Most people are quite surprised when I tell them my hourly rate, saying ‘how much?!’
My hourly rate reflects my years of knowledge & experience (over 20 years!). So, you may think my rate seems a little high, but you will only pay for the time that I spend actually working for you.
Some VA’s think we should price ourselves competitively with the local temp rate (even if that means going as low as £10/hour)…
From the Clients’ perspective: I’m in a rural area and my local temp agency charges £20p/hr for an assistant. I have 200 envelopes which need stuffing, which should take about 2 hours to do. Let’s see how much that could cost-
Temp: £20p/hr x 5 hrs (min hire is ½ day) = £100 + the client also has to sort out somewhere for them to sit, etc etc.
VA: £25p/hr x 2 hours + 2 x £10 courier charges = £70
But on paper, the VA is charging more than the Temp.
From the Temp’s point of view: It’s in their interest to drag the job out for as long as possible since they’re usually doing this as a stop gap between jobs and there’s no long-term relationship with the client. They need to try and take as long as possible to do the job so they earn the maximum amount of money. They can’t afford to take jobs where the travel costs make it prohibitive to them earning any money so they won’t do jobs for less than ½ a day. If they are in a remote area, would the temp agency even be able to find somebody at relatively short notice?
From the VA’s point of view: It’s in our interest to create a long-standing relationship with the client and do a great job, quickly and efficiently, so the client wants to use us again. We are highly skilled former executive assistants/PA’s and also have a virtual skill set which makes us extremely knowledgeable about small business practises.
Here’s a comparison to employing your own PA –
The average salary for a PA in the UK is £27,000 according to the Reed website*. So, if you employ them for 35 hours a week that’s £14.83 per hour – Looking at this figure, yes, my hourly rate seems expensive.
Don’t forget you also have to pay Employer’s national insurance contributions. That’s 13.8% on anything over £7,488 a year (2013). So realistically you are paying £16.88 an hour.
If you give them 28 days holiday (including stats) & using the DWP average of 5 days sick a year - this makes a total of 33 days you are paying them for doing absolutely nothing!
This year there are 253* working days but actually your employee may only work 220 of those days, which takes their cost up to £19.95 per hour.
Of those 220 days, your employee will not be working solidly for 7 hours a day, there are those things that take them away from their desk; tea rounds, toilet breaks, conversations with you & other members of staff. It’s fair to say that your employee would realistically only spend 6 hours a day actually working. Here comes the fun part, for those 6 hours of work you are actually paying them £23.27 per hour. That changes the equation, doesn’t it?
This calculation doesn’t consider the additional costs involved with employing somebody in your office, such as PC/laptop, pension, training, insurance, software licenses, coffee & even pens, etc etc.
I hope you can now see the benefits of working with a Virtual Assistant, someone you can hire for a small amount of time, who charges by the hour, stops the timer if they’re not working on a task for you & even provides their own coffee!
You don’t have to pay for licenses, NI contributions, sick pay or any office equipment to name a few.
Do you still think my hourly rate is expensive?
If you would like to find out more about the services I offer, or a free consultation please contact me by any of the means below.
*Data from 2013