The 2 Types of Delegation (One is WAY Harder to Pull Off)

types of delegationWhen you’re looking at your list of potential tasks to delegate or outsource, you’ll find that the items fall into one of two categories:

1. Stuff you know how to do, but your time would be better spent elsewhere.

2. Stuff you don’t know how to do, but needs to get done.

A few weeks ago I told you about my current virtual assistant “stack”. Nearly everything on that list fell into the first category: stuff I know how to do and very easily could do myself.

Years ago, I really struggled with this type of delegation. Why pay someone to do work I could do myself? 

And of course that question leads to the classic time arbitrage discussion of getting work done for a lower hourly rate so you can focus your time on higher value activities.

You already understand that argument, so I won’t dwell on it here.

Still, it’s a challenge (at least for me) and it might be helpful to categorize some of your tasks in this way.

The second type of delegation is MUCH harder.

If you don’t know how to do the work you’re asking your virtual assistant to do, how will you explain it to them?

How will you know if they’re qualified?

How will you know if they’re doing it right?

This is where I’ve run into trouble, especially when trying to outsource large-scale technical projects. Sure, I drew up the project specs as best I could, but could I really tell if my contractor knew the best way to deliver the work?

(I feel the same way when I take my car to the shop. “Sir, we inspected the vehicle and found your front drive shaft power steering discombobulator is worn out. I recommend replacing it immediately.”)

OK, if you say so.

There are a couple ways around this.

The first is to get a second or third or fourth opinion. If you approach each VA or contractor or outsourcing company with the same goal or desired outcome, you can compare their proposed solutions apples to apples.

The ones who take the time to understand your problem and desired destination are probably the ones that will be best to work with long-term.

The other method is to learn the process yourself first. For example, if I want to delegate my social media marketing, I can take the time to learn the strategies and tactics, and develop the processes and the documentation around them.

Then I’m in a much better position to train a VA to take over those tasks, and can probably find someone more affordable than if I was hiring for the “strategy” portion as well.

The tradeoffs are time and money. The first method is faster but more expensive, while the second is slower but cheaper.

But there aren’t any shortcuts, at least that I’m aware of.

Your Turn

Do your delegation efforts focus on the tasks you know how to do but shouldn’t be doing, or the tasks you don’t know how to do? Or both?

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Bench.co

Bench is a remote bookkeeping service specializing in providing tax-ready financials for small businesses. Their clients are primarily spread across the U.S and Canada.

The company was formed in New York and has been in operation since 2002. They relocated to Vancouver, BC in the summer of 2013.

About Bench.co

Bench reviewBench is a software company offering bookkeeping solutions for small businesses. They provide the tools for business owners to track their finances, as well as assigning a professional accountant to help manage the finances of the business.

The company moved from the U.S to Vancouver, B.C. in 2013, and this is where all of their employees are based.

Although 95% of their clients are U.S based, their bookkeepers are versed in the accounting practices and laws across several countries. So if you’re based outside of the U.S you can still contact them and discuss your requirements.

They are a tech savvy bookkeeping service, and use their own intuitive software as well as an app to keep in touch with clients. So you can easily connect with them directly and ensure your financial records are up to date, as well as keeping in constant communication with your assigned accountant.

Bench Intro Video

Services

Preparing tax returns and balancing the books is a time consuming part of running a business. Bench takes the burden of managing the financials from small business owners at an affordable price. Using their systems and team of bookkeepers and accountants, they take care of all the day-to-day financials of running a business so you can use your time working on other areas of your business.

Bench uses their software and an account manager to prepare the financials for a business on a monthly basis. They prepare cash-basis, tax-ready income statements and balance sheets and provide ongoing support.

They have a simple three step plan in place for new customers:

  1. They set up a call to discuss your business and answer any questions you have
  2. They prepare your financials for the first month for free so you can try their service and see how it works with your business before committing
  3. You review the income statement with your account manager and decide if you want to purchase an ongoing plan

Plans and Pricing

Bench have four main packages to choose from. Each package comes with monthly cash-basis income statements and a balance sheet, as well as ongoing communication with the team.

The starter package is the Micro package. You get 2 bank and credit card accounts, and 1 custom add-on with this package and it costs $125 per month. Each subsequent package provides you with one more bank or credit card account and 1 more custom add-on, with the prices being $175, $250 and $350 per month respectively.

bench pricing

They understand that every business has some individual needs and welcome anyone to contact them directly to discuss their financials and what package would be most suitable.

They also offer a free trial. This is for one month’s worth of bookkeeping, allowing you to give their service a try and a get a feel for their software and processes.

Bench Alternatives

Hiring a bookkeeper is one of the first additions many small businesses make. Bench seems like a nice hybrid between hiring a contract bookkeeper from an accounting firm or a freelance bookkeeper on Upwork or another platform, and the full “do-it-yourself” option of just using Excel spreadsheets, Freshbooks, or Quickbooks Online.

Your Turn

I think the one month free trial is a great opportunity to give Bench a try if you’re unsure of what to expect. If you have worked with Bench please leave some feedback below to help others with their decision.

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Crew.co

Crew.co is a marketplace that provides a platform for freelancers, or “members” as they refer to them, to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs. They specialize in providing professional services of web designers and developers.

The company was founded in 2012 and their headquarters are based in Montreal, Canada. Through their platform they connect freelancer designers and developers to business owners from all over the globe.

