Two weeks ago, I answered a question Anastasia posed about charging for “rush” work. As a follow-up to my response, she sent me this:

The situation I found myself in is when a new potential client contacted me and she turned out to be a really nice lady who was working with someone else and it didn’t work out and she needed someone urgently to help her (with a potential for a long term relationship).

I really liked her and was interested in her business and taking her on as a client so I really wanted to help her. But I had to put aside all my current work to help her right away.

That’s why I felt that some “rush” fee would be appropriate since I needed to put my current workload on the side.

So you would still recommend to pass situations like that?

Anastasia, here are my thoughts on that:

You're Not Mother of the Universe

This gets into a lot of different aspects of running your business, including standards, your interview and intake process and how you choose who to work with, taking care of current clients, not being pushed by someone else’s urgencies, the difference between the Manager (the decision making part of your role) of your business and the Technician (the worker part of your role) and never, ever letting the Technician make decisions for the business (the Technician is the one who “feels” for clients and wants to help them out even when the request is unreasonable), to name just a few.

It’s unfortunate when a client has an ending with a VA and needs help, but her emergency isn’t yours, so, yes; I would pass on the client, unless I’d taken my time, interviewed her completely, was sure she was a good fit for my practice, had her do a thorough intake with me, and she was prepared to start sanely.

But I’m disinclined to try to put out fires that aren’t of my own making. If you like doing that, then maybe everything I’ve said is off for you. If that’s true, then I do think that charging a rush fee is appropriate, and a very hefty one, at that (I would charge at least double your regular rate). :)