How Does Ad Agency Charge Rush Fees – Charge Creatively (Part 2 of 4)

How Does Ad Agency Charge Rush Fees – Charge Creatively (Part 2 of 4)

Charge Rush Fees with a Heart

In part 1 of this 4-part series, I have suggested that agencies should consider accepting rush jobs and charge the usual price, especially under these circumstances:

  • This is a long standing client who has been really nice and supportive all these years.
  • This is an isolated incident.
  • There is no financial loss.
  • This is a good opportunity to practice CRM and PR

What if the agency cannot offer the usual price because the cost involved is way too high for it to absorb?

The answer is simple: Charge.

Part 2 will discuss how can you charge creatively.

Should you still charge usual price or impose a rush fee? The purpose of a business is to solve problems for people at a profit. First and foremost, you deserve to be paid. Secondly, if you intend to help a good client, you should do so in such a way that you do not bring his/her burden onto yourself. Anyway, it’s highly unlikely your client will believe you if you tell him/her, “I lost $12,000 for this job because I didn’t charge you for all the extra effort”.

“But they said they can’t pay”
“But they said they won’t pay a dime more”
“But I’m afraid of losing the client”

Trust me, I feel bad too. But I did not create the situation they are in now, however, I will do whatever it takes to make the rough ride smoother for them. However, I cannot do it at the expense of my teammates and my other clients. That will not be fair to them either.

Life is sometime tough. We will all experience set backs, disappointments and events for which there is no “reason”, and no one to blame (not that I recommend blaming people or circumstances). How would I deal with it? I will retain faith that I will prevail regardless of the difficulties and at the same time confront the brutal fact of the current situation head-on but with lots of compassions at heart.

I will listen attentively to their woes and pains. I will look into the challenges and problems they are encountering and provide the best solution possible. Whatever involves internal costing, I will consider waiving it totally or charge nominally to cover incidental expenses (like taxi fares for staff in the wee hours) to support a good client. For external costs that I cannot absorb, I will negotiate a better price from photographers, image libraries, printers, binders, event coordinators, etc. Most of the time, I can get their support.

My business associates support me the way I support my clients. I will also present the statistics of the extra mile my team had to go through for many days and nights. I will explain that I cannot absorb the cost because the impact will be on my other clients and teammates. What is lost must be made up somewhere else, somehow. Even if this is something the troubled client doesn’t want to know, doesn’t like to hear or worse, doesn’t care; they cannot dismiss my explanation as baseless.

You can charge your usual express mark up if you decide you and your team deserve it. A good client will not like the hefty mark up but they will pay. They will know you have done your best to get the best results at the best possible price. They will then have a deeper appreciation that they have to clean up their own back yard to avoid paying rush fees. You most probably won’t lose a client.

The last thing I would do to make the rough ride more pleasant is to

  • charge a lower premium to take a little weight off my client’s shoulders. For example, you can charge only 75% instead of imposing the stipulated 100% premium.
  • give my client a longer credit term to pay or even arrange for an installment plan so that he can pay gradually over an agreed period.

A long standing business relationship is a win-win relationship. Business is not just about dollars and cents, fame and power. There should be heart in every business dealing.

Read the rest of the series on Rush Fees
Part 1: See Rush Fees as a CRM or PR opportunity

Part 3: Don’t Do?

Part 4: Don’t Like it But Don’t Reject it

[tags]rush jobs, rush fees[/tags]

One Reply to “How Does Ad Agency Charge Rush Fees – Charge Creatively (Part 2 of 4)”

  1. It’s a good proposition to charge them the extra fee that is due to the extra work put in and the stress borne for no fault of the creative team. GIving them options to pay in installments and waiving off the 25% rush fee to lessen the burden are all the good-will gestures you offer to your long-standing clients.
    Good post and great insights!

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