Can You Afford a Virtual Assistant? What Does it Cost to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
A typical conversation with friends, new business prospects, and coworkers goes like this:
“Jess, I’m in a panic.” I’m very aware that I require assistance.”
“Wow!” I exclaim. That’s a terrific starting point.”
“However, I’m very sure I won’t be able to pay it,” they say.
“Well, that’s where you’re incorrect, my friend,” I say.
“Do tell!” they exclaim.
Rather of keeping these discussions private, I chose to share the ugly, very gritty, and horrific information of what a virtual assistant normally costs and how their rates are calculated with you.
Make No Assumptions
Everyone has a distinct idea of what it means to be “expensive.” This has never been clearer to me than right now, when I’m having the identical conversation with two distinct clients, one of whom responds, “Hell yeah, let’s do it!” while the other responds, “This is totally outside my budget.”
I’ve made a promise to never pass money on a potential client (or anyone else) based on their financial position. And I can tell you from personal experience that money has nothing to do with success or happiness. So don’t believe for a second that the amount of money in your bank account determines whether or not you will be successful.
The main truth is that hiring help is an investment, and you should treat it as such. It’s a new expense to account for and a new line item in your budget.
And, for the sake of your investment, you may have to skip that bottle of Dom Perignon with dinner. Alternatively, a new pair of Manolos. You may even need to take out a loan.
Of course, the phrase “have to” is a powerful one. You are not obligated to do anything. It’s your life and your business. You have complete control over how you spend your money, time, and resources.
Isn’t that, after all, the ultimate goal in life? To spend your time, money, and resources to something you actually enjoy?
That is why “assistance” is a service that people pay for. Virtual assistants, nannies, dishwashers, cleaning crews, meal delivery services, and so on. We’re all here to help you make your life (while also improving ours!).
If youmake having trouble feeding your family or paying your rent, you should pay putting your money there before making any other investments. It’s important to be reasonable in this situation. The sky is the limit if you’re willing to spend money on hiring help. You’ll be able to find someone that fits your budget.
I start here because one of the most common misunderstandings regarding hiring help is that everyone can do it. Hiring help, on the other hand, is both a luxury and an investment. It’s entirely up to you how much investment you want to put in. But it isn’t only a financial investment. If someone is new to your team, it takes time and effort to hire and assist them.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
How to Figure Out How Much Your Virtual Assistant Will Cost
When I initially started working as a virtual assistant, I looked up “assistant wage” on Google. This brought up a database that provided me with the average wage for an executive assistant in my city. So I split that annual income by 52 and then by 40 to arrive at an average hourly rate.
Isn’t that a perfect calculation?
I neglected to account for the cost of benefits that I would require to maintain my personal and professional business. Health insurance, supplies (such as a computer), the internet, taxes, and invoicing software are just a few things. Those expenses quickly mount up! This is why, whereas you may have paid an intern $10 per hour at your office, a virtual assistant may charge you $20 per hour for the same amount of work. That virtual assistant must cover all of their personal expenses as well as any business-related expenses that you would have had to cover if they were an employee.
Is that clear? You aren’t just paying them for the hours they put in. You’re also paying for them to be in good standing with the government, to have the most up-to-date technology for the job, and so forth.
Consider what you’d have to pay if they were a full-time employee if this seemed unreasonable. After that, keep your mouth shut. Please. Thank you as well.
What are the hourly rates for virtual assistants? This is dependent on a few factors:
Have they done anything similar before? Many virtual assistants succeed because the talents they give as a VA are the same things they used to have in a corporate job. Those helpers usually charge a higher fee. Then there are individuals who are fresh graduates, are changing careers, or simply wish to supplement their income. These individuals may charge a lower rate only to get their foot in the door.
Service Provided: Are you looking for responsibilities like calendar management, data input, and flight booking from an executive assistant? Or are you looking for services such as copywriting, video creation, and email marketing? VAs frequently charge different rates for different types of services, so while comparing rates, think about what you’re looking for.