About Crew.co

Crew.co reviewThe company is headed up by Martin Konrad, and they have been in operation for over three years. Crew is not a service company and does not carry out or oversee any of the work for their members or manage projects, rather they provide the platform for business owners to find designers and developers, and handle the contracts and financial transactions.

The company screens and vets the freelancers, and matches them to the best-suited projects for their skills. They also hire additional freelancers from around the globe to meet demand when required.

How it Works

When you post a project, the team at Crew matches you with 3 fully-vetted freelancers for you to choose between to complete your project within 48 hours. This is different than platforms like Upwork or Freelancer.com, where unlimited freelancers can bid for your project and you narrow down the applicants.

Anyone who have had a bad experience on an open marketplace may feel more comfortable with the way Crew are operating. With Crew manually selecting freelancers, you do not need to invest as much time vetting the applicants yourself.  

Services

Unlike some other freelancing marketplaces, Crew focuses specifically on programming and graphic design projects.

They specialize in providing website development, app development, eCommerce support, logo design, branding, and custom graphic design work.

There is a three-step process when submitting a project to the Crew platform:

  1. You post your exact job, or “project” requirements
  2. You will receive an automatic budget recommendation to look over
  3. Three handpicked freelancers will contact you within 48 hours, you then decide who you want to work with

Because Crew use their own vetting process when taking on freelancers to join their platform there should be a higher level of consistency than open marketplaces.

Their target customers are busy business owners or entrepreneurs who do not have in-house web or graphic designers and need individual projects completed. If you’ve been thinking about a logo redesign or having an app developed, Crew is worth checking out.

Plans and Pricing

Because it’s a project-based platforms, pricing varies depending on the specific work you need done. Once you and your chosen contractor agree on the scope of the project, you pre-pay into Crew’s escrow account.

Crew holds the funds for the project until the work is completed and both parties are satisfied. The company takes a 15% fee from the total payment to cover processing, overhead, customer support, and of course, their profit.

The company uses a third-party payment system through their platform for safe and secure transactions.

Crew Alternatives

The biggest competitor to Crew is the giant freelance platform Upwork.comThe main difference is that they try to be a one-stop shop for all your outsourcing needs, instead of just focusing on only designers and developers.

If you’re looking for development help, you might consider Codeable (for WordPress projects) or TopTal (for a wider range).

For one-off graphics work, 99designs and DesignCrowd are popular choices.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Crew.co? If so, please leave a review of your experience below to help others with their decision.

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eLuminous Technologies

eLuminous Technologies is a professional virtual assistant company. The company is a partnership firm owned by Sandeep Aher and Hrushikesh Wakadkar, and they have been operating since 2002. 

Being in business for over 13 years makes eLuminous Technologies one of the more established virtual assistant companies in the industry.

About eLuminous Technologies

eluminous technologies reviewThe company is based in Nashik, India, where they operate out of a huge facility with a team of over 80 staff. They work around the clock to accommodate all the timezones of their clients, offering services during EST, PST, GMT and AEST timezones.

As you would expect with a company of this size, eLuminous have a large pool of skills within their 80+ staff. They have split into several different departments, and aim to match clients up with the most suitable assistant or team.

Their target customers range from small business owners, to managers and CEOs of large organizations. eLuminous Technologies find that most of their clients work in industries like web development, Internet marketing, eCommerce, eBay and Amazon sellers, and other online businesses.

Services

eLuminous breaks down their services into four main categories, and have a separate department for each of the following:

  1. Virtual Assistant Services
  2. Web Development
  3. Mobile App Development
  4. SEO and SMM

So depending on the client’s type of business or requirements, they can direct them to a department specializing in that area.

Their virtual assistant services cover all the day-to-day business tasks you would expect. As I always advise, you should provide a detailed list of the tasks you’re looking to outsource and check they have experience with each task before committing to a price plan.

Their web development team specialize in maintaining and building websites. They have a dedicated mobile app development team, which is a service not offered by many virtual assistant companies. Finally they have a SEO and SMM department, ideal for outsourcing your social media accounts.

Plans and Pricing

For their virtual assistant service, eLuminous Technologies charges a flat rate of $7 per/hr, and have six fixed packages to choose from.

Their entry package includes 20 hours of virtual assistant time, with their other packages offering 40, 80, 120 and 160 hours. They also have a WordPress and CMS support package, aimed at businesses wanting ongoing website support.

eluminous technologies pricing

When paying for a package you are purchasing a number of hours. The hours will be used up as your tasks are completed, and you can keep an eye on the progress.

When I asked eLuminous what sets them apart from their competitors, they cited their 15 day money back guarantee, quality of service and flexible payment options.

eLuminous Technologies Alternatives

The virtual assistant marketplace is a competitive and crowded one. If you’re looking at virtual assistant companies based in India I’d look at My Tasker or VMG BPO as viable alternatives.

They offer similar pricing and it’s worth getting a custom quote from more than one company with your task requirements.

Your Turn

Have you worked with eLuminous Technologies? If so please leave a comment below to help others with making an informed decision.

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EasilyDo

EasilyDo is a tech company with a smartphone app that works as a personal assistant and automation machine from the palm of your hand. Their company directive is “to save people time and delight them with convenience.”

Everyone has their smartphone close at hand during the day, so any apps that make managing a business easier and helps to free up time is worth a closer look. So far, they’ve attracted around 30,000 users and are working at building up a larger user base.

