Question Should I Lower My Virtual Assistant Rates?

Kathya

New Member
Hi Fellow VAF Team:

I recently replied to an RFP on this forum and I was pleasantly surprised to actually receive a response from the prospective client! She was really kind and said something to the effect of: "Hi, Thank you for your email. Your prices are a bit high for me." :yikes: :rolly:

So, now I'm thinking...should I lower my rates? Am I not going to get clients with my prices set the way they are? I've seen graphic designers charge as much as $50/hour and they get clients! So, I'm not as much as they are, but I'm wondering what everyone else is experiencing...

Did you have to lower your rates? Have you recently increased your rates? If so, did you lose clients or did they not bat an eyelash at the increase? Should I offer a 'Grand Opening Special'? Not sure where to turn here, but I'm interested in everyone's take. By the way, it's not listed on my site, but I will be charging a deposit prior to starting all projects and then bill at my hourly rate beyond that...

Thanks!
 

Action Jackson VA

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

You will get the clients that are worthy of your skills. Don't beat yourself up about what others think of your rates. Remember you have confidence, quality and reliability on your side.

Remember, they get what they pay for.

Andrea~
 

Kathya

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Thanks, Andrea. Much appreciate the feedback. I will stay put with pricing, then. Your response made my day! :blush2:

Kathya

You will get the clients that are worthy of your skills. Don't beat yourself up about what others think of your rates. Remember you have confidence, quality and reliability on your side.

Remember, they get what they pay for.

Andrea~
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I agree with Andrea. Don't lower your rates because one person could not afford you. This issue is raised often and only you can determine your worth. Lately I have increased my rates on some services and it is not deterring clients in the least.
 

Office Goddess

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I know what your rates are :D and think they are just fine. :) You will find plenty of clients willing to pay your rate. Remember, there are people willing to pay $4/hour for overseas help, too. Its all a matter of what level of quality for which folks are willing to pay.

And, I don't have my first-time client deposit listed on the website, either. I discuss that with them as part of the initial interview. No-one has ever blinked at that and, if they did, I wouldn't work with them anyway as there would be no guarantee that they will pay me for completed work.
 

StephanieP

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I agree. Don't lower your rates just because one client thinks you're too high. As you and others have said, there are plenty of clients out there that don't even bat an eye at a VAs rates and, in fact, pay more in some cases.

One thing I read today about rates was to offer the client options. Charge different rates for different services or, like you've done (and most others do as well), offer discounted rates for retaining you. From what I read, some clients have a "super size it" mentality and will automatically go for the highest retainer to get the discount and then you'll have others that just want the small or regular size. So, I think you've done well all the way around. (it said to think "small, medium and large").
 

MaryH

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

No, no and no. Do not lower your rates. I peeked at your website, and your rates are right in line with industry averages and nowhere near too high. There will always be someone who wants something done for less, but those who truly value what you do will be willing to pay your hourly rates.

As an aside, when I first started out I was having lunch with a local business owner when the subject of my rates came up (it was a get-to-know-you meeting, not a potential client). When I told her, she didn't even bat an eye. She actually told me I should be charging more! When I told her what the industry averages are, she said she thought the industry as a whole should be starting on the higher end of the averages. Granted, that is the opinion of just one person, but it goes to show that people really do see the value in what we do. :thumbsup:
 

JKVirtualOffice

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I'm in total agreement with everyone here. There will ALWAYS be someone out there who will tell you they think your rate is high or that they can't afford you. You just wish them the best in their search and continue making your way to the ideal clients who do have it in their budget to pay you what you are worth.

If you lower your rates, then you just have to take on more clients to make as much profit....and this just means working harder for less.

I raised my rates in the middle of last winter (in the midst of this recession) and never looked back.
 

Bernice

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Your rates are what they are for a reason, and I am sure you took some time to come to that number. While you were not chosen because your rates were too high, others may not have been chosen because their rates were too low.

I recall having a discussion with a client and told her my rate, she grabbed a calculator, pushed a few buttons then told me that she could afford that. Later in the project I ran across information which told me that she had actually budgeted for about 25% more than I charged. LOL

Think of what you do when you get estimates from a professional for a project. Most of the time the prices are only one set of criteria, timeline and the relationship also factors and you usually get many estimates so more people get rejected than hired.

