Hands Exchanging MoneyOne of the more confusing aspects of outsourcing personal tasks is the number of ways you can structure payments. Are you expected to pay a virtual assistant hourly? By the task? Some combination? And what is the typical price charged?

By the hour

Many virtual assistants work on an hourly basis — I think this arrangement is the easiest option for both those doing the outsourcing and those doing the work. It’s easier to track work and payments on an hourly basis.

The price per hour can vary dramatically, though. Companies based in India and other countries with lower costs of living can provide virtual assistant services as low as $7 per hour. Most American virtual assistants charge closer to $35, with some going as high as $100 for specialized services.

Package deals

Rather than selling time by the hour, many companies and individual virtual assistants offer blocks of time. You can purchase a block of 20 hours in a month, for instance — typically, you can find a better deal by committing to an ongoing plan.

Concierge services and other local outsourcing

If you’re looking to outsource tasks to someone local in your area, you’ll need to be prepared to pay more than you’d pay for a virtual assistant. Errand and concierge services’ prices can vary greatly, depending on the area you’re located in. In Cincinnati, Ohio, you might pay $420 per month, but in New York City, you might pay $2,500 for the same time period. Some local outsourcing options do offer a la carte pricing on per hour or per day rate.

Setting milestones

No matter the payment plan you choose, you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. You need to set tasks for your virtual assistants that have clear steps. With clear milestones, a virtual assistant is better able to finish a task to your satisfaction.

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