About EasilyDo

easilydo reviewThe company was formed in 2011 and their headquarters are located in California, US. With their developers working globally.

EasilyDo raised $4.3 million of seed funding from U.S. Venture Partners and Mayfield Fund, and have some individual investors. The funding is going into developing more apps and accelerating the growth of the company.

The company have developed a smartphone app that helps the user navigate their day, receive notifications, and get more organized. With the end goal being to save time, and allowing business owners to spend more time where it really matters – working on scaling up their business.

To get started with EasilyDo you need to connect the app to some of your other services, such as your mail, calendar and your social media accounts. Once you authenticate the app it starts looking for tasks it can automate for you.

The app is 100% automated. So once you set your features and preferences you can leave the app to get on with managing your calendar and arranging things for you.

The app is not a direct replacement for a virtual assistant, and neither is it intended to be. However, there are some really useful features on the app to help you manage your time better. Not to mention setting reminders to make sure you don’t miss all-important deadlines.

EasilyDo Intro Video

Services

To get started with EasilyDo you need to connect the app to some of your other services, such as your mail, calendar and your social media accounts. Once you authenticate the app it starts looking for tasks it can automate for you.

Some of key services of the app include:

  • Setting reminders so you don’t miss birthdays, meetings, deadlines, etc
  • Automatically adding new contacts to your address book
  • Tracking packages and deliveries
  • Monitoring your social media accounts
  • Booking hotels and flights
  • Sending SMS when you leave or enter certain areas

EasilyDo is a good travel companion as it integrates with a number of airlines and hotel chains to provide you with up-to-date information and pricing, as well as booking a flight or a hotel.

One of the aspects that sets EasilyDo apart from Google Now or Siri is that being a third party app it’s compatible with a wider range of platforms. Siri is built-in to Apple devices, and works with other Apple services. Likewise, Google Now works well with Gmail and Chrome as you would expect.

EasilyDo will sync with Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Evernote, iCloud, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more, offering a less restricted experience than Siri or Google Now.

Plans and Pricing

The app is free to download and will give you access to the basic features. There are Premium and Business level accounts which unlock a lot more features, such as contact backups, real-time email alerts, and automatically forwarding receipts.

easilydo features

The Premium packages costs $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year. While the Business package costs $25 per month, or $240 a year. The annual one-off payments represent decent savings and are certainly worth considering if you pay for a month and want to keep your subscription.

easilydo pricing

If you rely on apps to help with reminders or arranging your phonebook and email, it’s worth giving the free trial of EasilyDo a workout.

EasilyDo Alternatives

As mentioned above, Siri and Google Now may be already built into your phone and provide some of the same functionality as EasilyDo. If you’re in need of real human support every now and then, check out GoButler or OkayRelax.

Your Turn

Have you used the EasilyDo app? If so please leave a comment below any feedback you have.

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RemSource

RemSource is an American virtual administrative assistant company based in Baltimore, MD. The company was founded in 2009 by Azi Rosenblum, who saw a need for a more professional, integrated admin service to help growing small businesses.

About RemSource

remsource reviewRemSource offers live administrative support during regular 9-5 office hours, including answering phones and emails, scheduling appointments, and customer service. Their agents can also handle ongoing business process outsourcing and bookkeeping tasks.

RemSource is one of very few US-based virtual assistant companies where the VAs work from an office and not from their homes.

Their team of administrative assistants works from their office in Baltimore (not overseas), and each client is assigned 2 dedicated admins (one primary, one secondary admin). The admins become a part of that business’s team, so the customers get used to speaking with the same people and can develop a long-term relationship.

The service is aimed at small business owners, solo practitioners, financial advisors, consultants, speakers, and other solopreneurs. The company has been recognized in the Baltimore Business Journal and SmartCEO Magazine for their innovative approach to administrative staffing.

Services

RemSource is kind of a virtual back-office for your business. They do calendar management and scheduling,  bookkeeping, answer your phone, and do proactive follow-ups with prospective leads and customers.

How it works is during your first 3 months as a client, they take a very consultative approach in finding the right opportunities for delegation and streamlining your business processes. Their team works with you to put systems in place for smooth operations and well-defined roles.

I asked Gali, their Director of Business Development, what sets RemSource apart from the competition? Her answer:

“We are one of the very few that offer LIVE 9-5 coverage for our clients. We do not bill by the hour, and we don’t work based on projects, we become essential components of the client’s DAILY operation in order to free up time and help the client focus on growing and building profits.”

That in-office presence that’s “on-call” during business hours is a big selling point. Clients don’t have to stress about counting tasks or running out of hours on their plan.

She also told me a story about how a construction company client of theirs actually won a bid, at least in part because they had a “secretary” answering the phone when the customer called. Little did they know it was really the RemSource VA!

Indeed, she picked up the phone on the first ring when I called.

Another example Gali shared was a busy graphic designer who felt bogged down by scheduling, invoicing, and following-up on proposals. Now RemSource handles all of that and she can focus on the work that only she can do: the talented design work that rings the cash register.

Plans and Pricing

Monthly packages start around $500-600 per month, but a more typical engagement is in the $1500 per month range.

Virtual Assistant Assistant Exclusive: Mention you found RemSource on VAA to save $100 on your first month of administrative services and/or $50 off your first month of bookkeeping services.

