What Should You Pay For Help?

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A colleague recently asked me what she should expect to pay a Virtual Assistant. Another colleague asked me the going rate for a Website Designer. Someone asked me if they could get a Copywriter for less than $10 an hour.

As your business grows it become apparent that you can’t do it alone. Finding skilled consultants and assistants greatly increases your efficiency and your revenue. This is one area where the maxim “You get what you pay for” applies.

Before worrying about the cost of getting help, first decide what you want your help to do for you. I’ve written two articles that may help you with this process:

While these are just two of the possible types of consultants you’ll want to hire, the process is the same for thinking through what work you want them to do, what skills you want them to have, and what personality type you work best with.

Then you can begin thinking about what to pay them. It’s natural for a small business owner to want to save money, but you’ll be disappointed if you hire someone at a low hourly rate only to find that they either can’t do the work or their quality and timeliness suffers.

Think about it this way: these sub-contractors are small business owners, too. If they charge $30 per hour, they have to work many more hours in order to make a living. Will they give you and your projects the attention they deserve? If they can’t make a living, will they go out of business?

Here are some of the common fees you can expect to pay for help. As skill level rises, so does the hourly fee. Often sub-contractors will give you a discount if you commit to a certain number of hours per month (a “retainer”). Others will charge you by the project, or in the case of copywriters and transcriptionists, by the page or by the word.

  • Virtual Assistant: $35 – $70 per hour
  • Website Designer: $50 – $125 per hour
  • CPA: $125 – $150 per hour
  • Attorney: $125 – $250 per hour
  • Technology Consultant: $65 – $100 per hour
  • Business/Marketing Consultant: $100 – $200 per hour

Here are some other people you already hire, though you may never have thought about their “hourly rate” in this way:

  • Car Mechanic: $80 – $125 per hour
  • Massage Therapist: $60 – $120 per hour
  • House Cleaner: $30 – $50 per hour
  • Doctor: $200 – $300 per hour

Decide up-front whether the person you hire is an “expense” or an “investment.” An investment implies that the work they do for you either directly increases your income or indirectly saves you time.

Having a support team around you can grow your business. Choose wisely and watch your business blossom!

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business