Can you afford to hire a VA?

Posted on Posted in Blog Posts, Hiring a VA

You’re tired, over-worked, getting to a point of burn-out because you’ve been doing it all, all by yourself. You would LOVE to hire someone to help you in your business, but let’s get serious: who can afford that? You’re barely paying yourself!

Sound familiar?

Let me tell you a little secret that nobody seems to be sharing much on the Internet: You don’t have to be earning a six-figure income in order to hire a VA for your business. With just a little bit of profit in your business, you can afford to hire someone else to help you – and in doing so, you will probably be pleasantly surprised about how much more profit you start to make as a result of having that extra help!

So… how much does it cost, really?

The answer, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • what type of help you hire
  • how many hours that person works
  • how much you pay them

So of course I can’t give you a one-size-fits-all answer. That being said, I’m also not going to leave you hanging with generalities, because that won’t help at all. This isn’t one of those boutique stores where they don’t put price tags on the merchandise because if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. This is a blog post, designed to help you figure out the financial aspects of hiring a VA, so let’s figure it out!

According to this research, a VA might earn anywhere from $10 to $40/hour, with the average coming in at around $16.  That’s a good ballpark figure to start with, so at least now you can stop worrying about having to pay someone 50 grand a year to work for your business.

Now, this figure is based on “Virtual Assistant” as a general term for someone who does office work from their own home. You may be in a position to hire someone like that, or you might need someone who’s more of a specialist; someone proficient in a particular software, or with a specific skill set that’s relevant to your business or industry. In that case, the hourly rate will tip towards the higher end of that pay scale because you’re paying for a certain level of expertise and not just a general contractor.

Because I believe in transparency, I’ll tell you right now: when I first started working as a VA, I charged $15/hour. After about a year, I had built up my skills and experience to a point where I raised my prices to $30/hour. (Now my rates are different because I’m no longer doing traditional Virtual Assistant work.)

So, at least now you know! In case you were picturing an outrageous sum in your head, I hope you can breathe a little bit easier now, knowing the actual numbers.

Knowing how much it costs isn’t the same as knowing you can afford it

Much like with buying a house, knowing the “sticker price” for hiring a VA isn’t the same as knowing that you can afford to pay that price, hour after hour.

The first thing to consider in the affordability factor is the overall profit in your business. Knowing how much extra money you have each week, month, or quarter will really help you determine how much you can afford to pay a VA. (Download the FREE worksheet at the end of this post to help you with this!)

The next thing to consider is how much you want to earn, personally. If your business isn’t at a point yet where you can pay yourself regular income, then maybe you don’t want to start paying income to someone else. This is a personal choice – I had a client once who initially paid me but did NOT pay herself, because she knew that having me to help her would allow her to scale up her business more quickly, and eventually get to a point where she could afford to pay herself even more than she could have if she had continued to work without any help. Most of my other clients were regularly paying themselves before they hired me, and they knew they could afford to pay both of us before they decided to hire.

Finally, remember that you can always scale up – it’s okay to start small. When you first hire a VA, you’re not going to be paying that person to work 40 hours a week, unless your business is just really raking in some major cash. For all of my existing clients I started working for them for only two hours/week – and in fact, I still only work two hours/week for some of them. Each VA will have his or her own preferences about how many hours they’re willing to work at a minimum point, but most VAs will not expect one client to cover 40 hours a week, or even 20.

If you can afford to hire a VA for even just two or three hours a week, I think you’ll be amazed at how much that little bit of help really increases your overall business productivity.

If you’re ready to think more seriously about hiring a VA now that you’ve figured out how much it will cost, click here to check out my e-course, Get Some Help, which will walk you through the whole hiring process from start to finish. 

If you want to do some more number-crunching, enter your e-mail below and I’ll send you a subscribers-only bonus worksheet to help you do the math to hire a VA.

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