Where they used to put new clients on a 14-day trial plan, they found that didn’t serve the needs of either party very well. It was hard for RemSource to get fully integrated into a business and run at peak efficiency in that time frame, and it was also difficult to fully understand the scope of the client’s business and make process/delegation suggestions.

As a result, they’ve switched over to a quarterly engagement plan, in which both RemSource and their clients can take a longer-term view at their respective roles, responsibilities, and opportunities. These quarterly agreements are customized on a client-by-client basis, and are typically billed monthly.

RemSource Alternatives

As I mentioned, the virtual-but-still in-office admin model is rare for a company this size. (Most competitors run a model with home-based staff.) In the US, two similar services come to mind:   Longer Days in Michigan, and Virtual Assist USA in Pennsylvania.

Both of those options operate on kind of a hybrid model with hourly packages and access to a team of assistants for various business needs.

The RemSource service is what I’d consider a step up from just virtual receptionist services or UAssist.ME‘s low-level plan that promises a similar “all-day” coverage but shared among several clients.

Your Turn

Have you worked with RemSource? If so, please take a minute to leave a quick review below to help others with their decision.

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My Current Virtual Assistant “Stack”

A member of my mastermind group asked me recently what my current virtual assistant “situation” looked like.

It made me realize I hadn’t thought about it in a while and have added quite a few helpful resources to it over the past year.

This is my current outsourcing “stack” set-up.

So here goes…

Non-Dedicated Assistants

GoButler 

GoButler is a free text-message based assistant service.

I use them for research tasks (i.e. “what am I allowed to bring into Wrigley Field food-wise?”), appointment setting (“make a service appointment for my wife’s car”), and even some shopping stuff (“I saw these jeans at Nordstrom; anyone have them on sale?”).

How can they afford to offer this service for free? I’m not even sure, but my speculation is they’ll earn affiliate commission on monetizable requests, like if I had ended up purchasing those jeans through their system.

 

Fancy Hands

Fancy Hands is a US-based task assistance service starting at $30/mo. I’ve been a Fancy Hands member for years, and have used them for help with research, data entry, proofreading, and lots more.

Primarily what they do for me today is respond to the virtual assistant survey submissions on VirtualAssistantAssistant.com. Based on the responses, I have several templates of suggestions, and the cool thing is it’s all automated and on average they reply much faster than I used to when I was (ironically) doing it all myself.

 

Dedicated Assistants

MyTasker

MyTasker is a helpful India-based VA company I’ve been working with regularly for the last year or so.

My dedicated assistant Bhaskar handles a couple recurring daily tasks for me, including drafting some client emails and saving them in my drafts folder in Gmail.

I’ve found the service super-reliable and a big time-saver. Rates start at $120/month.

 

OkayRelax

OkayRelax is kind a hybrid model between a task-based, team-based service like Fancy Hands and a fully dedicated assistant.

You still get a bucket of tasks to submit each month (25 tasks for $50), but you’re assigned a single dedicated assistant. That means turnaround times may be slower than with a pooled service, but hopefully you can realize the advantages of a dedicated assistant like trust in your business, some specialized training, and more consistent quality performance.

Right now I’m having my assistant John focus on research and data entry tasks, but am looking forward to expanding our relationship this year.

 

Specialist Freelancers

Rounding out my outsourcing “stack” are a handful of on-demand contractors.

The person I turn to most consistently is a writer who helps me out with website articles and podcast notes. But in the past few months I’ve also turned to specialists for social media graphic help and of course technical web development support.

I connected with my writer and graphic “guys” through my network and social media, and with my most recent web development project guy through the Codeable marketplace.

Your Turn

What’s your current virtual assistant set up look like?

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Virtual Done Well

Virtual Done Well is a virtual assistant company based in the Philippines. They specialize in supplying virtual assistants to small and medium sized companies in Australia.

The company is headed up by Rob O’Byrne. All of their VAs are based in the Philippines, and they have been in business since February 2012.

About Virtual Done Well

virtual done well reviewThe company is fully owned and managed by Filipino entrepreneurs. All of their virtual assistants are based in the Philippines and work out of their company offices in Davao to maintain a cohesive company culture and quality of work.

The company directive at Virtual Done Well is to form long lasting relationships with their clients by matching up full-time dedicated virtual assistants.

Their website states they work with Australian businesses and, ‘carefully selected ‘external’ clients’. So the Australian market is clearly their area of specialization, but they work with clients all over the world.

It makes sense since Australia and the Philippines are in similar time zones so it can make communication and work scheduling a little easier.

Services

Virtual Done Well offers a wide range of professional business services including;

  • Internet Marketing
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Web Development
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social Media Marketing

These are just the titles of the packages they offer. Within these titles they provide a long list of the services you would expect from the job titles.

As with any virtual assistant provider, the more questions you ask and the more specific you are with your requirements, the better the understanding you will get about how well they can match you with an assistant.

The company always aims to match clients with the most suitable virtual assistant, creating a “win-win situation,” as they call it.

Virtual Done Well Intro Video: Why Outsource?

Plans and Pricing

Virtual Done Well have several plans to choose from, all of which are monthly plans for a full-time virtual assistant. Their prices are in Australian dollars, but I will give you the approximate American equivalent at the current exchange rate.

virtual done well pricing

  • Internet marketing virtual assistant – starts at $750 AUD ($545 USD)
  • General virtual assistant starts at  $997 AUD ($725 USD)
  • Web development virtual assistant starts at $500 AUD ($360 USD)
  • Bookkeeping virtual assistant starts at $1,500 AUD ($1,090 USD)
  • Social media marketing virtual assistant – price upon request.

virtual well done bookkeeping social media

With a general virtual assistant working out at around $4.50/hr this is within the industry norm for a Filipino virtual assistant.

