If you haven’t outsourced before or are looking into hiring your first Virtual Assistant, you may be wondering how it all works. As Virtual Assistants can help you with so many different tasks, it’s understandable that you’d be confused over how they charge! I mean, do Virtual Assistants charge per hour or per project, and do you pay in advance or after the work is finished? And how do you know they’re charging you for time spent on your tasks and not those of their other clients?
So how exactly does it work and do all Virtual Assistants work the same way? There’s understandably a lot of questions around this subject, so let’s look at giving you some answers!
It varies per Virtual Assistant
Although there is an industry guideline base rate of £25 per hour, it will still vary per Virtual Assistant. This variation can be due to location, level of experience and the skills they have. Of course, it also varies depending on how they charge for the tasks, as well.
Per hour, quarter, by the minute – Time tracking software
For basic administrative tasks, such as handling your emails or carrying out research etc, usually Virtual Assistants charge for the time spent on the task (unless on retainer – see below). This can be a set hourly rate or rounded up or down to the nearest minute or quarter-hour, depending on what’s set out in their contract. The Virtual Assistant will carry out the work needed, and then send you a record of the time spent, along with an invoice for the completed work.
Per project basis or package rate
Those projects that are more complex, specialised or difficult to monitor, will often have a set project or package cost. This can include website copy and design, copywriting, blog post creation, the setting up of social media accounts and bios, or even product launches. This type of charge is most commonly invoiced prior to commencement of the work, although you may also be charged a deposit upfront, with the remainder due once work has finished.
A lot of Virtual Assistants charge a monthly retainer rate to their clients. This gives peace of mind to both the Virtual Assistant and client. A monthly retainer is great for you, as you then know how many hours you have allocated to you, along with the monthly price you need to budget for. The Virtual Assistant has peace of mind too, as they know you’ve committed to a set amount of time and they can block that out on their calendar in advance. This is why retainers usually give you a preferential hourly rate – the more hours you can commit to, the better the hourly rate will be. And, as a monthly retainer client, you’ll have higher priority than the Virtual Assistants ad-hoc clients, too!
Check your contract
If you’re ever in any doubt as to how a Virtual Assistant is charging for their time, book in a call and have a chat. If you’re already a client, the terms and charges will all be listed on your contract – so refer back to that, if you have any questions. And of course, when it comes to your review call, you can always discuss your available options, before renewing for another period of time.
When you’re new to outsourcing, it can be confusing to understand the way Virtual Assistants charge for their time. However, due to the nature of the work, the scope of projects and the timescales involved, it can vary enormously. But knowing upfront, whether your project is an hourly rate or a set price – along with the recorded timesheets for work completed – this can go a long way to ease the confusion.