Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why you should be offering audit packages in your VA biz.

they’re a great way to earn extra $$.

Do you offer them?

Audits are a great way to sell your expertise to help solve your client’s or prospective client’s problems.

Have you ever had someone want to “pick your brain” because they had a problem and thought maybe you could help them solve it?

Or… they’re having issues with (fill in the blank) and wondered if you could take a look at it for them. In other words, you’re troubleshooting the problem for them.

I know I have.

Now, I’m all for helping people but there should be a limit on how much time + expertise you give away for free.

Discovery Sessions are a great way to find out if you can help prospective clients but they should not turn into Solution or Troubleshooting Sessions.

When you’re either troubleshooting an issue or giving someone the solution to a problem, you should be paid for it.

And… that’s what Audit Packages are for.

An audit is where you sell your expertise as a consultant to either troubleshoot an issue or figure out the solution to a problem.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

I had a prospective client reach out to me because they were having issues with their Infusionsoft and wanted to know if I could fix it.

So, during the Discovery Session, I asked as many questions as I could to try and diagnose the problem.

But… they didn’t know Infusionsoft well enough to answer my questions.

I’d seen enough messes when it came to the set up of Infusionsoft that I knew it was not something I could diagnose without getting my hands on their system.

I explained to them that I would need to have access to their Infusionsoft to troubleshoot the issue and then offered my Audit Package.

You see, my business coach explained to me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t value my time + expertise then how could I expect anyone else to OR how would I make living?

So… I created an Audit Package and stopped solving problems for FREE.

It’s the answer to the “can I pick your brain” questions.

This is the package I still offer today when I need to troubleshoot issues or solve problems.

  1. 2 hours of Consulting time
  2. A detailed report of the issue.
  3. A proposal to fix the problem.

I sell 2 hours of my time as a consultant so I have the time to diagnose the problem, create the report and put together the proposal for how I can fix it for them.

When it comes to Audit Packages you can get paid twice for the same problem.

  • Once to diagnose it!
  • Once to fix it!

I have one package that I use for all the services that I offer since it’s the same rinse + repeat process no matter the expertise.

By adding Audit Packages to your service offerings you’re creating another revenue stream that will earn you more money + help your clients.

So…

  • Stop giving away your time + expertise.
  • Stop letting people pick your brain for free.

Create an Audit Package and start selling your expertise as a valued consultant.

Are you ready to create your Audit Package?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create yours.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Discovery Sessions
  2. Sales Funnels The What + The Why

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

How To Create Your Virtual Assistant Packages

How To Create Your Virtual Assistant Packages

Creating Your Virtual Assistant Packages:
what you need to know

By offering Virtual Assistant packages you are paid for your expertise and NOT your time.

First, let’s start with the differences between a retainer and a package.

Do you know the difference?

One of the things that drives me crazy about the VA Industry is there are no standard definitions and terms. And… coming from both the IT and Project Management worlds, I love standards.

I see the use of retainers and packages being mixed and I believe it starts to cause some confusion, especially for those new to the industry.

So… Since I get asked frequently, “What’s the difference between a retainer and a package?” I decided to do a blog post all about it.

Here are my definitions for retainers and packages – the same ones I used in my business.

Retainers:

  • Are buckets of hours.
  • Are billed prior to the work being started.
  • Can be used for any tasks (they’re getting a blended rate… keep reading for more on this.)
  • Must track your time.
  • Has an expiration date.
  • The client pays for your time.

A Retainer is a pre-paid bucket of hours that can be used for any tasks your clients need. The client dictates what the hours are used for and are paying for your time vs. your expertise.

Retainers are normally billed at the beginning of the month and have an expiration date of anywhere from 30 to 90 days from invoice date.

Time is tracked on all the tasks completed against the retainer and the client is given a report showing how the hours were used.

Well… sometimes clients may question why it took so long to complete a specific task when they see your monthly report (especially if you do a number of different things for them).

It’s because they:

  • Don’t understand how long it takes to do a specific task.
  • Don’t know all the steps involved.
  • Are looking at the time involved instead of the expertise.
  • Bought your time, not your expertise.

