Sub-Contracting For Other Virtual Assistants: The 5 Things You Should Know Beforehand

Sub-contracting for other Virtual Assistants is a great way for you to gain confidence, experience, and exposure – especially when you’re new. Because, as you know, the only way to get experience is to do the work. It can be a vicious cycle – how do I get experience when I don’t have any confidence in my abilities? 

#1 – How Does Sub-Contracting For Other Virtual Assistants Work?

Sub-contracting is when you work for other Virtual Assistants, whether it’s a single VA or it’s part of a team of VAs, whether it’s a team or an agency. It’s a great way to get experience and exposure. It helps you build confidence and what it means to run a VA business.

When I began my business over ten years ago, I started by sub-contracting for a few different VA teams. I had my own clients, too, but I wanted to understand how a VA business was run by watching and learning from successful people.

Remember, I don’t have a college degree, and I didn’t have any business experience. By subbing for another VA I got an inside peek into a “day in the life of a VA.” I wanted to see was what was behind the curtain, what they do every day, such as how they tracked their time, and what tools they used. 

I also worked for them to help me gain experience and confidence in the services I was offering. When I started out, I provided WordPress, MailChimp, 1ShoppingCart, and Project Management.

#2 – Best Practices When Sub-Contracting For Other Virtual Assistants

  • First, they don’t guarantee you hours because you’re not their employee. Only employers guarantee hours. 
  • Second, you charge them a discounted rate because they’re carrying all the risks and overhead. In other words, they’re the ones doing the marketing and handling the day-to-day operations. You’re not out beating the bushes looking for clients; they’re doing that for you and sending the work to you. It’s a common practice that when you sub-contract, you give them a discounted rate. 
  • Be grateful for the work you’re getting. 
  • Be responsive and professional. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions; make sure you’re clear on expectations on what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, who you’re talking to, etc.

#3 – How Much Should You Charge When Subbing For A VA?

Well, it depends on what your baseline rate is. But most people give a 20% or 25% discount off their regular client rate. Now, if you’ve followed me for any time, you know I’m not big on discount rates, but this isn’t a normal situation. They carry all the overhead and do all the marketing to get clients and give you work – so you provide them with a discount.

If you’re not sure about your baseline rate, please read my blog post Know Your Virtual Assistant Baseline Rate So You Don’t Have A Hard Time Paying Your Bills! 

#4 – Reasons For Subbing

  • Sub-Contracting for other Virtual Assistants is great for anybody who isn’t interested in running a full-time business. Still, they want to be able to work from home. 
  • It’s also a way to pull the curtain back and understand how a business is run. 

I sub-contracted for several different people over the first year of my business, and I got to see what would work for me and what wouldn’t. I saw examples of a business with systems and a business without a structure.

It gave me an excellent education that I could take and use in my own business. I implemented what worked for me and saw what mistakes to avoid when setting up my own business and systems.

I highly recommend sub-contracting for other Virtual Assistants if you’re starting out and want to get your feet wet. Plus, get exposure to how a VA business runs and gain experience and confidence. 

#5 – Where To Find Sub-Contracting Opportunities?

One of the most common questions is, where do I find sub-contracting opportunities? Well, you can look in VA groups. When you’re searching for ‘sub-contracting with other Virtual Assistants’ work, it is the only time I’d recommend that you have a look in a VA-type group. 

Another option is VA Associations. Many of them have a Request for Proposal (RFP) system that allows members’ access to business owners (including VAs) looking for help. So, if you’re starting and:

  • Want experience
  • Gain confidence
  • Want to know what’s going on behind the curtain
  • Learn what it takes to run a successful business

Sub-contracting for other Virtual Assistants is a great way to gain confidence, experience, and exposure, and an excellent way for you to understand how a VA business is run. Hopefully, this has just given you some ideas.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions, please take a moment to leave them for me below.

Enjoy your day – Susan

PS: Ready to embark on the journey of building a freedom-based business? Join me in Techie Biz in a Box, your comprehensive guide to leveraging systems, automation, and tech. Discover how to streamline your processes and reclaim precious time for the things you love. 

Susan Mershon
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  1. Angela

    Thank you for this! One of the biggest issues I’ve come across in hiring subcontractors for my team is they don’t want to reduce their rate.

    • Susan Mershon

      I know… I think it’s because they don’t understand Angela. Glad it was helpful and hopefully educates them too!

  2. Julie

    How does a person find sub-contracting gigs? I’m very new and trying to absorb as much info as I can. Thanks!

    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Julie, I’ve updated this blog post to include tips on how to find sub-contracting gigs. Be sure to check it out!

  3. Manjit

    Great one! Thanks for sharing!

    • SE Mershon

      My pleasure!

  4. jan

    Looking to hire sub-contractor. Very helpful.

    Love your hair!

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Jan!

  5. Kristin

    I have always wanted to sub-contract my services until I get more clients, and I am so happy to see this Susan, thank you!

    • SE Mershon

      My pleasure Kristin!

  6. Diane

    Great information Susan. I’d like to add that if all these items you mentioned are covered (but what if the VA Team does not uphold their end of the contract re changing expectations, changing the rate, failing to pay you for time worked — basically deviation from any of the agreed upon terms of their contract which you have signed),what next steps would you take?

    • SE Mershon

      Diane, sorry this happened to you. I would contact my attorney and take the next step to get what was promised.

  7. Suzanne Farris

    I just love your blogs–this one, in particular, was very enlightening as I am just starting.

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Suzanne!

  8. Kimberly

    You’re absolutely right! The company you do subcontract work for cannot tell you to shut down your business or what kind of work you do in your business BUT they CAN not only have you sign a confidentiality agreement, but also sign a limited non-compete when it comes to their current clients. :)


    • SE Mershon

      You are right Kimberly, thanks for adding ;-)

  9. Dede

    Great advise, as always, Susan!

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Dede!

  10. Jessie

    Hi Susan,

    Great tips! I am planning to hire sub contractors for my business and these are going to be really helpful.

    • SE Mershon

      Hi Jessie, thank you!

    • Cindy Foley

      I’m getting started and think sub-contracting with someone established would be a great way to start.

      • SE Mershon

        Thank you Cindy!

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