The plans on their site don’t seem to offer the flexibility to pay for less than a full-time VA. Something to think about before committing to a plan.

Virtual Done Well Alternatives

With no shortage of virtual assistant companies based in the Philippines there are a number of alternatives. For office-based staff, I’d take a look at Carve or VA Staffer.

If you’re comfortable with a home-based worker and doing the recruiting and screening yourself, OnlineJobs.ph is the place to go. And finally, if you want a hybrid of the two, with some upfront recruiting help but the ongoing cost-savings of a solo virtual employee, check out Zen Virtual Assistants Finder.

Your Turn

If you have worked with Virtual Done Well please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

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Undullify

Undullify is a company providing graphic design support by way of improving your pre-existing visual content, or by creating brand new graphics for their clients.

The company has been in operation since October 2014 and is based in Australia.

About Undullify

undullify review designThe company was founded by Sukey Gaven and their main office is in Melbourne, Australia. Their designers are based all over the globe. 

On their website, Undullify are keen to point out that, “Undullify is not a graphic design agency, and we are not meant to be used as a replacement for a full-time designer.”

The target customers for Undullify are small to medium sized businesses who do not warrant having their own full-time graphic designer, but require graphics for blog posts, banners, and other branding tasks.

Services

If you have any branding or graphics you want changed, improved on, or maybe you have a vision for some graphics you want created, Undullify are happy to take on the task as long as it takes 30 minutes or less; that is the maximum time allocated per task.

When you sign up and pass over the details of your task you are assigned a graphic designer. You can opt to use the same designer again in the future if you’re happy with the work, or try someone else.

Undullify’s business model is aimed at a larger volume of smaller jobs. This is what sets them apart from companies like 99designs who specialize in larger one-off design tasks like rebranding.

To place an order for a task, all you have to do is fill out a form on Undullify’s website to get the process started. After you receive the design work you can ask for any revisions, or accept the job.

Plans and Pricing

Pricing starts at $29 for a single 30 minute task. This comes with unlimited revisions, a 1 business day turnaround, the same designer for return clients, a dedicated account manager to oversee the process, and design support and advice.

They also offer three monthly plans. For $69 a month you can receive all the above with an unlimited number of design tasks and a slightly longer turnaround of 3 business days.

Unlimited graphic jobs for $69 a month — very clear value proposition!

undullify pricing

For $179 a month you can be guaranteed your tasks will be turned around in 1 business day.

Their most expensive plan is $399 a month. This promises all of the aforementioned services along with a VIP experience and a high priority turnaround. This is perfect for people running social media marketing agencies who have a constant demand for great graphics for their clients.

I was interested to see that you receive an unlimited number of tasks starting with the $69 a month package. And as with any “all you can eat” service, the Fair Use of “unlimited” comes down to the discretion of management.

You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your plan at any time.

Undullify Alternatives

The nearest competitor to Undullify that I can think of is Design Pickle, which offers a similar “unlimited designs” package with 3-day promised turnaround times, only their price is $295 per month! And you have to pre-pay for an annual subscription to even get that rate. 

Fiverr is another place I’ve turned to in the past for graphic design support, but the quality can be spotty. (And being such a subjective art, design services are one of the toughest tasks to outsource.) 

Your Turn

Have you worked with Undullify to sharpen up or create any images for your business? If so please leave a review below to help others make an informed choice.

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Don’t Panic Management

Don’t Panic Management is an American based virtual assistant company offering a wide range of services to help businesses get more done in less time. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in New York, USA.

About Don’t Panic Management

dont panic mgmt reviewThe company was founded by Jess Ostroff in 2011. They are a full-service virtual assistant agency providing virtual assistants to small business owners.

They are based in the US and have a four team members in New York, as well as staff in Connecticut and Chicago. There is a very personable and light-hearted approach which makes them stand out for the crowd.

Each team member at Don’t Panic Mgmt names their favorite karaoke song, cheese, drink, and even any super powers they have in their bios. It’s nice to see full bios with a picture of each virtual assistant, I think this gives the company a more approachable feel and is a welcome break from the generic copy you see on many VA company sites.

For example’s here’s Jess’ bio:

about dont panic mgmt

Using only US based virtual assistants there are no communication barriers or time zone differences that exist with some of the overseas companies. This is the main benefit of a US based company, and the rates are higher as a result.

Services

Some of the more common jobs performed by Don’t Panic Management include: 

  • personal scheduling
  • travel booking
  • research
  • project management
  • blog post editing and formatting
  • and general office administration support.

I’m sure you will agree that these tasks can all be very time consuming, so handing these off to a dedicated expert who specializes in handling these tasks quickly makes smart business sense.

With a wide range of services offered, I asked if there were any areas of specialization that may be of particular interest to potential clients. Their response was, “accounting and bookkeeping, project management, and marketing.”

Plans and Pricing

Don’t Panic Management offer three different and creatively named packages.

dont panic mgmt pricing

Their basic package is called a “Mini Meltdown.” This package starts at 5 hours/week and ranges between $800 – $1,500/month. The services include personal scheduling, travel booking, research, project management, blog post editing and formatting, and general office administration support.

