If you knew what your time was worth ...

Last week I mentioned 2 hurdles that people have when thinking about working with a VA, the first was knowing what work to give them, the second is the misconception that hiring a VA is expensive and it’s that which I want to talk about this week.

When you’re running a business, particularly in the early years, the focus is all about money – making it and saving it.  Small business owners have a tendency to think it’s cheaper to do everything themselves rather than paying someone else to do it – they’re ‘saving’ money.  Then they hit a major barrier … THEY RUN OUT OF TIME … they can’t fit everything in any more.


“How did it get so late so soon?  It’s night before it’s afternoon.  December is here before it’s June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?” 

Dr Seuss

The key thing many business owners fail to realise is that their time is not free! 

In a service industry nation many small business owners are basically selling time.  The skill-set may vary: designers, VAs, consultants, etc, but the product is time.  This makes it really easy to see what the value of your time is … how much is someone else paying you for it?

Even if you’re selling a physical product, as a business owner your time should be spent on the things that will grow the business and therefore the value of it is high.  Work out how much you would have to pay someone to do the job of managing and building a business and that gives you an idea of the value of your time.

It is usually the delivery of the service (in a service industry) and the growth and marketing strategy of the business that are key, high value areas that the business owner should focus their time and efforts on in order to move the business forward.

In no way do I want to demean the value of the other work that goes on in a business.  To the contrary, I have long understood the value that an administrative professional adds to the bigger picture – they carry out key tasks that keep a business running smoothly.  However, work that isn’t in the front line of activities bringing in more business are a support function and have traditionally attracted a lower monetary value in order to get them done. 

It makes sense then that someone who can earn a high value for their time (either through service delivery or through the driving of business growth) should not be spending it doing lower value tasks.

To help you start to think about the value of your time in a general way you might want to watch a couple of videos we have found helpful. Visit www.theofficefixer.org.uk/resources where we have posted them for you.

Also, here’s a calculation that might help you see the figures more clearly (based on a VA rate of £30/hr & your hourly rate of £75 – amend as appropriate):


You do your own admin

5 hrs of admin completed =                 £0.00

5 hrs of chargeable time lost =          - £375

PROFIT =                                       - £375


You outsource your admin

5 hours of admin paid for =                £150

5 hours of work invoiced =                 £375

PROFIT =                                         £225




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