Archive for March 23rd, 2007

What Could You Possibly be Thinking?

I recently came across a Virtual Assistant site that made the assertion that the professional rates Virtual Assistants typically charge in our profession (which average between $35-70 per hour) are “overinflated.”

Reading on, this Virtual Assistant then indicated that she charged less than $15 per hour and barely over $10.

So, the message was basically, “Don’t pay for overpriced professionals when you can hire me at less than a qualified employee’s rate because I lack business sense, can be easily taken advantage of, and I’m so deperate for clients that I will badmouth and undercut my colleagues while devaluing the very thing that earns my living.”

Hello?!

Are you even in business?

Because if you are, then you should know when you are in business for yourself, you charge rates that will both sustain your business and create profit. You also charge rates that are commensurate with not only your skill and knowledge, but the value that is delivered to clients through your serving them.

And you should know that your business will never succeed or prosper by charging rates that are less than you’d even make as an employee. When you were an employee, your hourly wage may have been anywhere between $9-15 an hour, but your employer was paying closer to triple that amount, not including all the myriad other intangible costs and expenses.

I understand that new Virtual Assistant business owners often need lots of education. Our organization exists to help with that. We even have a free Income & Pricing Calculator to help you determine a rate that fits your own unique business needs.

But just because you don’t quite have that knowledge and business savvy yet, don’t imply that your colleagues are somehow unethical or unreasonable in charging professional fees.

They are actually being smart business owners and valuing themselves and the service they provide to clients. Take that cue.