#VAin30 - Day 5: Setting Your Fees as a Virtual Assistant

How do you know what to charge as a virtual assistant? Learn the benefits of charging by the hour, the project, and the client. #VAin30

One of the hardest aspects to running your own business, especially a virtual assistant business, is deciding how much you will charge for your services. You don’t want to charge too much and lose out on potential clients, but you also don’t want to charge too little and not show your worth.

Finding the price that works is key to being successful!

How to Set your Fees

You need to decide if you want to charge by the hour, by project, or by the client. There are a couple of things to consider when choosing what works best for you.

Setting an Hourly Rate

The downfall to setting and charging an hourly rate to your clients is that there are only so many hours in a day, so you can only earn so much. An average work day is only 8 hours, so your hourly rate times 8 is your maximum daily income. Additionally, the more you are in the business and perform the same tasks over and over, the faster you will be able to complete them in -- which means you will actually be paid less for being more efficient.

Choosing an hourly rate isn’t as easy as it sounds, either. You need to take into account that there are only 8 working hours in a day, and you will be working from home. You have the expense of your computer, internet and utilities. You have to set your hourly rate high enough to cover all of your expenses and your worth, but not too high that you’ve set yourself out of a job.

As an entry level virtual assistant, it isn’t unheard of to charge $10-$15 an hour for basic tasks such as data entry, social media posting, and administrative tasks. Experienced virtual assistants can earn upwards of $30 an hour. It is easiest to start out at a lesser hourly rate and then (when you begin to receive multiple requests and referrals for your work) you can raise your hourly fees as you see fit.

Choosing a Project Price

Many clients and virtual assistants prefer to charge by the project, so that the total price is clearly communicated beforehand. This way each party knows what they have in the project and there are no surprises at the end. To determine how to charge on a per project basis, first get a detailed explanation from your client on what they want the project to entail.

From there, figure out how long you think it will take you to complete those tasks and add in any expenses that you will incur by doing them. Clearly communicate with the client exactly what you will be doing along with your quote for those services. Doing so will ensure that you are both on the same page and that your services will provide value to the client.

From the perspective of a virtual assistant, charging on a per project basis is the best way to earn more money, especially for tasks that you do regularly.

Charging by the Client

You might come across some clients who wish to have you “on call”, so to speak. The business owner knows that they will more than likely have work that will need to be done in a month, they love your work and want to make sure that you are available when they need you, so they pay you a deposit for a certain number of hours of work a month. (This is also called a "monthly retainer".)

Many times these hours will be at a discounted rate since you are guaranteed the money regardless if they assign you work or not. This is a great service for virtual assistants to offer since you will have the security of this income coming in every month. And on the flip side, it is also beneficial for the business owner because life happens, deadlines come up and it is always nice to have a reliable assistant to turn to help when you need it.

Determining your fees for your Virtual Assistant business will more than likely be the hardest thing you do. You don’t want your rates to be too low and be viewed as an assistant who provides low rate services, but yet you don’t want to set them so high that no one will hire you. There will always be someone who is willing to work for less than you, so let them! Know your value and be confident in the service you provide and you’re sure to succeed!

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