How to charge for 2 days out of the office?

Hi All,

I work on a retainer with a client here in France for 16 hours per month. They have asked me to visit their office for 2 days next month, it's 5 hours away on the train and I'll need to stay overnight.

They are paying for my expenses, so the train/hotel etc... but I'm not sure how I should charge them for my time.

I will be out of the office for 2 days so I cannot do any work for other clients on these days.

I'm not sure whether I need to charge them for 8 hours per day, or more? Any advice would be gratefully received, this is the first time a client has asked me to do this since becoming a VA.



Hi Jo,

Can you reasonably calculate how much work you will be missing? If so, I would maybe add those hours PLUS the actual time worked for that client.

I've done this before, but it was some years back...I think I just asked for 8 hours a day PLUS expenses.

Are they paying for your meals too?

Either way you go congrats and all the best!
Hi Tina,

Thanks, it's a little difficult working out the work I may have those days, I have some retainer clients who I will have to get cover for in case something comes up... but I also do formatting work, which can come in whenever, so no sure it's going to be easy.

I guess they will pay my meals too, if not then I will invoice them for that afterwards.

Having read some articles online it seems many people will charge a higher rate for on-site work, I'm not sure how my client will take this though...

Hi Jo,
I currently have a client for whom I am providing on-site services. Since I had recently launched my business I wasn't sure what to charge for this service. Fortunately I have a friend who is a Business Coach and she recommended that I develop a "day rate" for 8 hour requirements, or to offer an On-site rate. Both rates are significantly higher than a normal hourly rate. She also stated that all travel expenses are to be charged to the client. She also suggests charging for the time it takes you to travel, this amount would probably be less than your normal hourly rate.

I chose to establish an On-Site rate that is about 35% above my normal hourly rate. I then provided a proposal to the client stating my normal On-site rate and offering a discount. This still provided an increase over my normal rate and the client felt that they were getting a deal. Due to the needs of my client I offered 24 hour service packages. This allows flexibility for being on site when they choose and once the hours are completed I provide an invoice for the next package.

Since you have been working with this client I would approach them beforehand with a proposal for the on site visit. Then you will be able to negotiate a rate that is agreeable to both of you before the visit.

This sounds like a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with this client and hopefully provide referrals for your business!

Good Luck!