In The VA World What Is Pay By The Hour?Posted by Tracy Baker on Sep 3, 2012 in Blog, Finance | 0 comments
In the virtual assistant world there are several different ways of levying charges for work undertaken. For example, work could be quoted based on the provision of a specific service, work could be quoted on the basis of a “retainer,” or work could be quoted on a pay-as-you-go basis, or pay by the hour. Often a virtual assistant will offer all three options to a client, based on exactly what the customer is looking for and the best arrangement for both sides.
It’s important to embrace this flexibility as, after all, no two cases are the same and work requirement will vary considerably and often. The virtual assistant wants to be as flexible as possible in terms of offering different types of assistance. Also, especially when a relationship is new, it may be difficult to ascertain exactly what work will be outsourced by the clients to the VA.
Often it will be necessary to create a pay by the hour arrangement. This is especially useful when the client may require the virtual assistant to perform maintenance of some type, for example by working on a variety of social media accounts. The client may require the virtual assistant to perform a certain amount of market research every month, either off-line or online. It is of course very difficult to ascertain how much time would be involved here and often the client will agree to pay the hourly rate, with the understanding that this will be settled after the hours have been used and according to a presented invoice.
The client should always remember that the hourly rate charged by the virtual assistant is inclusive of the business costs that the virtual assistant as an individual or a company has to pay. Remember the virtual assistant is in business too and consequently all rates will reflect this. It’s never realistic to compare an hourly rate presented by a virtual assistant with an hourly rate that may be paid to an on-site employee. Remember that the basic hourly rate paid to the on-site employee is only part of the story and when all is said and done is considerably higher when taxes and benefits have been taken into account.
As a relationship develops between a client and a virtual assistant both sides will be able to get a better “feel” for what’s involved on a regular basis. At this point both sides may agree to a different billing arrangement, which may be based on a specific block of time required. Such an agreement may be in addition to an arrangement based on service delivery. For example, content creation is a very popular service offered by virtual assistant teams. This is usually charged “by the item” rather than by the hour, as a virtual assistant charges a certain amount of money for each article or blog post written and delivered to the client.
In terms of ultimate flexibility, an hourly arrangement is a great way for a new client to feel their way as they go.
As a Business Owner, what would be your preferred agreement? Pay as you Go hourly, Blocks of Time or Packages? …..