If you are comparing the rates Virtual Assistants charge, you might have noticed that the pricing structure can vary from one VA to another. I want to explain the different pricing structures Virtual Assistants offer and the benefits of each to help you decide which will be best for you and your business.
Hourly rate/pay as you go
All Virtual Assistants will have an hourly rate. This is the simplest pricing structure. The Virtual Assistant will have set their own rate based on their experience, the services they offer and if they do any specialist work. As a guide, the average hourly rate for a Virtual Assistant based in the UK is currently £28 per hour (Society of Virtual Assistant's annual survey).
Some Virtual Assistants will just offer an hourly rate, although there may be a minimum number of hours you need to commit to initially. However, this is usually in the region of one to three hours.
‘Pay as you go’ is exactly as the name suggests, you just pay for the hours the Virtual Assistant works for your business. The VA will track this and you will be invoiced for the hours worked. This option is great for small, ad-hoc tasks, such as audio typing the transcription of a meeting or the creation of a feedback form. If you don’t need regular administration support, but want to pass on tasks now and again knowing they will be done quickly and to a high standard, this would be the best option for you.
Many Virtual Assistants will offer retainer packages where you can purchase a number of hours. These packages are perfect for businesses that require regular administration support, whether that is for social media scheduling, telephone answering or email inbox management. Purchasing a retainer package means that you know your Virtual Assistant will be available to you for the number of hours purchased. Clients on retainer packages will be given priority over pay as you go clients and ad-hoc work.
In my business, I offer three retainer or ‘bundle’ packages. The middle one of these is a 20 hour package in which these hours can be split over four weeks. This means you will get one hour of Virtual Assistant support each day over those four weeks.
You are likely to find that retainer packages offer a discount on the Virtual Assistant’s hourly rate.
If you have a particular project you need support with, such as planning and hosting a conference or event, you might be able to negotiate a bespoke or project rate with your Virtual Assistant. This option is recommended if you need your Virtual Assistant to be available at specific times and days as they will need to have sufficient notice to plan their other work around this.
The key to selecting the right package for your business is having a clear idea about the administration support you need. A Virtual Assistant can obviously help and advise you and you may find your need for support changes over time. But having a clearly defined task or planned outcome will ensure your working relationship with your Virtual Assistant gets off to a great start and you know you are getting the best value for your business.
Please contact me if you want any further information or advice on what package is right for you.