Do you flounder when talking to clients about your rates?
Or are you still struggling every month to pay yourself or your expenses?
If you do, you might want to reconsider how you have structured your pricing.
The rates you set in your VA business are extremely important. Revenue is the thing that keeps you in business so it’s essential to set your rates properly.
To make sure that your rates are where they should be, there are three things to consider:
One area Virtual Assistants often struggle is with the value of the services they offer. When you are setting your rates, be careful not to set them too low, simply because you think ‘that’s what people will pay’. There are so many clients out there who understand the value a VA brings to their business. And when you can articulate that value to them (and then prove it through the fabulous work you do!), you will find the best clients.
You also need to be aware of setting them too high if you can’t back it up. Some VAs research what others who provide similar services charge, and simply make a choice to charge the same. While there are definitely benchmarks, be sure that you are setting your rates based on your own abilities and value.
Another area that VAs sometimes don’t consider is profit. They figure out their rates based on what they want to earn, and as long as it covers their expenses, they figure that is good enough. That is fine to be in business but to stay in business, you have to earn a profit as well.
There has to be money left at the end of the month so that you can invest in training, or resources, or unexpected expenses, or even to give yourself a raise. Business is about making money from your services. Be sure to consider profitability when you are setting your rates.
The final area that you need to consider when you are setting your rates is the viability of your market. What that means is what will the market bear for your service offerings? If you plan to work with an industry that struggles with profit margins, that will affect what they pay for support. I used to work with the hospitality industry in my area and the profit margins are very slim for that industry. There wasn’t a lot of extra money to pay a consultant like me. I struggled to find good clients, and I ended up charging a lot less than I needed to. Find a healthy viable industry to work with and you can set the rates you need to be successful.
Being in business is always better when money is not an issue. The money that comes into your business is a very important thing to plan well.
If you know that your current rates are not where you need them to be, try looking at the three areas above to make some changes.
If you haven’t set your rates yet, be sure to go through them to consider value, profit, and viability.
Doing so will help you set your rates based on a more solid foundation, and that’s just good business.
Tracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.
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