Do you know how much you need to charge to keep your VA business operational, profitable and sustainable? If you haven’t taken the time to do the math yet, it’s time!
If you are working with clients right now but you are still struggling with making money, you need to look at what you are charging clients.
I was extremely discouraged this week to witness a conversation taking place in a VA group.
A VA reached out for some advice around what she called logistics.
She has two clients that she is working for 20 hours a week each – a total of 40 billable hours a week. Great, eh? I think that’s wonderful to have a full VA business with just two clients!
Her concern was that she didn’t have time to add another 20 hour/week client, but she needs to because the 2 current clients are not earning her enough to pay her bills.
The logical answer for this response is that her rates are too low and she needs to raise them. If you are billing 40 hours a week and you can not pay your bills, it’s completely obvious (to me) that you are not charging what you need to charge.
She said that she was charging the going rate for VA work in her area, because her clients would not pay more (and yes, her rate is MUCH too low to operate a business).
Some VAs stated that perhaps her bills were too high (not that her rates are too low). Ummm … here’s the thing … if you know how much you need to earn in your business, then you must set your billable rate accordingly.
You can’t just pick a number out of the air.
You can’t just work for whatever a client says they will pay you.
And you can’t work 60 hours a week just to make ends meet.
If you are running a business, you get to make the decision about how much you charge.
I was not discouraged by her request for advice. I was discouraged by the fact that she thought that the answer was to add another client.
And don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing this VA at all. She is absolutely not the only one with this mindset. I am so happy that she reached out to get advice, because many VAs just never do.
I was also annoyed by the absolutely awful advice she was getting from the other VAs in the group – to get subcontractors. When you can not pay your own bills, you NEVER bring someone else in to your business.
And if your rate is too low to begin with, you can NOT pay someone else even less per hour to do the same work.
The only logical solution in this situation is to raise your rates.
Yes, that might mean that you lose clients. But you will burn out and lose your business entirely if you don’t.
Clients are everywhere. We are virtual – we do not have to settle for clients who do not see our value, or who tell us what they will pay us.
Clients are allowed to have a budget, of course, but it is NOT their right to tell us what we can charge. They can only tell us if they agree to pay it.
Calculating what you need to charge to make your business sustainable is your right as a business owner.
In fact, it’s your responsibility as a business owner.
Do it properly, and then craft service offerings that provide value and support for your clients.
Then go out and find those clients. I promise you they are out there, and you and your business will be in better shape because of the math you do!
If you need to figure out how much your billable rate should be, download my free Rate Calculation Package and figure it out! It will show you the variety of ways you can bring revenue into your VA business so you can make sure you are charging the right amount starting now!
About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in a many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.