Gosh now I've just gone on and on but you get the picture. Hang in there, your hard work will pay off.

Cheers!!
 

VBPartners

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Yes, your rates are within the normal range for the industry. I wouldn't lower them, especially after just one person's input.

Of course, you can always offer a special rate or promotion to bring in clients. I occassionally have done that and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

At first it may be difficult to feel that you can compete with those that are offering lower rates, especially when you take into consideration the VA's that often post on the freelance sites and sometimes have rates as low as $4/hr.

Remind yourself that your skills are what they are and you deserve the rates that you have calculated for yourself.
 
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I don't think you need to lower your rates. Just to share, here is an idea I have about rates and starting my business:

I have talked with some businesses in the area. When one person asked me what my rate was, her concern was the high amount of time it would take to train me to understand her bookkeeping and what that would cost. I am going to give her a discounted rate for the training. Then I will use my normal rate when I only need to maintain her transactions.

I hope this helps,
 

AwesomeAssistant

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I've had the very same thing happen to me, and no I wouldn't lower my rates. I've found too many people more than happy to pay my rates. I've found that the ones that want a lower rate are the hardest to work with. In fact I've raised my rates considerably over the last year and continue to gain new clients.

Keep up the good work!
 

Kathya

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Wow. You have all made me feel so much better about sticking to my gut instincts about my hourly rate. I appreciate the feedback! I'm staying put at my hourly rate!

I'll let you all know when I land my first client!!! Wish me luck!
 

HawaiiVA

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I agree with prior posters - your rates are decent for the industry and there are plenty of people willing to pay them. I've had similar things happen to me and I am so glad that I didn't lower my rate because I have found clients willing to pay what I am worth!
 

Wordpro Wizard

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Kathya, first off I must say I just love your website! I so must revamp mine. I agree with everyone that your rates seem to be the industry standard and from the many threads I've read on the subject you basically figure out overhead against the amount of income you need to make a living.

I personally charge a little lower than most but I'm very early retired, debt free and with low living expenses. I have considered raising my rates but won't for the time being as I feel it gives me the option to be very particular about who I want to work with and not have the headaches of dealing with clients who (to be politically correct) are a little "different".:crazy: Over the years I've had more than my share of bosses on the J.O.B. that were extremely "different" :mad2: and prefer not to repeat the experience.

Lynne
 

Kathya

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Thanks so much, Lynne! I appreciate the candid comments and feedback. I'm still hoping to land my first client, but you know, I truly believe I WON'T be able to do that until I get my business cards out there--I don't even have them printed yet! I received feedback on making the back less busy and not so much info. So, a revised post will go up today with the revision of my cards. I'd love your feedback on that, too, so find the thread and comment on them--I need as much constructive criticism as possible!

Thanks for the compliments on my website. I am going to keep the layout the same but some content on the site will change to make it less 'wordy,' shall we say? :)

If the cost of living here wasn't so darned expensive, I'd lower my rates dramatically, but executive assistants generate as much as $70K annually in downtown Seattle, so I think my prices are fair for the 'right' client. Wish me luck and best wishes in revising your website! I'd be happy to critique it if you like! :)

Kathya, first off I must say I just love your website! I so must revamp mine. I agree with everyone that your rates seem to be the industry standard and from the many threads I've read on the subject you basically figure out overhead against the amount of income you need to make a living.

I personally charge a little lower than most but I'm very early retired, debt free and with low living expenses. I have considered raising my rates but won't for the time being as I feel it gives me the option to be very particular about who I want to work with and not have the headaches of dealing with clients who (to be politically correct) are a little "different".:crazy: Over the years I've had more than my share of bosses on the J.O.B. that were extremely "different" :mad2: and prefer not to repeat the experience.

Lynne
 

catfive

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

Read the quote Tess has under her signature...I think that says it all!
 

Kathya

New Member
Re: Should I Lower My Rates?

I've always loved it. In fact, I asked her if she'd mind it I used it in my promotional materials and she gave me her blessings. I think it's a GREAT quote! :)

Read the quote Tess has under her signature...I think that says it all!
 
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