Whether we like it or not, the world revolves around money. Therefore it’s not surprising that whenever a small business owner begins a conversation relating to the introduction of a new product or service, the conversation quickly turns to an investigation of the cost involved. For some people, cost is everything and especially so in difficult economic circumstances. However, cost is always relative in other words it relates to exactly what you get for your money in terms of quality, presentation and experience. Whenever considering how much a virtual assistant should cost and especially if you have never been involved in paying for these services before, much care should be taken in order to ensure that proper value is being viewed.
For a small business owner who may have been used to paying someone on staff before it may be understandable that a direct comparison is made between the cost charged by the VA and the hourly wage earned by the employee. Yet this is a false comparison. An employee who earns an hourly wage, or may even be paid a monthly salary, also costs the employer in terms of benefits, insurance, taxes, sick pay, holiday pay and other “add ons.” In addition, don’t forget that there is a very real cost associated with the space that the employee occupies in your facility, the operational costs of running the office.
A virtual assistant is experienced and has already paid to learn the skills that you will be hiring. You have to take this into account as well when you look at the rates. After all, if you did this job yourself or employed somebody directly to do so you would be responsible for the cost of training and keeping up-to-speed with what is necessary on an ongoing basis. Rates vary considerably within the VA industry. As you might expect rates associated with more technical or involved work, such as coding, graphics design etc., are generally higher than rates associated with administrative work. Bear in mind that the rates will reflect not only the expertise provided by the virtual assistant, but also their own cost of doing business. It’s never sensible therefore to try and compare any quoted costs to the basic cost of an hourly employee. It’s very much a case of assessing exactly how much it costs you to complete a particular job, either according to the value of your own time in realistic terms, or the “gross” cost of directly employing someone to do it. Now you’re able to do a realistic comparison between the cost quoted by the virtual assistant and your real world expenditure.
When looking at options in the virtual assistant industry be very careful to assess the experience and likely competence of the VA in question. An individual who charges too little may not in reality value their services properly, or may be inexperienced. Anticipate what the virtual assistant could bring to the table in terms of their own business experience and ability, as well as the direct experience associated to the task in question.
Seeking Serenity’s full rates start from £15 per hour.