Can I Afford a Virtual Assistant?

Hiring a virtual assistant can be very affordable

You already know that hiring a virtual assistant (VA) could give you the edge you need to reach the next level. What you don’t know is if you can afford it. Here is how to assess if a virtual assistant fits into your financial plan.

Key takeaways:

  • The cost of a virtual assistant entails more than services rendered; some expenses aren’t obvious.

  • Virtual assistants can work outside the U.S., which can greatly reduce the cost.

  • The level of education, skill, and experience a virtual assistant has is a factor in the price they charge. 

A virtual assistant offers a variety of skills that are highly valuable for everyone, from founders and CEOs to small business owners. Their cost varies based on several factors. Their skill set and level of experience have a large impact on the prices they charge. Another significant factor is their location. Just like every skill-based career, costs for a virtual assistant are relative to their spot in (or outside) the country.

Pricing will also be determined based on you. How detailed your work is, the clearness of your direction, and the quantity of work you have to give all play a part in determining the final cost of a virtual assistant. We will cover the major costs of hiring a virtual assistant so you know what to expect and if it is feasible for your business budget.

Understand what you're paying for

If you’ve found a virtual assistant who can provide the specific skills you need to help your business grow, you’re in a fortunate position. What is that worth to you?

You’re paying a VA for the skills and talent they bring to the table and delegating work to them so you can focus on growth and big picture strategies. If you hired a full-time employee, you would have to pay for professional software and equipment, government compliance, and taxes. A virtual assistant may factor these types of things into the cost of their services.

Routes to hiring

There are two different routes you can take to hire a virtual assistant – U.S.-based and abroad – and they both affect the cost. Many virtual assistants work from outside of the United States. The business firm is usually in the U.S., but they build their teams from workers in other countries where the minimum wage is lower. 

Virtual assistants in other countries, such as The Philippines, have a much lower cost of living which equates to lower wages – quality won’t be compromised, though. With a staffing firm helping to hire, develop, and retain workers – while also providing technological support and security monitoring – one can find a highly qualified VA for approximately USD $10/hour (including taxes, benefits, communications, and equipment). 

Going with a virtual assistant from abroad can save you money, but you’ll have to make some consignments. For instance, because there is often a significant time difference, it isn’t good to work on time-sensitive projects with a foreign virtual assistant. Language is another factor to consider.

Specialized virtual assistants

A specialized virtual assistant has extensive training and technical skills, such as executive assistants and Operational Business Managers. They are educated in business management and high-level administration, making them able to handle every task a business requires.

Specialized virtual assistants can be paid by the week or salaried and most often work on a full-time basis. Their services are more expensive than a primary virtual assistant as they perform more specialized duties. You can expect to pay anywhere from USD $15 to $20 per hour, all in, for one. Hiring a specialized VA in the US will cost 25-30 percent more when factoring in taxes, benefits, 401k, and more.

Pricing structure

In general, you’ll find three basic types of pricing structures for virtual assistants – hourly retainers, and one-time project fees. More than 85% of virtual assistants use an hourly pricing structure, which is the easiest to calculate. It accounts for the amount they need to learn to compensate for their expenses and time.

Retainer and one-time project pricing are great options when you know you’ll need a virtual assistant for a specified amount of time, like a big project or seasonally. With a retainer, you agree to pay a flat fee for a set amount of time, like 60 hours a month. With a one-time project pricing structure, you decide on a flat fee for the length of the project. 

Skill and experience level

Virtual assistants come in all levels of skill and experience, affecting the price they charge for their services. Some people become virtual assistants because they honed their skills through years of education and corporate work. On the other hand, you may find a virtual assistant who just graduated or is switching careers. People with less experience in the field will charge less for their services.

Deadlines and other time constraints

You can expect to pay more if you have a deadline project or another big-time crunch task. Added fees are standard for tight deadlines, no matter what type of professional you are hiring. If you need someone to jump on board with you right away with 100% of their time, you’re going to pay for it. 

There’s no question that a virtual assistant can provide essential services to your business, but can you afford it? 

Yes, you absolutely can. There is a virtual assistant with the skills you need at a rate you can afford in the Philippines.

The easy way to hire a great virtual Assistant

Finding the perfect virtual assistant for your needs is like finding a needle in a haystack. Checking directories, search engines, and employment agencies will work but it’s time-consuming.

Fortunately, there is an easier way. Let us help you find the perfect asset for your business. Talk to candidates (we’ll let you interview two-three) before signing an agreement. Contact us today.

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