Rates – Pricing – what do you charge?

One of the hardest things when you become a VA is to decide what rates you are going to charge. The important thing is not to short-change yourself and instead consider the value you add to your clients.

You can charge by the hour, per project or through a monthly retainer.Getting Your Pricing Right as a VA

It helps to know what you can do – and how long various tasks are likely to take you.

This all gets easier over time.

You get to know what tasks you are best suited to (so you can promote those more strongly in your marketing).

You learn to track your time and get to know precise (and approximate) times for how long it takes you to do specific tasks.

You become more productive as you get to know the time-saving tips and tricks of your computer tools and applications.

Use Excel to help you work out the numbers.

Create a spreadsheet and list all the common tasks you get asked (or may get asked) to do by a client.

Assign each task a time you know or think it takes to complete it. You can segment them if it helps to build a more accurate picture.

For example, for proofreading a document you could break that down into (i) proofread 10 pages, (ii) proofread 20 pages or (iii) proofread 30+ pages.

Create a column for ‘Quantity’ (the number of times that task is needed) and one for ‘total hours’.

When a client asks you to work on a project you can quickly calculate how much of your time it’s likely to take.

If you work on an hourly rate, you can then multiply the ‘total hours’ by the hourly rate. That gives you the likely fee you should charge.

It’s just a short step up to using that information to create a proposal (should one be required) with a neat, professional document.

And, of course, you can use Excel to record your money in and your money out.

What should you list?

When you are self-employed, freelance or running your own business it’s worth remembering what you may have given up from when you were working in a company:

  • Holiday pay
  • Sick pay
  • Maternity leave
  • National Insurance and tax sorted for you
  • A desk, stationery, phone, photocopier, fax and other equipment
  • Petrol and mileage
  • Rent
  • Utilities including broadband, phone lines, water, heating, electricity
  • Free coffee and tea
  • Training, network meetings and Personal Development
  • Guaranteed hours
  • Security of income

If you work from home you will have overheads to cover – your phone, broadband, heating, water, lighting and electricity, plus all your stationery.

It’s important to weigh that all up when you set your charges.

And, of course, if you offer specialist VA services – such as website tech or Social Media marketing – you can add that into the money mix, too.

Using Excel can help to work it all out so you know where you are – and can set your charges with confidence.

How do you decide what to charge? Do let me know in the comments below.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes