Healthcare Design Rates: Effective Strategy Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. How to calculate healthcare design rates?
  2. Factors that influence healthcare design rates
  3. How to set competitive rates?
  4. Tips to negotiate rates with clients
  5. How to review and adjust rates regularly?
  6. How to communicate your rates to clients?
  7. How to track and analyze your rates performance?

Setting rates for design services in the healthcare sector might seem like a daunting task. But with the right information and tools, you can easily develop an effective strategy. This guide will walk you through the steps of calculating healthcare design rates, considering influencing factors, setting competitive rates, and communicating with your clients effectively. Let's dive right in!

How to calculate healthcare design rates?

Calculating rates for design in healthcare isn't much different from setting rates in any other industry. However, there are some key factors unique to the healthcare sector that need to be taken into account. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process:

  1. Determine your costs: This includes your overhead costs (rent, utilities, software subscriptions) and direct costs (materials, labor, etc). Add these up to get your total costs.
  2. Estimate the time you will spend: This doesn't just include the actual design work, but also time spent on client meetings, research, revisions, and any other tasks related to the project.
  3. Decide on a profit margin: This can vary based on your experience, the complexity of the work, and the market demand. A common starting point is 20% to 30%, but you might adjust this based on the factors mentioned.
  4. Do the math: Add your total costs to the profit you want to make. Then, divide this number by the number of hours you plan to spend on the project. This will give you your hourly rate.
  5. Consider market rates: It's always a good idea to compare your calculated rate with market rates. This doesn't mean you should underprice your services, but rather, it gives you a sense of where you stand in the market.

Remember, setting rates for design in healthcare involves more than just number crunching. It's about understanding your value, your clients' needs, and the unique dynamics of the healthcare industry. Keep these factors in mind as you calculate your rates, and you'll be on your way to creating a pricing strategy that works for you and your clients.

Factors that influence healthcare design rates

When setting your rates for design in healthcare, it's important to understand the specific factors that can influence pricing. Here are some key elements to consider:

  1. Experience and Expertise: The more experience and specific healthcare design expertise you have, the higher your rates can be. Your portfolio is a testament to your skill set—and if it's impressive, it can justify higher rates.
  2. Type of Project: Not all design projects are created equal. The complexity of the project, the level of creativity required, and the amount of time it will take all contribute to the rate. For example, designing a logo for a healthcare startup might cost less than redesigning a hospital's entire website.
  3. Market Demand: If there's a high demand for healthcare design services and not many designers specializing in this area, you can charge more. It's simple economics—supply and demand.
  4. Value to the Client: Sometimes, the value of the design to the client can justify a higher rate. For example, if your design can help a healthcare organization significantly improve patient experience or meet regulatory requirements, it might be worth more to them.

Understanding these factors can help you set rates that reflect the value you bring to your clients and the market conditions. It's not just about setting a rate that covers your costs and earns you a profit—it's about setting a rate that's fair and makes sense in the context of your business and the healthcare design industry.

How to set competitive rates?

Now that you're aware of the factors that influence design rates, the next step is determining how to set competitive rates for your healthcare design services. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can do this:

  1. Research Your Competition: Find out what other healthcare designers are charging for similar services. You can do this by checking out their websites, talking to peers, or even reaching out directly for a quote. This will give you a ballpark figure to start with.
  2. Calculate Your Costs: Add up all your expenses related to the project. This includes your time, software subscriptions, hardware, and any other overhead costs. This will help you determine the minimum rate you need to cover your expenses and make a profit.
  3. Consider the Value You Bring: If your design skills can help a healthcare provider enhance their patient experience or streamline their operations, don't be afraid to charge a premium. Remember, your rates should reflect the value you add—not just the hours you work.
  4. Stay Flexible: While it's important to set a standard rate, be open to negotiation, especially for long-term or high-value projects. Clients usually appreciate flexibility, and it might lead to more business in the future.

Remember, setting competitive rates is a balancing act. You want to charge enough to make your business profitable, but not so much that you price yourself out of the market. It's okay to adjust your rates as you gain more experience, receive feedback from clients, and as market conditions change.

