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Project Work VS. Hourly Rate - What’s the Right Choice?

When deciding your pricing strategies as a virtual assistant, it can be tricky to decide between charging by the hour and charging per project. Both approaches have pros and cons, but it's important to pick the one that best suits your personality and work style.

Project Work

The pros to charging by the project include:

  • No Surprises: One fixed price means that both you and the client can be on the same page about cost all the way through the project.

  • Simplified Billing: Invoicing for project work is typically simpler than hourly billing, because you don't have to track your hours and create invoices based on that.

  • Sense of Accomplishment: Working on a project from start to finish can be fulfilling and give you a sense of accomplishment. It allows you to see the progress you have made and the final result of your work.

The cons to charging by the project include:

  • Limited Flexibility: Sometimes charging by the project doesn’t allow room for unexpected changes or costs that might occur.

  • Unpredictable Workload: When you work on a project basis, you may not always have a steady stream of work coming in. This can make it difficult to plan and budget your time, as you may go through periods of high and low work.

Hourly Rate

The pros to charging by the hour include:

  • Flexibility: Charging by the hour allows for more flexibility in your work schedule. You can take on as much or as little work as you want, and adjust your workload as needed.

  • Consistent Income: Hourly billing can provide a more consistent income, as you are paid for the time you put in. This can be helpful and can make sure that you are being paid for the time you are putting in.

  • Easy to Track: Tracking your time is important for hourly billing, and there are many tools and software available to help you do this accurately. This can be helpful for both you and your client, as it allows for transparency in the amount of time and effort being put into the work.

The cons to charging by the hour include:

  • Billing Disputes: There may be instances where you and your client disagree on the number of hours worked which can lead to billing disputes. This can be frustrating and time-consuming and can lead to tension between you and your client.


Both project work and hourly rate have their own pros and cons. The right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider your long-term goals, workload, and income needs when deciding whether to work on a project basis or charge by the hour. You might even decide to use different strategies depending on the client and the work you are doing.

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