I have recently been reviewing my retainer rate options, which are currently:
- £120 for 5 hours (£24 per hour)
- £230 for 10 hours (£23 per hour)
- £330 for 15 hours (£22 per hour)
- £420 for 20 hours (£21 per hour)
However, I will soon be removing the discounts and keeping things simpler by charging all retainers of any specified length at a flat rate of £25 an hour. These changes will be implemented from the 1st February 2017.
Why the change?
When I first started researching to become a virtual assistant, I had browsed the websites of other VAs and noticed some of them offering blocks of hours at discounted rates. At first I thought this was a good idea, which is why I decided to adopt this same model.
However, after a bit more experience, research and receiving advice, I have learned that this isn’t standard practice for freelancers, nor is it necessarily the greatest way to do things in the long term, for a few reasons.
Firstly, the standard rate for a VA in the UK is £25 an hour. My service has value to my clients, which is important to reflect in my prices, and I realise that it doesn’t really make sense to have to work more hours at a lower rate just because it’s a retainer.
Secondly, the point of retainers for a client should be to retain their service provider’s time, not to just get more hours at a cheaper price. The client is benefittng by having priority to getting their tasks done over pay-as-you-go clients.
The above option of using specified blocks of time also might not work for some clients who need a different number of hours, ie, they only need 12 hours, but it’s a choice between either buying the 10 hour block plus 2 hours at pay-as-you-go, or buy 15 hours which would seem like too much. Since my service is supposed to be all about flexibility, I’ve decided that it would be far better to properly tailor a retainer to my clients’ needs, mutually deciding on a suitable amount of hours during an initial consultation and allowing for the option to review this from month to month.
So what’s in it for me?
The discounted prices may be going, but you will still be receiving a very good value service by a highly qualified administrative professional (ie, me!), and you will still be making a profit by the very fact that I will be freeing up much more of your time to grow your business and concentrate on your important money-making activities.
However, as a gesture of goodwill and because it’s the New Year, I will leave the current prices up for another three weeks as an introductory price for any new clients during this time. So you have until the 31st January 2017 to get in touch with me and sign up for one of these discounted retainer packages before they go.