Virtual Assistant Cost: 4 Crucial Factors to Keep in Mind
- January 30, 2023
- 7 min read
- By Kirti Goyal
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Virtual assistants handle routine and taxing back-office tasks. Busy executives and founders hire them to perform both general and niche services so they can focus on core business functions and accomplish more in less time. If you want to hire a VA but are unsure about typical rates, read on. We share four major factors to help you gauge the virtual assistant cost accurately.
But first …
Is a Virtual Assistant Worth It?
Virtual assistants are incredibly beneficial for growing businesses. They boost productivity, improve work-life balance, and offer an affordable way to work with best-in-class talent. Virtual assistants also help you save on additional expenses incurred on full-time hires. But unless you have set up proper systems, they may not be the best solution for your needs.
Before hiring a virtual assistant, ask yourself these four questions:
- Have you prepared clear guidelines and step-by-step instructions for the hire?
- Do you need help with admin tasks or a specialized virtual assistant service?
- How much time can you invest in training and giving feedback?
- What level of technical expertise do you need?
Virtual assistants don’t have access to insider knowledge and company resources. If you haven’t devised protocols to help them seamlessly collaborate with your in-house employees, consider a virtual assistant provider that not only finds the perfect fit but also has seasoned project managers to train and supervise talent to ensure your virtual assistants work efficiently.
With that covered, let’s get down to the factors that impact virtual assistant costs.
Factors Determining Virtual Assistant Cost
Unlike in-house employees, virtual assistants don’t expect clients to pay hefty compensation. You don’t need to provide health and life insurance, travel allowances, competitive 401K matches, paid time off, and learning reimbursement to hire and retain top-notch talent.
But the following key factors can help you accurately estimate the cost of hiring a virtual assistant for business:
A virtual assistant can perform various tasks for your business. They can book meetings, manage social media, create websites, and design creatives.
You can club services into categories like marketing, customer support, sales, financial planning, or administrative work when planning what to outsource. The day-to-day virtual assistant tasks and the hours required constitute scope - a major factor determining the cost of hiring virtual assistants.
Virtual assistants work remotely which lets you hire talent from anywhere in the world. You may be in California and hire an independent worker from New York. Or you could delegate tasks to an assistant located in the Philippines or India.
The cost of living is different for all three areas. A virtual assistant in New York will cost more than their Indian counterpart and may also bill for the time spent on discovery calls and meetings.
3. Expertise & Experience
The core skills possessed by independent talent help them stand out. While some are beginners, others command substantial knowledge from previous in-house roles which lets them perform demanding work without supervision or detailed instructions. Expert virtual assistants know their worth and charge as per the complexity of the work.
Virtual assistants can work full-time or part-time. They may come aboard for a specific project or dedicate a fixed number of hours each week. Depending on the arrangement and how hands-on you want the virtual assistant to be, the independent contractor may charge different rates.
For example, an assistant working on a one-off email campaign will charge less than a more involved consultant helping out with a business strategy.
Other Key Considerations
Besides the above factors, virtual assistant skills and pricing options can also impact costs. Seasoned contractors can be picky about work and may charge monthly retainers. Whereas, beginners looking to build their portfolio may be happy to take up one-off projects and invoice hourly.
Growing startups that don’t have the budget to build an in-house team outsource their back-office tasks precisely because of the flexibility to hire talent as per business needs. As you calculate the virtual assistant cost and budget to hire independent talent, factor in:
1. Virtual Assistant Skills
A virtual assistant may be a generalist or offer niche services. In-depth knowledge, experience, and familiarity with industry best practices also influence virtual assistant costs.
A good rule of thumb to go by is this - the greater the skillset, complexity, and expertise required for the job, the higher the pricing. For example, specialized virtual assistants would cost more than a back-office specialist handling data entry and billing111.
2. Pricing Options
Virtual assistants do hourly, project, or retainer pricing depending on scope. If you need part-time help, you can pay by the hour or on a project basis. But a sabbatical leave may require you to hire talent full-time and pay a fixed retainer.
Freelance marketplaces and gig-based job boards are pocket-friendly options to find independent contractors but they require significant HR work. A dedicated virtual assistant provider like Office Beacon can match you fit the right fit and mitigate HR concerns and overheads on office upkeep.
How to Pay a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants often work with multiple clients and use invoicing software for billing. Before hiring an independent contractor, ask them about their payment method.
While many still prefer the good old direct deposits, the rise of platforms like Stripe, PayPal, and Wise has changed the way virtual assistants accept payments and manage their finances. And that’s a wrap! Do you plan to hire a virtual assistant in 2023? Let us know in the comments below.