Three Money Tips for Virtual Assistants
We set our own hours, pay for our own equipment, and we pay our own taxes. We don’t have a retirement plan with anyone we work for. We don’t receive medical benefits. Being a Virtual Assistant and owning our own business is very different than working for a company in corporate America. We have to ensure we have enough money to live on and are able to have a financial cushion to fall back on in time of financial emergency. I have listed out three money tips for virtual assistants that will help.
1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Working for one person when you’re a Virtual Assistant is risky especially if you solely depend on your income. Like me. I’m a single mom so I support my kids and dogs on the money I bring in.
Whether you’re a virtual assistant or you’re considering hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important that a virtual assistant ALWAYS work for more than one client. We’re contract workers. None of us work full-time for any clients so they aren’t required to hire us officially. The laws vary from state to state. I believe businesses in California will be required to hire all workers in 2020, and there will be no more freelance. Other than California, we’re still freelancing everywhere else.
This is probably the most important of all the money tips. You never know when a client will sell their business, downsize, go out of business or completely disappear on you. We have to stay on our toes at all times and not get too complacent.
2. Put back 10% of all money you bring in for yourself
I received this very same advice from a client almost 3 years ago. You want to make sure you have money in savings just in case there’s an emergency or incase you are in between clients. If you are juggling several clients, you won’t be in as much of a financial bind if you lose one. If you only work for one client, and they don’t pay you or let you go, you’re screwed. This has actually happened to me recently. I’ve done this for four years, and I have just been ghosted for the first time. I’ll save that story for another blog post.
While the gettin’ is good, make sure you’re putting a little up for yourself. It would be ideal to put up 20% of all money you bring in for yourself, but I know what it’s like to need as much money as possible to get by. Plus, you’re already having to tuck money back for taxes. I get it. However, if you’re ever between clients, you’ll be glad you have that extra cushion for bills and necessities until you pick up another client.
3. Know your worth
When I got started as a VA, I didn’t know what a good rate was, and I underbid many jobs. That’s probably why I got them so I am happy about the experience. Now that I’ve been doing this for a few years, I know what I’m comfortable working for. If someone makes an offer that is less than what I’ve asked for, I will politely decline.
I have to think about how much money it takes to run my household, my office, feed my kids, gas in the car, money up for taxes, savings, extra bills, etc. Just like a person who works a traditional job for a company, you have to consider all financial responsibility when accepting an offer. Otherwise, you’ll be struggling. If I take on clients who don’t pay what I need to live, then I’m not really doing myself any favors.
With that being said, you have to be realistic in what you’re asking to be paid. The Association of VA’s has a really good pricing guideline. Their blog is filled with money tips and tips in general. I recommend. I actually raised my standard rates for new clients after reading their guideline. I’m also taking some online courses to further my knowledge in social media advertising and Google Ads so my rates for Social Media Manager and/or Ads Manager will go up very soon.
Mo money, mo problems
Mase was right. Ain’t nothing changed but my limp. Can’t stop till I see my name on a blimp. As your business grows, you’ll be thinking about new equipment. You might want to get your LLC. You’ll be put in a higher tax bracket. You may want to bring on your own Virtual Assistants to help with your workload. It’s possible you’ll need to retain an attorney to draft business contracts for you and to bounce questions off of. The “what ifs” are limitless because you just never know.
Being a Virtual Assistant may not be what people consider a traditional job. Most people look at me like I have three eyes when I say I’m a VA, but it is a real job. With a little strategy and by keeping these money tips in mind, you’ll grow your business in no time!