And… for some reason time seems to be worth more than expertise. It’s a perception.

Now, retainers are great if you only do one type of work for a client (using only one expertise).

But… If you’re doing more than one thing, then you’re getting paid one flat rate for doing multiple types of work that could include several different types of expertise. This is known as a blended rate.

I know I don’t want to be paid the same rate I would charge for data entry if I were setting up campaigns in Infusionsoft. They require vastly different skills.

Infusionsoft is a beast and takes time to master… data entry is fairly simple and almost anyone can do it.

So… if you’re doing a variety of skills for clients and only charging them one rate, say $40 an hour, you’re leaving money on the table.

Sure you could charge different hourly rates for different skills but that’s a nightmare to track and manage.

A much easier way is to offer packages based on the expertise provided. This takes the time element out of it and clients have a much better understanding of what they’re getting for their money.

So, if you’re still reading, I’m guessing you’re interested in learning more about packages.

Let’s talk packages!

Virtual Assistant Packages:

  • Deliver a specific set of items or deliverables.
  • Have a fixed price.
  • Have a specific deadline.
  • Don’t require you to track your time.
  • Are invoiced 50% up front and 50% on delivery (or you could invoice for the whole package upfront – your business so it’s your choice).
  • The client pays for your expertise.

A Package is a set of deliverables (tasks) based on expertise such as creating a WordPress website, implementing 1ShoppingCart, or sending out a monthly e-zine. Clients are paying you for a specific expertise.

Packages are billed either all up front or 50% prior to the start and then the remaining 50% on delivery.

They are for a fixed price and have a specific deadline.

Clients understand exactly what they’re getting and what they’re paying for.

Virtual Assistant Packages are based on expertise.

For some reason, there is a perception that people who charge by the hour get paid less than those that work with packages. I believe it’s because time seems less valuable than a specific expertise (even though we all know time is extremely valuable). Again… it’s a perception.

The beauty of packages is you can define them by your expertise AND control exactly what is included. If you have several different types of expertise, you can offer several different packages showcasing each and every one.

Voila… You now have multiple income streams!

Keep in mind you can package anything as long as you quantify all the pieces.

What do I mean?

Let’s say you want to create a package for email management.

You’d want to quantify the number of emails you would respond to in a specific amount of time.

For example…

  • Up to 50 emails per day for $25.00 (example rate).
  • Up to 100 emails a week for $75.00 (example rate).
  • Up to 1,000 emails per month for $150.00 (example rate).

You may have noticed that I said “up to” instead of just a number. It just makes it easier if you only do say 40 in a week, it all works out in the averages.

Here’s another example…

  • Say you create a package for monthly blog posts.
  • Up to 4 blog posts per month (content provided by client):
  • Proofing of each post
  • Adding up to 2 images provided by the client
  • Adding up to 5 keywords provided by the client
  • Scheduling each post
  • Sharing on 3 social media platforms using Buffer App
  • Package Price is $300.00.

Your clients understand what they’re getting and for how much. It’s clear what expertise they’re paying for.

It’s very important to be as detailed as possible when putting together your packages. You don’t want any grey areas.

Oh and… You can’t package something you’ve never done before. You need to know all the tasks involved and how long it takes to complete it.

It’s essential for pricing and delivering your packages.

So…what about package pricing?

First… you need to know:

  • All the tasks involved in the package.
  • How long it takes to complete the package.

That’s why I mentioned you couldn’t package something you’ve never done.

Second, pricing is an art and a science.

It’s not about taking your hourly rate and multiplying it by the time it takes to complete the package. This is what many people teach.

The problem with that method is most Virtual Assistants don’t charge enough and it’s not about time, it’s about delivering expertise and value.

I can’t tell you what to charge… that’s why I say it’s an art and a science.

But… you can start with the hourly rate x amount of time and then add 25% to it.

For example – $30 x 45 hours = $1,350 + 25% = $1,687.50

Why 25%… it’s a place to start to add the value and expertise your package delivers.

But… you have to believe you’re worth and what you’re charging which is a whole different conversation.

