How to Start Your Own Virtual Assistant Business

You have decided that you want to go ahead and start your own virtual assistant business. The next step is to perform some research for business start-up assistance in your area.

I checked the internet before I started up my virtual assistant business and found a local company that provided a business course. At the end of the course I had to produce a business plan and I then received a start-up grant. The course included marketing your business and accounting. These are invaluable for your virtual assistant business.

If you are based in the UK check out the websites below for vital business start up information:
Business gateway in Scotland
Enterprise Northern Ireland

Sources of online information include:

What Should You Charge as a Virtual Assistant?

What to Charge

I found it really difficult to decide on a rate to charge for my services. There are a number of different structures you can use. I researched a number of Virtual Assistant sites before I decided on my pricing.

Hourly Rate

From my research, there seemed to be a consensus that you should not charge less than £18 per hour (that was 10 years ago now). I have set my lowest rate for administration and typing at £20 per hour.

I decided that services I provide, that use my advanced skills, should be charged at a higher rate. You will need to factor in your experience and geography when deciding on your rates.

It is vital that you NEVER UNDER-SELL yourself. I have on occasions offered a reduction for certain clients who give me a lot of work. On reflection, I would not do this again.

Charge per Assignment

On occasion you may receive a one-off assignment such as typing up a project for a student and it may be best to quote a price for the assignment. You may want to quote per 1000 words. This way they will know up front what the charge will be.

Retainer Packages

A retainer package is when a client signs up for a certain number of hours per month. You can offer a reduction in the normal hourly rate the more hours they purchase. You will need to set up a retainer agreement.

The disadvantage of retainer packages is that you have to track the hours that have been used. You also have to decide whether hours are lost if they are not used in that month. This can all be time-consuming and potentially cause friction with clients.


I recently watched a webinar by a Virtual Assistant who advises that packages are the best pricing option. For example, you could set up packages for social media. You could have varying levels and then have a set price for the package. It is important to state exactly what each package consists of. She advised you can earn a lot more money by using this method.

I would actually advise that the last option would be the best option for your Virtual Assistant business.

I would also advise that you specialise in social media as it is certainly a sought after service.

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