One of the topics that raises its head from time to time on various VA forums is how to set rates. I’ve seen rates discussed ranging from $7USD per hour right through to $50USD or more per hour.
Part of the variation in costs will relate to VAs being in many different geographic locations and the cost of living, therefore, will play a big part in what might be charged for various services. However, some of the variation lies simply in the fact that new VAs lack confidence in their own abilities and worth and charge too low because they don’t think they can ask for more, they have no real idea of what their expenses in running a business are going to entail, and they are easily led by clients telling them what they will pay, rather than the other way around.
Recently I responded to another discussion on this topic at a VA forum and this is my response:
I published a book a few years ago about “How To Become A Virtual Assistant”. In it I have a chapter on setting rates that are right for you – the formula works for anyone in any geographic location. It also gives suggestions on the types of services you can provide, setting up at home and so on.
The book would suit anyone who is struggling in these areas, or looking to begin working as a home secretary or virtual assistant. On the website I also have a list of some of the Q&As included in the book.
There are also many virtual assistant networks out there. As you mix and mingle with them here and in other places you’ll find that there are many VAs who are getting good rates for the services they provide.
Learning from others who are already doing it will assist you in establishing your VA business. Take the time to read the discussions at the various forum archives and pay attention to those who have been in business a few years – they already have the knowledge and experience that you need.