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What Type of Virtual Assistant Services Should You Use?

There are many options to choose from when it comes to virtual assistant services. So how do you know which one will be the best for you and your business? The first thing you should do is review what aspects of your business you need help with. Second, review what budget you have available. Then you can use this helpful article to determine which type of service may be the best for you!

Benefits: Retainer versus Project-Based Services

There are many more companies available to hire project-based services in comparison to retainer services. The numerous project-based services are due to how time-intensive and skill-based most retainer tasks are. Contrastly, project-based tasks are typically short one-off projects.

So what are the main differences between the two types of services?

Retainer Benefits

Retainer services are usually reserved for medium-sized companies with high virtual assistant needs. As well as small businesses who want one virtual assistant they can build a rapport with over time.

A retainer service usually lasts anywhere from one to 12 months. After the contract ends, both parties can decide to extend the contract if additional services are required. Typically, you have to pay a retainer fee at a set interval of time agreed upon in the contract. For example, most retainer contracts are billed monthly for a set number of agreed-upon hours. If you ever have too much work available in a month, there is an overage rate that can be paid. For overages, you will only be charged for hours used.

Retainer services are best for those who need ongoing support from their Virtual Assistant. You can expect them to answer calls and emails within 24 hours during business hours. As well as prioritizing communication with mutual deadlines approaching. Retainer plans are also great for specialized assistance like social media management. Once your virtual assistant starts to learn more about your business, more advanced tasks can be delegated. 

If you have daily, weekly or monthly tasks that require lots of time, a dedicated assistant is a perfect solution.

(If you are a small business read our previous blog to see how to jumpstart your business growth.)

Project-Based Benefits

This is great for start-ups that don’t have a large revenue stream or a business that would like the flexibility to submit projects on an as-needed basis.

You can choose to pay a one-time fee or have your virtual assistant invoice you after each project is complete. The turnaround time for a project under this type of plan is generally longer. However, some companies may have a “rush” option available. Your projects are submitted via a project-management system or app instead of directly emailed to your virtual assistant.

Project-based services are best for those who need virtual assistant help on an occasional basis or for a one-time project. In addition, it can be a great way to test out a company’s services without the obligation of a contract.

If you’re unsure of how many tasks or projects you may need to complete in the future, project-based services are a great option.

Pricing: Retainer versus Project-Based Services

Retainer Pricing

The hourly rate of Virtual Assistants can range from $15-$80 per hour, but this varies greatly by country, industry, and years of experience.
For example, virtual assistants in Sweden tend to earn less than in the US, or virtual assistants in the medical industry require a higher rate than the service industry.

Retainer services are usually reserved for medium-sized companies with high virtual assistant needs or small businesses who want one virtual assistant they can build a rapport with over time. In this type of service offering, the VA company will charge either an agreed-upon hourly rate or an agreed-upon monthly fee (usually between $500 -$1200) in exchange for guaranteed availability from their team’s Virtual Assistant.

For many virtual assistants, retainer services are preferable to project-based services because it provides a more stable income stream. This is beneficial to you as a business owner because you can typically count on receiving the help of a more skilled and experienced virtual assistant.

Retainer-based models offer the best value for your money if you want a dedicated team member to help you grow your business over time.

Project-Based Pricing

Virtual Assistant companies that offer project-based services will charge a flat fee for each task or project. This type of payment structure allows more flexibility if your business needs change over the course of the year. However, it can also become quite costly if your task requires additional work that was not part of the original agreement. For example: Suppose that you review a project, approved it, and then decide you would like to change some of the content. The changes would require an additional charge since your virtual assistant already completed the original task.

The required skill level is also a contributing factor to the price of your task or project. For simple tasks such as blog writing, the costs are minimal in comparison to advanced bookkeeping or a website design. This can cause the flat rate to range from as little as $50 to as much as $2500.

Project-based models offer the best value if you want to invest in the expertise of a skilled virtual assistant without the hassle of a monthly contract.

So in conclusion, whether you are looking to have a few research tasks completed for your new book or create a new email marketing campaign there is a service available that is perfect for your business needs and budget.

We Offer Both Services For Your Business!

Contemporary Virtual Assistance offers both types of virtual assistant services. We have a free one-hour consultation so you can see how our virtual assistants can help you and your business reach new heights. Reach out to our Client Advocate Team at or fill out our “Contact Us” form.

Posted on September 7th, 2021 by Client Advocate Team

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