9 Steps to Calculate Your Pricing

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This question comes up more and more as new Virtual Assistants set up their businesses and experienced VA’s contemplate adding new services to their company.


Here are 9 steps to set up pricing for your services.  I’ll use a basic service first.


  1. Name the service and what it includes.  Word Processing, for an example, includes the typing, formatting, adding pictures, tables, bullet points, headers and footers, etc. and don’t forget the time for spellchecking and proofreading.
  2. What is your typing speed?  Generally Word documents are about 500 words long but can be less when you include Headers, Sub Titles, larger or smaller fonts, indentations, pictures, charts, tables, etc.
  3. What is your level of experience?  If you are at the expert level, you have a general idea of how long it will take to complete the document.
  4. Calculate in the added time if it is handwritten or a transcription job.
  5. Give yourself a buffer of extra time for unexpected additions/deletetions/changes.
  6. Research other Virtual Assistants sites and what they charge for the same type of service.
  7. Are you going to price your services by the hour only?  By the project?  On retainer?  Will you offer discounts for guaranteed hours?  Do you reduce your rate slightly if it is a project or on-going work as opposed to a one time job?
  8. What payment options have you set up for your clients?  Cash (local clients only), cheques, credit cards or Paypal?
  9. Do you offer discounts for payment on receipt as opposed to the 15 or 30 day option?

For your niche services like internet marketing (which involves many different services) or blog marketing or social media marketing, again you need to decide if you will offer hourly rates, packages/bundled services or discounts.  If you are new to a particular niche service, research with other VA’s or their sites.  You cannot expect to charge clients when you have a “learning curve”.

Don’t forget that you are calculating your time to do the work, that you are providing the expertise and the software and equipment.

In the end, if you are underpricing to get the client, you will feel undervalued.  If the major decision factor for the client is pricing, often you will experience trouble collecting your fees. 

If I have missed anything, please feel free to comment.

Diane L. Coville


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