Virtual Assistant Series Part #3 - All About Pricing
Pricing is probably one of the most challenging parts of the VA biz process if I am honest. When I first started out, I just picked a number and went with it. I was just thrilled that people were paying me in the first place to do work for them on “my own terms.” I say that sarcastically because I was certainly not making boundaries known with my first few clients. It was way more on their terms than mine. More on that later.
There is a delicate balance between pricing for profit and overpricing your services. I am going to let you know straight up that you are probably going to underprice yourself when you first start thinking of your fees to clients. Don’t do that. Seriously don’t.
Let’s Think Expenses
Let’s just do some basic math here. Get out a pen and paper or a Google sheet, whatever you fancy. Think about all of your current and potential business expenses. If you are starting out, it may be hard to think of numbers for all of these line items, but I am going to get you started with some things you need to include in this list. Not all of these may apply to you, but I am just helping you get the wheels turning here.
Your online domain/website items
Client relationship management software (what you are going to use for invoices, contracts, etc.)
Transportation to meetings, projects, etc.
Application software (such as Canva for graphics or Later for social media)
With any of these items, if you do not have to a specific number or price point, no worries, but DO YOUR RESEARCH. You may think something only costs $10 a month, but be smart. You may need a different type of account that costs more, need to add more team members, etc. To be on the safe side, high ball these numbers. Prepare yourself. Don’t go into debt from the get-go. That’s a big mistake.
Take those numbers and add them together for your expenses. Great. You’ve got that figured out. Moving on to the next step.
Do Your Market Research
Now is time to do some market research. Take an hour or so and evaluate other VA’s in your niche. Consider their experience level compared to yours and how your brand compares to theirs. You want to be in line with the market, but you don’t want to be unrealistic with your comparisons. Be reasonable with who you are putting yourself up against in your comparisons. Look at their website, social media presence, and content they are sharing. If you feel like you are in tow with them, great. If you feel like you are better than them, cool - review their pricing and see if you can position yourself at a higher price point. Just see what is out there.
Time for More Math
Think of how much you want to make per year factoring in the competition and your skill level. Divide that by 12. See what you need to charge per hour, per package, etc. to equal that amount. Also, determine how many clients or projects you need per month to make that number. Also! Think about those expenses. Add those into the mix. You may need to bump up your rate to compensate for those expenses that are taking away from your personal paycheck at the of each month. Do the math. Then, do the math three more times. Make sure the numbers add up. Keep these numbers on record as well. Couldn’t hurt to have it on file for future reference.
Get your pricing and rates down on a document to reference when we start to build out your website and work on your proposal packets! The creative stuff is coming soon!
Quick tip - set a reminder or internal due date to reevaluate your pricing 5-6 months from now. See if you have improved and grown in your business. It may be time to give yourself a raise at that point.
Have questions? Shoot me a message through my contact page!