or hour] A Garage will charge £xx [for labour only] So you need to look at how much is the least you will work for per hour and try to fix a reasonable hourly rate that you are happy with ... Don't work for nuffin mate ... Unless it is for True Luv ... :))):w00t:

Hope that helps and is not meant to be too authoritarian or prescriptive ... :D

Cheers ...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Why not join yer aktuel MU?

If you use the phrase "undercharge and do myself out of a good income." means you are professional and should seek the protection of the appropriate body. You need them and they need you.

Apologies for being serious.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,993
There's plenty of things to consider.

Once you are working freelance you will need to think about declaring your earnings to the IR, accounting etc.

Part of what you are charging for is the skill you have learnt while practising and training yourself. Plus you have costs of maintenance of instruments etc as well as any travelling or clothing. (which can to a great extent be claimed against tax).

I remember being a Musicians Union meeting a couple of years ago where they recommended (I think) about £30 - £35 an hour as a minimum. That's a more than a plasterer but less than a plumber in this neck of the woods. This is also about the same that professional teachers charge. This can still be way more than many semi pro or pro musicians actually charge, because by the very nature of the job, plenty are happy to just be playing and doing something they love. Which doesn't always apply to plumbers.

Plenty of people starting out work for less and that is quite normal, to get your foot in the door, however there comes a time when you must consider whether you are doing a disservice to other pro or semi pro musicians by inadvertantly driving everybody's fees down by too much undercutting.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Well you did ask..................................................:shocked::w00t:;}

Sounds like you need both an agent and a lawyer too.....!
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,993
Why not join yer aktuel MU?
I would second that. I have been a member for years, man and boy. I have at times had great value from them, especially the free legal work. Plus you get some free insurance for your instruments.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Thanks for the answers folks, Tom I'll be looking at the MU for sure, I think you get insurance with your membership (if not, it's something I've got to look at anyway, both equipment and public liability)
Sunray, I'll look at breaking down my expenses as you say. You've brought up some good points. I think I'll create a spread sheet to work stuff like that out!
OG, no apology necessary, I rarely take you seriously any way! :w00t:
Pete, I think your bang on with the prices, I've been offered a gig at a Ball, just playing for 45 minutes whilst guests arrive and I've charged a little more than you suggest. They are more than happy with the price, and it's at a very nice hotel so I'll get some flyer's and card printed out. As for declaring it all, I'd have to as I'm too honest to do otherwise, and not bright enough to be able to fiddle the books!
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Worth bearing in mind that the pubs around our neck of the woods pay £150 - £250 for a couple of hours of music and that's the same whether you are a 5-piece or bloke with a karaoke machine!
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,993
Pete, I think your bang on with the prices, I've been offered a gig at a Ball, just playing for 45 minutes whilst guests arrive and I've charged a little more than you suggest. They are more than happy with the price, and it's at a very nice hotel so I'll get some flyer's and card printed out. As for declaring it all, I'd have to as I'm too honest to do otherwise, and not bright enough to be able to fiddle the books!
And you can't fiddle them as so many people will be paying you by cheque or BACS.

I would add that the per hour thing should have a minimum and included travelling setting up time, so yes, a 45 min set isn't just a one hour fee.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
As for declaring it all, I'd have to as I'm too honest to do otherwise, and not bright enough to be able to fiddle the books!
Good for you. Ask around, there are probably a few people you know who do the books and who should be able to give you some clear advice. Make sure you have receipts for everything, and keep a proper log of all the mileage you do to gigs, getting instruments fixed, buying reeds, visiting places to discuss bookings - everything. In Germany, many people keep a log book of every trip they do in their company cars, keeps the taxes down... No good hearing there's something you could have claimed for if you'd got the documentation.

Never take a risk with tax, or social security. Do it by the book with a reliable professional. And even then you're expected to sign everything off and say you understand and take responsibility for it. Chances are you won't understand a thing... But you have to sign anyway. And put tax money aside as you earn it....
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Thanks again for the replies, I've never realy run a buisnes before, I've always been employed, so this is a real eye opener!
 

teebones

Member
Subscriber
Messages
203
There's plenty of things to consider.

Once you are working freelance you will need to think about declaring your earnings to the IR, accounting etc.

Part of what you are charging for is the skill you have learnt while practising and training yourself. Plus you have costs of maintenance of instruments etc as well as any travelling or clothing. (which can to a great extent be claimed against tax).

