Are you a Virtual Assistant or aspiring Virtual Assistant, and are struggling with how to structure your pricing? Trust me, nearly every VA struggles with that! And as a VA myself, I have done pretty much every pricing structure that there is. Because of that, I want to help you learn the pros and cons to each of the structures before you make your decision.
First, you have hourly pricing. Basically, you set your hourly rate, and when you sign on new clients, they agree to pay your hourly rate. Typically what that looks like is you invoice them weekly for the hours you worked for them. I initially started out with this structure. And it has it’s pros and it’s cons for sure. I actually still have a client that I use this structure with, because she was one of my first clients, and we have a great relationship and I’m hesitant to make changes.
Each week, I invoice her via PayPal for the hours I worked for her, and attach a PDF of that week’s timesheet. Just a little side note, I track time for clients using Toggl, and transfer at the end of the day or every few days, to a Google Sheet that I have set up for each client. I share viewing capabilities with each client at the beginning of our working relationship as well, so that they can track how much time I’m working on their tasks.
The pro to this is pretty much only that some clients prefer this method, because it’s less scary than purchasing a large portion of hours up front. But the cons are several. Mainly the time it takes you as the contractor to invoice them each week. It also means you won’t have a definite idea of how much work you’ll need to do that week for that client. It can vary. The client that I still use this structure with, I do so because after so long of working together, I have a pretty good idea of how much time I’ll need to put in on her tasks and projects each week. But that’s only because we’ve been working together for so long.
The second option you have is project pricing. You can structure your pricing so that you charge per project. For instance, if you want to design websites, you can charge flat project fees for a project. This can be a great structure for certain services, but it’s not ideal if you offer a variety of services or are a general administrative VA. I have offered this structure for a very few clients, typically clients who need me to simply set up a membership or course on New Kajabi. Those clients didn’t need long term VA services, but rather, needed projects accomplished that they either didn’t know how to do, or didn’t have the time to do. In that case, I figured up what they needed done, and how much time it would take me, and I used my hourly rate to determine the entire project amount. And then of course, adjusted my contract accordingly.
This option is perfectly fine when you’re doing short term work for a client in the form of a project. It isn’t ideal for any other scenario.
And the third option, my favorite and personal recommendation, is hourly packaging pricing. Here, you choose packages based on amounts of hours. I personally offer 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 hour packages. My clients run the spectrum on the different packages. I have several clients at 40, and a few at 10, and a few in between. Very few ever choose 60. I simply offer it just in case someone might want it. At this point in my business though, I couldn’t accommodate a new client needing 60 hours a week.
Package pricing gives you several pros. First is that you know exactly how many hours you need to plan for, for each client. There is no guessing. Therefore you can plan your time and manage your time accordingly. You aren’t wondering how much time you’ll need to spend or how much money you’ll be making.
Which brings me to the second pro, you know exactly what your income will be. Which is highly important, because no one wants to be guessing at what they’ll be making each month.
It also means you are only invoicing that client once or twice a month. Some VA’s choose to charge up front for the entire package each month. I choose to invoice for 50% of the package price on the beginning of the month, and the remaining 50% at the end of the month. So I’m invoicing twice instead of four to five times, which is saving me time. And invoicing time isn’t billable, so it’s wasted time basically.
You don’t have to choose one or all of these options. It depends on what feels right for you. And chances are, you’ll adjust as your business grows and change along the way. And that’s fine! You’ll learn and grow right along with your VA business. But it’s important to identify how you’ll charge before you start trying to land clients. Otherwise, you’re causing yourself stress and overwhelm for no reason. Have your pricing structure set up and ready to go before you start the discovery process with that first client.
And if you aren’t sure how to do that, then my 5 Step Framework to Jump Start Your VA Biz challenge is definitely for you. You can find out more information and enroll for that by clicking here. It’s free and packaged full of great content to get your Virtual Assistant business up and running quickly.