Even for experienced virtual assistants, determining rates can be a tough process filled with doubt and conflict. The key is knowing your market and having rates that are easy to understand.
Important considerations for any virtual assistant in determining rates include your experience, what your operating profit needs to be (per hour), and knowing what other virtual assistants are charging in your locale and area of expertise. When you first start you may decide to price yourself below the average in your area, and this is perfectly acceptable especially since you are initially focused on attracting clients. This approach can have both positive and negative consequences, as in the process of attracting new clients at a lower rate, you run the risk of attracting too many clients. Having too many clients is not always an ideal to strive for as you could find yourself over-committed and unable to manage the workload.
Overbooked = Stress
If you choose this approach assign a limit to the number of clients you will charge the lower rate to, and once that limit is reached begin quoting a higher rate to new clients. As your rate continues to increase according to your own conditions and requirements, you can migrate your clients from the lower rate to your standard rate. You are working towards a single rate that you are confident asking, yet is also competitive with other virtual assistants in your area, or offering similar services. Some virtual assistants offer clients retainer packages, with a discounted rate applicable depending on how much time the client purchases.
The concept is closely related to value bundles found in certain retailers, but the result is usually not the same. Offering too many choices creates extra administration for you, while also confusing your client. Research has repeatedly shown that when clients are faced with too many choices, they don’t choose any of the options. Offering a single rate is easier for you to manage, and easier for your client to understand.
Virtual assistants have also been known to charge variable rates depending on whether the task, or service, is basic or more specialized and advanced. It is easy to understand the appeal in doing this, but it can be quite difficult to manage logistically and administratively. As recommended earlier, work towards a single rate you feel confident in asking, regardless of whether the service is specialized or basic. Naturally your profit margin on your basic services will be higher, but this is quite acceptable.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
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