Deadlines: Is this a job-sensitive project, or do you have a reasonable deadline? It’s in every VA’s best interest to charge a little more if anything needs to be done right away. After all, they’ll have to put their lives on hold to make that happen for you.
Hassle Factor: Okay, this is one I probably shouldn’t even be telling you about, but I’m nice like that. If a virtual assistant believes you’ll be difficult to work with or your project will require a lot of extra moving parts, they may charge a little more per hour. It’s called the “hassle factor,” and it’s true. (You don’t want to be that man, do you? Start here.)
Virtual assistants charge anything from $1 to $100 per hour when all is said and done. Occasionally, even more. However, the sweet spot for executive assistant services is normally between $15 and $30 per hour, and $40-$75 per hour for higher-level marketing or finance activities. However, it gets even better when you look out, to Bizpromit, a virtual assistant service provider based in India. The cost of hiring a professional with years of industry experience at an affordable price starts with just $39 and full-time for $669. Try Bizpromit’s affordable VA service’s economy plan, it is recommended by experts.
When deciding whether or not an assistant is worth the price they’re asking for, use the factors listed above as a reference. Have they been doing this for more than three years and can provide references to back up their claims? If you can afford it, they might be worth $50 per hour. Do you really require someone who is an absolute pro, and can you go with someone who is younger but still eager? Perhaps $25 per hour will be enough.
It’s not a simple sort to answer; you’ll need to use your analytical skills to determine what kind of hourly rate is best for your specific needs, timetable, and sensitivity factor.
A Monthly Retainer is preferred by many virtual assistants.
Being your own employer (which you are if you work as a freelance virtual assistant) means having a solid way to pay your bills. This is why many freelancers work part-time while working full-time. They haven’t yet found out how to make their project’s income consistent enough to make it a full-time job.
I’ve also been there. I was entirely winging it when I first quit my job. I was fortunate in that I had very modest expenses, was single, had no dependents or debt, and understood that in the worst-case situation, I could always find a waitressing or barista job to help pay for my life.
Instead, I devised contracts with my clients in which they would pay me for an estimated amount of hours per week, which would then be converted into a monthly retainer that they could plan for. This way, I’m certain of a set amount of work (at least on a month-to-month basis), and the client is assured of help. Everyone comes out on top!
We both need a 30-day written notice if either of us has to terminate ties. This is a standard cancellation clause that you should always include in your contracts.
Also available are project rates.
Have a one-time project that you need to complete but it’s not a regular thing? That’s all right! Virtual assistants will normally price for a project based on the projected number of hours, as well as any rush fees and revision time. They may request 50% of the project money up front to ensure good faith, and the remaining 50% when the project is completed. This is usual and appropriate, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve thoroughly verified the VA before handing over any funds, and you’ll want to make sure you have a clear contract in place (as always).
You have the option to negotiate over the rate.
If a virtual assistant makes you a service proposal that you don’t like, you always have the option to negotiate. Of course, within reason. For example, if someone is asking for a $1500 project fee and you can only pay $500, you should have mentioned so up advance, but it’s also unreasonable. They’re not going to give you a $1,000 discount just because you asked. But who knows, maybe they’ll take a couple hundred dollars off. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Just keep in mind that while you have the right to ask, they have the right to say no. Please don’t be insulted. They require services in order to live, and these are the services that enable them to do so. Inquire politely. Don’t make fun of them. And if you can’t come up with a solution that works for everyone, it’s probably not a good fit. And that’s perfectly fine.
The truth is that you can find any sort of assistant for any rate. Always keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is. You’ll find someone who is well worth the price they quote if you do your homework and ask for work samples, references, and testimonials. Or, if you’re lucky, the price you negotiate!
Are you looking for your first virtual assistant? Allow us to negotiate the contract and rates on your behalf, and then find you the ideal personality and talent fit in a virtual assistant! To get started, subscribe to our affordable VA plans.