Today, I want you to think about whether your VA business is a hobby or a true business? By that I mean, are you just dabbling on the side, or are you taking what you’re doing very seriously?
The reason why I ask this is I see so many VAs in different forums doing things that make me think they’re not taking this VA thing very seriously. It’s the latest fad, it’s something to fill in time, something they’ll just ‘try’ for awhile to see if it works, and so on. As a result, their experience of being a VA and being in the VA Industry is rather flawed in so many different ways. In how they approach clients or tackle issues, or even assess what is a good rate to be charging.
Some try to take the easy way out by asking what others are charging but we’re not comparing apples with apples here. Some have many years of experience, some have only a few. Some specialise in ‘this’ and others specialise in ‘that’. And worst still, when the going gets tough they just disappear – much to the client’s chagrin and to the detriment of our industry as a whole. It gives the rest of us a bad name.
Same with charging too low (which makes me think people are looking at this as a hobby, rather than a serious business) as it makes clients think we all charge like that. We don’t. Granted, some are in countries with a lower cost of living and different currencies, but it’s important that all of us do our sums and work out rates that are right for us. Why? So we can cover our costs and still have some left over to live on. We all have different costs of living and if you’re unsure about this, perhaps speaking to your accountant, or a business coach who specialises in finance coaching, might be the way to go. If you want to be in this industry for the long-term, then please make sure you start out as you intend to continue.
In the meantime, all who are financial members of VA Directory would have received the membership pack from me which has a formula on page 10. If you haven’t yet joined our network, today would be a good day!
Kathie is the owner of VA Directory and is former past President of the Australian VA Association. She founded the Virtual Assistant industry in Australia in the mid 90s, having already been operating a home-based secretarial service. Today the VA industry covers a multitude of office-based services for clients worldwide.