In thinking about what I’ve shared about ditching the PAYG pricing model, there’s another angle on that that I wanted to share.

If you haven’t read that yet, take a minute and do that now, then come back and read this.

The three biggest reasons more seasoned Virtual Assistants give me for why they walk away from offering Pay-as-you-go are:

  1. They can’t normalize their income (they never know how much revenue will be generated in a given month)
  2. PAYG clients use far too little time to allow them to do their best work or feel like they’re making a difference.
  3. PAYG clients are PITA ;)

Hold those in mind for a sec.

What I see many VAs do is ditch PAYG, but offer a five-hour retainer in its place. If you’ve done that, it will certainly help you normalize your income, in that you’ll be able to count on five hours/month, it remains unlikely at five hours/month that you’ll ever feel like you’re doing your best work or making a difference.

So, if both #1 and #2 are important to you, it will never serve you to have clients in your practice on a five-hour retainer. And five-hour retainer clients are going to be every bit as much PITAs as PAYG clients. Truth, my friends.

Yes; they could grow into needing more time. But they could also get swept away in an earthquake while on vacation—know what I mean? It’s not the smartest thing to bet on either outcome when your livelihood is in question.

Note to self: Tiny retainers clip my wings and those of the clients I love to support.

Plus, you have to have a whole lot of five-hour clients to fill a practice. More relationships spell more complexity and more managing, which usually means far more work. My suggestion is to have nothing smaller than a ten-hour retainer. Just think (and it may seem too obvious to say, but just in case it’s not), you only need one client on a ten-hour retainer to replace two on five-hour retainers, and you’ve cut your complexity in half!

it bears saying that you really can’t call terrific clients to you by dumbing-down your service offering to snag the low-hanging fruit.

Step up your game and call clients forward who are stepping up their own. Tiny retainers clip your wings, and those of the clients you support.