Rates and Billing

Discuss setting rates and find billing resources and information.

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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Need Some Serious Help
Okay, so I'm in the beginning stage of getting my VA business off of the ground. I'm reading over my business plan, and I ran into a bit of a fork in the road in terms of rates.

My question is this: as far as my time tracking/rates handling, do I charge then an hourly rate if it takes me only 15 minutes to complete the task? For example if a client asks me to send out e-mails to their customer to notify them about an upcoming event, how will that work out of it only took me about 5-10 minutes to do the job?? How do I explain this to my customers?
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
If you are contracting on an hourly rate/basis then typically you would bill for the time spent on their work (in this case 15 minutes). Note that some VAs charge for actual time spent, and others round up to the nearest 15 minutes (or whatever you decide). So for instance, if it only took you 7 minutes to do the work, you'd still round it up to 15 minutes. There may be other ways of doing it, but I think those are the most common methods.

Remember, it's your business so you set your own policies. There are no hard and fast rules as long as it works for you and your customer, is agreed in writing (signed contract) and everyone's happy.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
Originally Posted by ClockwiseVA View Post
If you are contracting on an hourly rate/basis then typically you would bill for the time spent on their work (in this case 15 minutes). Note that some VAs charge for actual time spent, and others round up to the nearest 15 minutes (or whatever you decide). So for instance, if it only took you 7 minutes to do the work, you'd still round it up to 15 minutes. There may be other ways of doing it, but I think those are the most common methods.

Remember, it's your business so you set your own policies. There are no hard and fast rules as long as it works for you and your customer, is agreed in writing (signed contract) and everyone's happy.
Okay. So let's say that I charge $30.00/hr. Do I charge them $30.00 for the 15 minutes that I completed?

**If I seem a little slow I'm sorry. Math has never been one of my strong suits.**
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
Hello...hey - tell us your name when you post or better yet go ahead when you can and complete at least a little of your profile.

In response to your question...I concur with Linda. To put this into perspective think about what any other professional does. An attorney usually charges in 6 minute increments based on his/her hourly. A doctor does not care if he spends 1 minute with you or 20...it's still the same set fee.

You can look at it this way as well... If you have 10 clients and they all tap you consistently to do little 5 minute things here and there and do not expect to get charged then that is almost an hour of your time.

It is very important that you do not try to convince your clients of anything - and the information I provide you is for your mindset alone and should not be used in conversations with them. Set your policies, make sure expectations are clear in your own mind, and if the client balks at you billing for 15 minutes for short jobs then that is definitely not a client that you want because they are going to nickel and dime you to death. If you are confident and clear in your own mind that you are doing the right thing - the right people won't even think twice about it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Originally Posted by On My Wings View Post
Hello...hey - tell us your name when you post or better yet go ahead when you can and complete at least a little of your profile.

In response to your question...I concur with Linda. To put this into perspective think about what any other professional does. An attorney usually charges in 6 minute increments based on his/her hourly. A doctor does not care if he spends 1 minute with you or 20...it's still the same set fee.

You can look at it this way as well... If you have 10 clients and they all tap you consistently to do little 5 minute things here and there and do not expect to get charged then that is almost an hour of your time.

It is very important that you do not try to convince your clients of anything - and the information I provide you is for your mindset alone and should not be used in conversations with them. Set your policies, make sure expectations are clear in your own mind, and if the client balks at you billing for 15 minutes for short jobs then that is definitely not a client that you want because they are going to nickel and dime you to death. If you are confident and clear in your own mind that you are doing the right thing - the right people won't even think twice about it.

Hope this helps.
In other words, if I do a 15-minute job, I'm basically charging them the hourly rate, huh?

As far as the profile, I'm a little shy. I don't have NEARLY as much accolades as the women on here. My business isn't even started up yet--it's in t he making though.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
That's ok...we all started at the beginning and none of us had a big profile to start with. Well maybe those who started this forum, but I know many didn't. But I understand and we all want you to be comfortable...so maybe even just saying your first name at the end of a post would be cool - but of course it is your call.

I do just want to clarify. If your hourly rate is $50.00...then you would charge them $12.50 as a minimum charge.
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
Originally Posted by On My Wings View Post
That's ok...we all started at the beginning and none of us had a big profile to start with. Well maybe those who started this forum, but I know many didn't. But I understand and we all want you to be comfortable...so maybe even just saying your first name at the end of a post would be cool - but of course it is your call.

I do just want to clarify. If your hourly rate is $50.00...then you would charge them $12.50 as a minimum charge.
How did you come up with the $12.50??

I did my signature...
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
$12.50 * 4 = $50.00. 15 minutes would equal $12.50. - Oh...and hello Nadia!!
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Last edited by On My Wings; 06-21-2012 at 04:08 PM. Reason: add
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
Originally Posted by On My Wings View Post
$12.50 * 4 = $50.00. 15 minutes would equal $12.50. - Oh...and hello Nadia!!
Oh I gets it now!! An indeed smart thing to do.....

Yep. I think I'm going to do just fine in this business. Thanks Pam!
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Old 06-21-2012
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Default Re: Need Some Serious Help
I'm sure you will. You are most welcome.
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