SHOULD VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS CHARGE FOR MEETINGS?
It happens to an awful lot of new Virtual Assistants:
You work hard to land that first client. You're super-psyched that they've purchased a 10-hour retainer package from you! You eagerly get to work on the tasks outlined for you to complete. They request a meeting with you and suddenly - you panic. You aren't sure whether 'meeting time' is billable or not...so you decide not to charge for it (because - let's face it - this is your first client and you NEED to keep them!)
The FIRST meeting lasts an hour, which seriously eats into your schedule but you suck it up - this time.
A few days later another meeting is requested...and this time the client asks to make this a regular weekly 'thing'.
They also start to call you throughout the day with occasional 'pop-up' meetings. By the end of the month, you've spent 8 hours in 'meetings' that you haven't charged for...yikes! That's an entire day of work that you aren't billing for.
So the answer to the question "Should Virtual Assistants Charge for Meetings" is:
You MUST charge your clients for meetings that they have initiated...or you will be very broke, very fast. Billable meetings also ensure that your clients take meeting times seriously and understand that your time is valuable.
If you sell your Virtual Assistance services as a 'Package' it should include a certain number of hours of consulting time for meetings. If you sell your services using an hourly or retainer rate, then 'meeting time' should be charged for and listed as an item on your timesheet. No ifs, ands or buts.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind When billing for meetings
- Your initial consultation meeting with a client before they have signed the contract is NOT billable
- Include the fact that meetings are billable as part of your contract or FAQ's page - so there are no surprises
- Use your discretion - If you end up chit-chatting for 30 minutes about personal things with a client...you may decide not to charge them for that portion of the meeting
- If a client requests to see you in person - travel time to and from the meeting is also billable
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