Determine your TRUE COST. This is the total cost to you, to execute a contract. Below are the factors I use to determine my true cost.
1) OUT OF POCKET COSTS: These are things like gas, specific uniform items, parking, tolls, public transportation costs, shipping costs of supplies, special certifications, required demo items, required professional photos, specific grooming costs, etc.
2) ESTIMATE of ALL HOURS - These are the unpaid things that take time out of your day, and are NOT specifically covered under contracted hours: travel time to and from event site, time it takes to get from parking to assigned area, set up or tear down, recap creation and/or completion, photo editing, pre-event phone calls, unpaid training or readings
3) CONTRACTED HOURS - These are the hours that you are scheduled to be active
4) LOSS of BUSINESS - This is meant to describe an analysis of what you could be doing, if you did not take this contract. Example : Making the choice between an offer that is a high daily rate for 3 days, or another contract that is a lower daily rate for 5 days. While the 5 days contract is more money, it also costs you 2 extra days. You have to decide which one is more beneficial at the time.
5) POTENTIAL NON COMPETE: This is a cost that we often forget. Many contracts state that you cannot work with certain brands, agencies or clients if you choose to work with them, even if it is a 'one off' event. If I already have a working relationship with said entities, I might choose to avoid a contract that would endanger potential larger or ongoing ones.
Everyone should decide for themselves which factors affect them, and how to order their importance when looking through contract options. The most important thing, is to decide what those factors are, and then use them to decide which contracts you wish to take. The only person who can decide if the contract is worth it, is you. Set boundaries, set expectations and take on the world; one contract at a time!