Before you can put a price on any package you need to know how much you need to earn. That is the baseline number you should be starting with.

I used both retainers and packages in my business. Remember, your business – your choice. Do what works best for you and your clients.

Are you ready to create your Virtual Assistant Packages?

If you want hands on training on everything I’ve covered in this blog post + lots more – check out my Creating Your Service Packages course. It’s both comprehensive + affordable.

Go to https://thetechiementor.teachable.com/p/service-packages to find out all about it.

I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create your service packages.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. 5 Ways To Get Clients For Your VA Biz
  2. What Do I Charge For My Services 
  3. Tips On Managing Your Time

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

What Do I Charge For My Services?

What Do I Charge For My Services?

What do I charge for my services?

I get this question weekly from people either thinking of starting a Virtual Assistant business or someone who has landed their first client and has no idea what to charge.

Now, in my honest opinion, you should know what you are charging for your services BEFORE you get your first client.

The problem with waiting until after you’ve landed them is they can see you scrambling around trying to figure it out or they can sense that you don’t quite have it all together yet. Not a great way to start a relationship.

This is why I’m always saying you need to have your business foundation in place before you start taking on clients.

Sorry… getting off my soapbox <grin>.

Back to what do you charge for your services.

First, what you charge is directly related to your skills & the services you offer.

Regardless of what you may have been told, it takes more than administrative skills to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

The more technology you know, the more you can charge and the easier it is to get clients.

The more experienced you are, the more you can charge!

Second, you need to know your numbers.

What numbers, you ask?

How much you NEED to earn & how much you WANT to earn. (These numbers should be different, in some cases vastly different.)

Do you know yours?

This number is your baseline number – the amount you must earn in order to keep the lights on.

I create a YouTube video series on pricing and setting your rates. It goes into detail about how to find your baseline rate using my Rate Calculation Sheet Template.

I recommend watching at least the first two videos, as it goes thru the exercise of figuring out how much you need to earn using my Rate Calculation sheet.

You can download the Rate Calculation sheet by clicking on the image below.

I’d hate to see you undercharging for your expertise and having a hard time paying your bills because you followed advise from someone saying if you’re confused or don’t know what to charge start at $25 an hour!

There are people teaching this CRAP. 

Don’t follow this BAD ADVICE.

Do the work to find out your baseline rate and start there. 

Also… stay away from asking people on Social Media how much you should charge. They don’t know your numbers – you are the best person to decide what you should charge.

Third, what services are you offering?

What is the market willing to pay for those skills?

Here are average rates by type of service in US Dollars. Please note these rates are NOT guaranteed and are to be used as a guideline. (The more experienced you are in an area, the more you can charge.)

  • Administrative Skills – $25+
    • Data Entry
    • Calendar Management
    • Email Management
  • Technical Skills – $35+
    • MailChimp
    • 1ShoppingCart
    • LeadPages
  • Specialized Skills – $50+
    • Email Marketing
    • Project Management
    • Operations

What services are you offering?

Once you’ve completed these exercises (how much you need to charge & your services), it’s time to create your Action Plan for getting clients & getting busy.

What do you think?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to figure out how much you need + want to earn.

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
  2. Day to Day Operations + Systems
  3. How Many Clients Do I Need
  4. Interviewing Potential Clients
  5. Video Series on Setting Rates

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

How Many Clients?

How Many Clients?

How Many Clients?

It seems like each week I am asked the same question…

“How many clients do I need?”

It is not the number of clients you need – it is the number of hours you need to bill.

In this video I talk about the two numbers everyone should know before starting their VA journey:

  1. how much they need to earn to keep the lights on
  2. what is their hourly rate?

It is important to track your time to be sure that you are billing enough hours. If you’re not – then you need more clients. If you are billing more then it might be time to get some additional help.

Enjoy the video and thanks for listening.

I’d love to hear what you think.

Do you know how many hours you need to bill in a week or month?

Please take a moment to leave a comment below and share your thoughts and questions. Or, feel free to share what you learned from this video.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Enjoy your day – Susan

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