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I officially started my VA business 2 weeks ago and was just approached yesterday by potential client that owns a start-up production company :-) So I broach the topic about pay with him and he tells me to name my price. Now since this is my first client, I'm not completely sure how to charge him and I don't want to sell myself short. I have decided that my hourly rate will be $25/hr and was also thinking of charging in 15 min increments since I'm only doing this part-time for now. But how does that work? Do I charge $6.25/15 min? And if my client needs me on location, lets say on a Saturday or Sunday, do I charge a day rate? Please advise?

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Congratulations on starting your new business and already having a prospect. That's wonderful that he told you to name your price. If you've already decided that $25/hour is your hourly rate, you should stick to it. Though I'd actually suggest you start at $30/hour or even more. I have a 2-hour minimum and usually ask clients to purchase a prepaid block of time. For example a 5-hour block of time at your $25/hour rate would be $125. Then as you work you can track your time in 15-minute minimums if you'd like.

 

If the client wants you on site, especially on the weekend, I'd charge a higher rate that also covers your travel costs. There's a great gal out there named Nina Feldman who has posted on her site some information about charging appropriate rates that I think you'd find very useful.

 

I'd love to hear how it goes with this prospect.

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Actually we posted a UK specific guide to pricing last week: http://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/2010/07/30/pricing-the-good-burger-van/

 

Essentially it's about making sure all your incidentals are included in your hourly rate. That way you aren't adding bits on and the client who is expecting a £100 bill doesn't get an £187 invoice!

 

Enjoy!

C.

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Good advice so far - I would also be sure to quote him an hourly rate. You can track your time by 15 minute increments, but I wouldn't offer him 15 minutes of work. I don't typically have a one-hour minimum or anything like that, because all of my clients bill at least an hour. For travel time, definitely make sure to cover your travel, overtime (weekend work) and incidentals, and quote the client the full rate ahead of time so they are not surprised. I work my incidentals into my hourly rate as Caroline suggests. I don't charge my clients for anything like that unless it's a special request for rush courier delivery or something like that (I transfer all documents over the internet anyway).

 

Congratulations on getting started - be sure to charge what you feel you are worth, and you will do very well. :)

 

Hope that helps,

Tracey

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