Reading in/setting up fees



When I start out with clients - those who just want a PAYG type service, say 2 or 3 hours a week, I think I’m losing time by not properly managing read-in and set up time.

Eg. I have this fabulous lady who had never used a VA before, just wants me for an hour a week at the moment while she finds her feet and gets to know me. That’s fine but, I’m doing her payroll, I’m looking integrations for her existing booking software etc. She has a list of stuff she eventually wants me to take over from her.

But this morning, just setting up, logging in, learning to navigate how she likes to set up her diary. Researching good payroll systems (she has nothing at the minute) and I’m 3 hours in this morning already. I must be crap or something?!?!? I think - I need to factor in a setting-up costs especially for peeps who have no system in place at the moment (eg she has no payroll system so I’ve been researching cost effective platforms and I’ve found her a free one!). I’ve never used the particular booking system she uses, pretty standard stuff but still takes me time to get comfortable with it. Any advice??


This is one which comes with experience… Next time round you’ll be able to say “Usually we find that we need 3 hours to make sure your system is set up properly and optimised and then whatever time you use from thereon in is charged by the hour…” This time since you didn’t specify, it’s a bit unfair to hit her with a bill.

Definitely it will be faster next time, because you’ll know what you need to check and where to look for potential issues. If you are doing research for her, looking at her systems, that’s chargeable time… You can’t take that knowledge and apply it to someone else’s business, so it doesn’t benefit you.

TBH if you aren’t a payroll expert, I’d probably skip that myself…it’s a bit of a minefield from what I understand.

@expedio - any tips?