Have you ever considered outsourcing to a freelancer and been surprised at how much they charge?
Surely they should be cheaper! It’s just them doing the work after all, why should they charge so much? I saw a different freelancer charging much less yesterday, I think I’ll use them instead. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, isn’t that what they say?
Time to get objective. Take a look at your own business. As a small business owner you have expenses to pay – insurance, taxes, utility bills, marketing, stationery, etc. The list can seem endless at times. So what do you do? You set your charges according to how much you want to earn after the expenses have been taken care of, right? Well, freelancers have to do the same.
Let me talk you through the costs involved with working as a Virtual Assistant
A decent laptop is essential along with secure and reliable internet, a good mobile phone service, etc. This is just to be able to talk to current and prospective clients. To be able to work for them software is needed – different clients prefer to use different software to meet their needs, which ultimately means VAs having to have a licence for each one. That’s along with cloud storage costs, our own software for things like accounting and time tracking, etc.
It’s one thing buying the software but it’s another knowing how to use it! That’s why we undertake regular training to learn how to use programs and gain new skills to be able to assist our clients even further. Specialist training can be expensive and it takes time away from our business too.
Insurance is a big expense for a Virtual Assistant. We’re often working on confidential and highly important projects that if we get it wrong, could cause a lot of problems for our clients. Although a good VA will talk to their client and ensure they take steps to prevent any problems, mistakes can still happen. So insurance is an essential expense to protect ourselves and our business as much as we can.
As much as we’re nice and helpful people, we’re also looking to make a living wage from our work. If you had an employee, you’d be paying for things like National Insurance, PAYE, pension, etc. As we’re independent, we have to cover these costs ourselves. Can you start to see why we charge what we do?
Here comes the good news
Unlike an employee, we don’t need to be trained up to do the work and have the experience and skills to be able to start straight away. Actually, because we work for a variety of businesses we have a wealth of knowledge that can directly benefit your business. You can read more about the benefits of working with a Virtual Assistant here: How we work with you
But here’s what you need to consider when choosing a Virtual Assistant to work with. If someone is a cheaper – why? Is it because they are new and unsure what to charge? Maybe they don’t have all the equipment or software they need? Or are they cutting back on things like insurance? If they charge too little, how long are they going to be around for?
Perhaps, rather than making the decision based on cost, you should ask the Virtual Assistant what they can do for you and your business?