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  • Christina Holzhauser; Reprinted with permission

How to Calculate the True Cost of a Virtual Assistant


Today I'm joined by Addie Harrison, the founder of My Amazing Assistant. I recently stepped back into the role of a Virtual Assistant and have been reflecting on how a VA actually saves money for the person they support. Addie does a wonderful job of bringing to light the hourly cost of an executive's time and the value a VA can add to their business, which is something assistants across the board can appreciate.

Have you ever calculated what an hour of time is worth to you? As a small business owner can you put a value on every task that you perform on any given day? It’s surprising to learn that many entrepreneurs and successful business people still do not really understand what their time is worth. In business, time is probably the most valuable asset of all. It is fleeting, comes in an instant and goes and you can never get it back. Yet with each passing moment, an opportunity to be productive and to help you along the road to ultimate success may be squandered.

Time stands still for no one and we all have the same amount of it in any one day. Yet those who are going to be the most successful fully understand how they must manage their time efficiently. You cannot expect to get the biggest share of your particular market if you are not focusing on productive ways to help you achieve this goal throughout your workday.

Whether you are a one-man entrepreneur or whether you have a small business that employs a couple of hundred people, your time is very valuable. You cannot afford to be wasting it on purely administrative tasks or mundane initiatives that do not, in the finest analysis, contribute to your bottom line.

Remember that your time is not simply worth what you pay yourself, your salary or whatever you take out of your business. The value of your time must also include the cost of your overheads and other business costs and has to take into account the fact that a lot of your time is essentially non-productive. In other words, when you bill your time to a client, are you being realistic?

You may well be in business because of your expertise in a particular subject area or niche. You make your money by selling your knowledge or your ability to other people or organizations. You need to be able to maximize your billable time if you are to be totally successful at what you are trying to do. If in your market, you are able to bill clients at the rate of, let’s say, $100 per hour, you need to maximize the number of hours per week that you can realistically charge that rate.

If you find that you are bogged down with administrative tasks, bookkeeping, online marketing or correspondence you are certainly not earning $100 per hour for each of those hours. If you take all of those hours into consideration the actual amount you are earning for your time spent in any given business week is a whole lot less.

When you look at it in this cold light you understand that you really need to employ the service of a virtual assistant to do all those administrative tasks, to free you to focus on revenue opportunities. You only need to spend a few moments calculating how much a virtual assistant would cost to release all those hours to you, to understand how sensible and cost-effective this approach should be.


Addie Harrison is the founder of My Amazing Assistant with over 16 years of experience as a Virtual Assistant, Multi Media Manager and Executive Assistant.

You can connect with Addie on the following platforms:

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