Happy Monday people!

Whats the best retainer period that seems to work for you?

I was thinking 40 hours for a lower fee than just an hourly rate, which equates to a (long) full time week.

What do you folks suggest?



I don’t really think of it in terms of discounting the hours, but in terms of the savings I make as a business - i.e. I only have 1 invoice to prepare, I only have 1 client to market to, I only have 1 client to risk assess etc.

But I make sure it’s paid upfront - that is the only way they get the discount.


Thanks Caroline, I really am learning a lot here!

So, do you find new clients are happy to pay up front even though you’ve not worked with them before?

I was wondering what the minimum hours retainer should be?



I’ll be honest - that’s rare… Usually I do small tasks first so they can get used to working with a VA (and I can check they pay their bills on time!). But if there are set tasks we do each month, they need to pay upfront to get any discount - we found a lot of clients assumed we’d be a lot slower than we are, so they think they need 40 hours and in fact only need 20, but I don’t see why I should miss out on those extra hours just because we are efficient! If not, you risk falling into a trap of agreeing a low hourly rate and then not getting the volume of hours which justifies that.

I know some VAs simply agree to do X tasks each month and bill a set fee.


Great, thanks again!


Hi Jakki

Good question. I work for three companies on a monthly retainer (80 hours and 60 hours). The rate I give them is a bit less than for a one-off client or piece of work because I am guaranteed the hours no matter what. I also get paid up front (monthly in advance) for one and bill the other at the end of each month… adding on any additional hours. I’ve been working with them for about three years now and long may it last!

Good luck!


Thanks Dawn,I appreciate your input…that sounds like my idea scenario!