Tips to negotiate rates with clients

It's not uncommon in the world of healthcare design to have a little back-and-forth about rates. Negotiating doesn't mean you're undervaluing your work—it's just a part of the business. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be Confident: Trust in the value of your work. Remember, you're not just selling a design—you're providing a service that can potentially improve a healthcare provider's patient experience and operations.
  2. Understand the Client's Budget: If you're aware of the client's budget upfront, it can guide your negotiation. You can tailor your services to fit their budget without compromising on the value you deliver.
  3. Offer Package Deals: If a client balks at your rate for a single service, consider offering a package of services at a slightly reduced rate. This can be more appealing and provide more value to the client.
  4. Be Open to Trade-offs: If negotiating on the price is tough, consider other trade-offs. For example, you could agree on a lower rate in return for a longer project timeline or the promise of future work.

Remember, negotiation is a two-way street. It's not just about getting what you want, but also about understanding and accommodating the client's needs. This approach will help build stronger, more lasting relationships with your clients.

How to review and adjust rates regularly?

Setting your rates isn't a one-time deal. It's important to regularly review and adjust your rates to keep up with the ever-evolving healthcare design market. Here's how you can go about it:

  1. Monitor the Market: Keep an eye on the going rates for similar services in your field. Websites, online forums, and trade publications can be great resources for this. If the average rate is increasing, you might be able to raise yours too.
  2. Consider Your Experience: As you gain more experience and improve your skills, your rates should reflect that. Don't be shy about charging more for your enhanced expertise.
  3. Factor in Costs: If your expenses—like software subscriptions or training courses—have gone up, it's fair to increase your rates to cover these costs.
  4. Assess Client Feedback: If clients frequently tell you that your rates are a steal, that might be a sign you can afford to charge more. If they're often taken aback by your rates, you might need to reassess.

Remember, your rates are a reflection of your value and the market conditions. Regularly reviewing and adjusting them can ensure that you're fairly compensated for your work.

How to communicate your rates to clients?

Now that you've figured out how to set rates for design in healthcare, it's time to communicate them to your clients. This step is just as important. If you're not clear and confident when discussing your rates, you might end up losing potential clients. Here are some pointers:

  1. Be Transparent: Don't hide your rates or make clients jump through hoops to find them. Be upfront about what you charge and what services are included in that price. This builds trust and saves both parties time.
  2. Express Your Value: Clients aren't just paying for a design; they're paying for your expertise, your creativity, your time and your dedication. Make sure they understand the value they're getting for their money.
  3. Stay Firm but Flexible: Stick to your rates, but be willing to negotiate on the scope of the project or payment terms if necessary. Being too rigid can deter clients, but so can being too flexible. It's about finding the right balance.
  4. Practice Your Pitch: Talking about money can be awkward, so prepare and practice what you're going to say. The more comfortable you are discussing your rates, the more confident you'll appear to your clients.

Remember, when it comes to setting and communicating rates, it's not just about the numbers. It's about conveying the value of your work and standing by it.

How to track and analyze your rates performance?

So, you've set your healthcare design rates and communicated them to your clients. But how can you be sure you've made the right choices? That's where tracking and analyzing your rates performance comes in. This isn't just about monitoring your income—it's about understanding the impact of your rates on your business.

  1. Monitor Your Earnings: Keep track of your income on a project-by-project basis. This will help you see if your rates are sustainable and profitable. If you're not earning enough, it may be time to revise your rates.
  2. Assess Client Feedback: If clients are regularly trying to negotiate lower rates or walking away from your proposals, it could be a sign that your rates are too high. On the other hand, if you're getting more work than you can handle, your rates might be too low.
  3. Analyze Your Market Position: Look at how your rates compare to other designers in the healthcare field. If you're charging much more or less than your competitors, it might be time to reassess.
  4. Evaluate Your Workload: If you're consistently overloaded with work or finding yourself with too much free time, your rates may not be set appropriately. Your rates should reflect the amount of work you can realistically handle.

Just as with setting your rates, tracking and analyzing your rates performance is an ongoing process. By staying on top of it, you can ensure your rates remain competitive and profitable, helping you to build a successful healthcare design business.

If you're looking to develop an effective strategy for healthcare design rates, we recommend checking out the workshop 'Freelance Freedom: Levelling Up' by Dominique Eloise. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to level up your freelance business, including strategies for setting your rates and managing your finances in the healthcare design field.