Their next package is called “Social Anxiety.” With this package you have access to up to 20 hours/week, with prices ranging between $1,000 – $3,000/month. Your virtual assistant offers all the services included in the Mini Meltdown package, along with ghost writing and blogging support, social media audit and recommendations, help with setting up social profiles, outreach, and WordPress maintenance.

The largest monthly package on offer is their “Panic Attack” package. With this package you receive up to 40 hours/week, and the prices range between $2,500 – $5,000/month. With this package your virtual assistant offers all of the services in the other two packages, along with digital marketing consulting, social media analysis, and full-time community management.

This is the full-time virtual employee option for companies with a lot of work to delegate.

And if you’re sold on their approach, they’ll also quote one-off special projects at a minimum of $250 per project.

Don’t Panic Management Alternatives

As you would expect, Don’t Panic Management’s pricing is more expensive than most of the overseas virtual assistant options. When comparing strictly to US based companies however they are very competitive.

Time Etc and Worldwide101 are two competitors offering a similar services at similar rates. 

Your Turn

If you have worked with Don’t Panic Management I’m interested to hear your experiences, as are others looking to make a decision. Please leave a quick review below.

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Virtual Gal Friday

Virtual Gal Friday is a company offering virtual office managers and assistants to all businesses large and small. The company has been in operation since 1998, which places them among the longer standing virtual assistant companies.

Their headquarters are located in Texas, US. The company’s virtual assistants work from their home offices and provide a wide range of services.

About Virtual Gal Friday

virtual gal friday reviewVirtual Gal Friday have been operating since 1998. The company was founded by Nancy A. Brown. Nancy has over 25 year’s experience working in office management and administrative assistance. All new clients receive a 1-on-1 call with Nancy to discuss their requirements, giving them a chance to benefit from her years of experience and start off with a clear line of communication.

Their target customers are business owners that want to grow their businesses and outsource some, or all of their office administration tasks. 

Services

Within the long list of services Virtual Gal Friday offer, they specialize in medical office management, bookkeeping services, virtual receptionist services, coaching practice management.

Virtual Gal Friday break their services down into three categories:

  1. Virtual Office Management
  2. Marketing Tasks
  3. Website Tasks

They offer a wide range of support roles within these categories, and any bespoke tasks can be discussed on the introductory call.

The company has their own dashboard designed to manage the tasks and provide a clear line of communication between client and virtual assistant. In my experience this is always a huge plus when it comes to managing and checking the progress on tasks.

What separates Virtual Gal Friday from a lot of other virtual assistant companies offering similar services is the amount of support you receive from the company owner Nancy Brown. Nancy carries out an introductory call to discuss client’s business needs. Offering future calls and direct email support (depending on package purchased).

Plans and Pricing

Virtual Gal Friday offer two sets of packages; Classic and Premium. Within each package there are three different levels, each offering more hours of time from your dedicated virtual assistant.

The Classic packages include;

One assigned virtual assistant with telephone, email and chat access daily. Access to the client dashboard with email and online support, and access to project and task management tools. A 30 minute strategy call with Nancy Brown, an additional bi-monthly call and two emails with her per week.

The prices per Classic package are as follows:

  • Starter – Up to 5 hours per month for $250 per month.
  • Basic – Up to 10 hours per month for $500 per month.
  • Classic – Up to 15 hours per month for $725 per month.

The Premium packages include all the services in the Classic packages, with an additional 30 minute call with Nancy Brown, unlimited emails with her, and a backup virtual assistant.

The prices per Premium package are as follows:

  • Plus – Up to 20 hours per month for $950 per month.
  • Premiere – Up to 30 hours per month for $1,425 per month. Includes 2 assigned assistants.
  • Premiere Plus – Up to 50 hours per month for $2,250 per month. Includes 3 assigned assistants.

Virtual Gal Friday Alternatives

With rates around $45 – $50 per hour for Virtual Gal Friday, you’re looking at one of the most expensive virtual assistant companies I’ve come across, even for US-based VAs. (However, you can take a look at their “hiring” page to see how serious they are about only bringing on the best talent they can find.)

At similar or slightly more affordable price points, you might consider Time Etc or Worldwide101.

For the virtual receptionist service, you might consider Conversational or Gabbyville, though their offerings are more limited in scope.

Your Turn

If you have worked with Virtual Gal Friday please share your experiences by leaving a review below!

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Buizoffiz

Buizoffiz is a virtual assistant company based in Chennai, India. They are a relatively new company in the virtual assistant space, starting operations in March of 2015.

They aim to provide virtual assistant services to business owners and entrepreneurs. Offering an extensive list of the services covered in their plans.

Not sure how to pronounce their name? Yeah, me neither.

About Buizoffiz

buizoffiz reviewThe founder of Buizoffiz (who apparently wishes to remain anonymous) formerly worked at Habiliss. After leaving in January 2015 he started work forming his own company, Buizoffiz. He officially launched the company in March, and to-date has assembled a team of 13 staff based in their Chennai office.

The company also has developers and designers based in Berlin and the US working remotely.

One thing I thought was a little shady was on their website, their client list looked eerily similar Zirtual’s. And by eerily similar, I mean exactly the same. Take a look and see what you think.

Zirtual:

zirtual clients

Buizoffiz:

Buizoffiz clients zirtual ripoff

When I called them on this, they quickly updated the image, but if they’re faking their social proof how can we know they’re going to be honest in other areas of their business?