I remember being a Musicians Union meeting a couple of years ago where they recommended (I think) about £30 - £35 an hour as a minimum. That's a more than a plasterer but less than a plumber in this neck of the woods. This is also about the same that professional teachers charge. This can still be way more than many semi pro or pro musicians actually charge, because by the very nature of the job, plenty are happy to just be playing and doing something they love. Which doesn't always apply to plumbers.

Plenty of people starting out work for less and that is quite normal, to get your foot in the door, however there comes a time when you must consider whether you are doing a disservice to other pro or semi pro musicians by inadvertantly driving everybody's fees down by too much undercutting.
Hi Taz,
Pete is bang on as is old git,join the MU and don't forget HMRC.>:)

During the 70/80s I ran a mobile disco-tec and joined the local djay's union.

I myself never did any gigs at public houses.
reason
When the Beer is In the Wit is Out :w00t:


pubs always attract the local comedians whom can do better than you

bowls club's and the like are ok members have a membership to lose and are also responsible for any guests they sign in.

All the best and I wish you well

Teebones (tony):mrcool
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,910
Good for you. Ask around, there are probably a few people you know who do the books and who should be able to give you some clear advice. Make sure you have receipts for everything, and keep a proper log of all the mileage you do to gigs, getting instruments fixed, buying reeds, visiting places to discuss bookings - everything. In Germany, many people keep a log book of every trip they do in their company cars, keeps the taxes down... No good hearing there's something you could have claimed for if you'd got the documentation.

Never take a risk with tax, or social security. Do it by the book with a reliable professional. And even then you're expected to sign everything off and say you understand and take responsibility for it. Chances are you won't understand a thing... But you have to sign anyway. And put tax money aside as you earn it....

The simplest way to recover car costs is to claim 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter or keep a note of all your motor running costs and total mileage split between personal/business and you could claim the business proportion of all your costs including depreciation on the vehicle. Depends how much record keeping you want to do.

A spread sheet will be fine, if you want a second opinion on the spreadsheet pm me and I will give you my email and look at it for you. If you think this will grow I would get a separate bank account.:)

Good Luck

Jx
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,910
And you can't fiddle them as so many people will be paying you by cheque or BACS.
Even if a pub/club pays you cash they will probably record it in their books to get the tax relief so still traceable.:(
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Be fair - Taz is only playing jazzed up nursery rhymes at two children's 6 yo birthday parties, cash in hand & as much as he can eat............:shocked::w00t:;}

Taz, don't forget to claim for equipment costs and also buy a new sax at the end of the financial year or arrange to have your weapon stolen in mysterious circumstances.......


Lots of Love
Tom :sax: :gathering::gathering:
 

neil

Member
Messages
74
hi taz
i`m a self employed electrical engineer and totally agree with all the comments about paying tax, a good accountant doesnt cos you that much and you will have some piece of mind that its all done correctly, If you set asside around 25% of what you earn to pay the taxman you should be ok. There is also a good VAT scheme for the self employed, it think its called the basic rate scheme...google it...but basically you charge VAT at the normal rate of 20% but only pay the Vatman a certain percentage of that, i currently pay 10.5 %...so i get to keep 9.5% of the VAT i charge, however you cant claim back VAT on fuel etc but its still worth it, you do it all online and its very simple..must be if i can do it. You might think charging VAT is a bi over the top but most customers are used to paying it...pubs, hotels etc and it does add a certain professional element to your business.

Neil
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,910
hi taz
i`m a self employed electrical engineer and totally agree with all the comments about paying tax, a good accountant doesnt cos you that much and you will have some piece of mind that its all done correctly, If you set asside around 25% of what you earn to pay the taxman you should be ok. There is also a good VAT scheme for the self employed, it think its called the basic rate scheme...google it...but basically you charge VAT at the normal rate of 20% but only pay the Vatman a certain percentage of that, i currently pay 10.5 %...so i get to keep 9.5% of the VAT i charge, however you cant claim back VAT on fuel etc but its still worth it, you do it all online and its very simple..must be if i can do it. You might think charging VAT is a bi over the top but most customers are used to paying it...pubs, hotels etc and it does add a certain professional element to your business.

Neil

Agree regarding a good accountant. :)You don't have to register for VAT until your Vatable income is £70,000. The flat rate scheme has it's merits but be careful if you have other income eg rental. VAT is a very complex tax and is not logical so take professional advice. If you are working mainly for private individuals registering for VAT can make you more expensive.
 
Saxholder Pro

Members online

No members online now.
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom