Cost of a Virtual Assistant

How much should I charge as a Virtual Assistant?

The million dollar question – this is what everyone wants to know, “How much should I charge as a Virtual Assistant”? But how do you actually put a value on yourself? How much is a Virtual Assistant? You also have to look at it from the customer’s point of view – “How much is the cost of a Virtual Assistant?”. “How much do VAs charge?”

Where you are situated globally will also have an impact on the rate you can charge – we all know that a VA based in the UK or USA is going to charge more than someone based in India or Thailand.

  • There are quite a few websites that allow you to compare salaries for various skill-sets, (Project Manager, Web Designer, Executive Assistant, etc.)  this is a good starting point but make sure to position yourself at the top of the market – never undersell yourself. 
  • Break it down to an hourly rate – but then factor in things like how much do you think you need to live on? What are your overhead costs? As a rough guide add on roughly 25% to your hourly rate to cover things like tax, insurance, etc.
  • What are competitors charging in the current market?
  • When quoting try and quote your lowest rate – i.e. £1 per minute sounds a lot less than £60 an hour, especially if the job is not going to take an hour to complete.
  • If you want to offer a discount, make sure you show your actual rate less the discount.  This allows you to return to the actual rate at the end of the promotion, introductory period, etc.
  • Remember you are a sub-contractor supplying paid services to an external organisation and therefore are responsible for your own tax affairs. 
  • You most likely will not be entitled to any state benefits such as sick pay, holiday pay, pension contributions, etc. so consider how you will support yourself during periods where you cannot work.
  • Don’t forget to factor in the monthly costs it takes to run your business such as insurances, software licences, consumables, etc.

Don’t be fooled by thinking you are going to be raking in the money every hour you work however, as you must factor in administration time for running your own business.  Things like introductory meetings, preparation of quotations, preparing end of month accounts, or even just answering phone calls and having a quick chat with an interested party, these will all take up your time but they are not billable.

So that deals with working out how much you can charge as a Virtual Assistant, later on we will look at how you will actually receive payments for the services you are providing.

Okay we have covered quite a bit there and now we can start looking at what you actually need to deliver this super service that you are going to offer.