Services

According to Alex Michael, who heads up Business Development for Buizoffiz, the company’s unique selling proposition is in their extensive list of services. While a lot of virtual assistant companies summarize their services or put them under general headers, Buizoffiz lists all the individual services they cover, giving prospective clients the confidence that they handle the exact tasks they are looking to outsource.

The company supplies virtual assistants who are trained in a wide range of areas, and handle tasks like calendar management, research and reservations, bookkeeping, and managing your inbox. 

I also appreciated them specifically listing out the tasks they DON’T do, like content creation, design, inbound call answering, sales, or SEO.

They are also planning to launch a new service called Analytics. This is a service targeted at small companies who can’t or do not have their own in-house business analyst. Their Analytics service pulls raw data from the client and processes it through their own dashboard, giving the client a clear summary of their information without the need for their own systems or any technical knowledge.

Plans and Pricing

Buizoffiz have four different pricing plans to choose from.

The Basic package starts at $350 a month and is targeted at individual business owners who are starting to outsource some tasks. For this price you get 40 hours of virtual assistant time covering secretarial, administrative, bookkeeping, and content creation. You get your own dedicated assistant with Skype support.

buizoffiz pricing

The Standard package is $700 a month, and is targeted at busy professionals. This package offers all the services in the basic package along with 80 hours of time and graphic design support.

While their Business package is $1000 a month and tailored for small companies and startups. This package gives you 120 hours of assistant time with the added features of transcribing and BBM/Whatsapp support.

One interesting element is they also offer a pay-as-you-go option that’s listed at $2 per task, which would be cheaper than Fancy Hands and similar to Efficise, but without the monthly subscription.

This allows the client the flexibility to submit tasks on an ad-hoc basis and pay for the amount of tasks they submit.

Buizoffiz Alternatives

Aside from Fancy Hands and Efficise mentioned above, I see companies like It’s VA Time and VA Talks with a similar suite of services. 

My Tasker is another virtual assistant company based in India with similarly priced packages that I would check out.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Buizoffiz? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

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Task Papa

Task Papa is a virtual assistant company based in Mumbai, India. The company was founded in 2012, but have been flying under my radar until recently.

Their company philosophy is to provide virtual assistants, or ‘task officers’ as they call them, to busy business owners. They provide a cost-effective solution and free up time for the business owner as their task officers handle some of their workload.

About Task Papa

task papa reviewTask Papa operates out of the economic heart of India, Mumbai. All of their workers are based in their offices and managed in-house. I spoke with Amit Joshi, Sales Manager for Task Papa, he commented, “We strongly believe in giving awesome results to our clients and this is only possible when you have an in-house workers.”

Their team is currently 40+ strong and growing, with several on-site project managers, and an additional layer of operations management to oversee all the virtual assistants.

The company founder, Devang Selani, has over 10 years experience in the customer service industry. He was inspired to start Task Papa after visiting and experiencing working with clients in the US.

Amit described their target customers as, “anyone and everyone who wants to save time. This could be anyone from businessmen to self-employed workers to freelancers.” As for their areas of specialization, personal assistants and admin officers seem to be where they place most of their focus.

Task Papa Founder Interview


Virtual Assistant Assistant Exclusive: Mention referral code TP-VAA for 10% off your first month!

Services

Getting started with Task Papa couldn’t be easier. You can sign up via their website for a free quote, or to enquire about any special requirements you have. Plus, they offer a free trial period, with no credit card information or commitment asked of you.

If you know what you want, they have set hourly packages of 40, 80, 120 and 160 hours. With the hourly rate reducing per the more hours you sign up for. They also offer a pay as you go option, with a minimum of 5 hours per week.

Naturally, the task officers at Task Papa can handle a wide range of administrative tasks, such as:

  • admin
  • personal assistant duties
  • HR and recruitment
  • SEO and online marketing
  • website maintenance and hosting
  • writing
  • customer care
  • and more

Plans and Pricing

Task Papa currently has five different payment plans. They have four different hourly plans and a pay-as-you-go plan.

Their hourly rates start at $9.95 per hour for a 40 hour package, with the rate dropping to $6.95 per hour with their maximum 160-hour package. 

Their pay as you go plan is $10.95 per hour.

task papa pricing

Full Pricing Table (accurate at time of publishing):

  • 40 hrs per month – $398 ($9.95/hr)
  • 80 hrs per month – $716 ($8.95/hr)
  • 120 hrs per month – $954 ($7.95/hr)
  • 160 hrs per month  – $1112 ($6.95/hr)
  • Pay As You Go – $10.95/hr

Virtual Assistant Assistant Exclusive: Mention referral code TP-VAA for 10% off your first month!

Why Task Papa?

When I asked Amit what sets Task Papa apart from their competitors, he gave me a few points to consider.

Free Trial Period – Not all virtual assistant companies offer a free trial. Task Papa does, and it’s a great way to get a feel for their services.

Experienced Team – Task Papa has a strict filtering process to ensure they are matching their clients needs with the most appropriate virtual assistant.

Guarantee – They offer a guarantee that 100% of the work will be completed to the client’s satisfaction.

Dedicated Task Officers – At Task Papa they do not use shared task officers. When you hire an officer, they are the only person you are working with.

Discounted rates for NGOs – Task Papa are proud to support NGOs and offer some discounted packages. Contact them directly for details.

Task Papa Alternatives

Looking at virtual assistant companies based in India, My Tasker might be worth a look. Other well-rated firms to consider are Uassist.ME in El Salvador or Task Bullet in the Philippines

Your Turn

Have you worked with Task Papa? If so, please leave a review of your experience below to help others with their decision.

 

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123Employee

123Employee is one of the largest outsourcing firms in the world, with more than 350 virtual assistants working with clients all around the globe.

The company started its operations in 2006 with just ten employees, but has seen tremendous growth following a simple mission of helping small to medium sized businesses get more done at affordable rates.

They now operate 3 different outsourcing centers in the Philippines.

About 123Employee

123employee reviewThe physical offices of 123Employee.com are located in the Philippines, and they have American managers on-site. This VA firm offers hard-working Filipinos the opportunity to use their outstanding skills, while enabling American businesses to increase their productivity at minimal costs.

In contrast to many virtual assistant companies who seem to try and remain anonymous, I really like how 123Employee features real VAs in their real offices. While there’s still a little bit of stock photography lurking around, it’s clear the workers and founder Daven Michaels like to have fun too:

Services

The virtual assistants from 123Employee offer professional help with:

• Customer Support/Service
• Research / Datamining
• Database admin
• Telemarketing
• Video Marketing
• Article Marketing
• Social networking
• Facebook fan pages
• Personal assistance

How it Works

Businesses provide their job descriptions and 123Employee matches them with candidates having relevant education, skill level, and experience and then allow the businesses to interview and select the best candidate. This is a great advantage over other firms that simply assign you a VA based on whoever is available.

You are in control of your VA’s working hours to match your time zone if necessary.

123Employee Intro Video

Plans and Pricing

If you sign up for 123Employee, you’ll get a dedicated virtual employee, with all the office infrastructure and support you’d expect at no additional cost.

123Employee.com offers 3 different Small Business VA plans, ranging from 10 hours a week to 40 hours a week:

  • Silver – 10 hours a week, $497 per month ($12.43/hr)
  • Gold – 20 hours a week, $797 per month ($9.96/hr)
  • Platinum – 40 hours a week, $1287 per month ($8.04/hr)

The mid-level Gold plan is the most popular offering, and is the equivalent of adding a half-time employee. All plans require pre-payment via credit card after you hire your virtual assistant.

123employee pricing

These rates are competitive but perhaps a little on the higher end to support the management layer and added infrastructure investments.

One downside to 123Employee is the one-time admin fee of $199 per employee, which covers everything the employee will use (chair, desk, phone line, computer, etc.). Many other VA companies have the same overhead expenses, but few charge this fee.

At press time, there’s an offer for 30 hours of free virtual assistant service plus an audio version of Michaels’ Outsource This! book.

Beyond the set-up fee and recurring monthly charges, there are no hidden fees or long-term contracts. You can cancel anytime.

If you selected “Enterprise” on their homepage, the story is a bit different. You’ll find a site that’s more call center-focused where you’ll have to contact them to get a pricing quote.

123Employee Alternatives

The trend among VA companies in the Philippines is to hire home office-based staff, so 123 is a strong entry if you prefer an assistant working from a dedicated office environment. (VA Staffer would be another to consider.)

If you’re comfortable with a home-based VA, you might check out Chris Ducker’s Virtual Staff Finder, a virtual headhunting service, or John Jonas’ OnlineJobs.ph, a virtual job board.

And if you’re not married to the Philippines, Uassist.ME out of El Salvador might be worth a look as well. Their 20-hour a week plan is similarly priced.

Your Turn

Have you worked with 123Employee.com? We’d love to hear about your experience in the reviews below.

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GoButler

GoButler is an SMS-based virtual assistant service. They have assistants known as “Heroes” available to receive and respond to SMS messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They currently have around 50 employees. With their headquarters being in New York and home to most of the development team, and another office in Germany where most “Heroes” are situated. The company only came out of their BETA testing phase at the end of July, so they are still growing their team.

Go Butler secured $8 million in Series A funding this year, so it’s going to be interesting couple of years seeing this company grow.

About Go Butler

gobutler reviewThere are three founders behind GoButler; Maximilian Deilmann from the UK, Navid Hadzaad from the US, and Jens Urbaniak from Germany. With this is mind It’s easy to understand their decision to have offices in the US and Germany.

With the service coming out of BETA at the end of July, they have opened up the availability to use the service in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Singapore, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the time of writing this. With further expansion into new countries expected in the near future.

Their target customers are busy consumers. So if you need a suggestion where to eat out, want to place a food order for delivery, or book flights – you can send an SMS to Go Butler and expect a speedy reply with an answer to meet your needs.

gobutler use caseServices

GoButler’s motto is “Anything you want. As long as it’s legal. Try it!” So if there is a service of product you want without the effort of finding it yourself, send them a text.

Customers are using GoButler to make travel plans, complete restaurant reservations, find and order products online, and get food delivered. You won’t be assigned a dedicated assistant, so it would be tough to delegate ongoing business-related projects or tasks, but for one-off requests, quite an interesting concept.

They process secure payments through their partner Braintree. There really are no hidden costs or charges, you pay exactly what you would pay if you had sourced the product or service yourself.

It’s really as simple as it sounds. All you need is a device to send and receive SMS messages, and you can use the service. They aim to respond to all queries within a few minutes, so this seems like a pretty cool “intro to delegation” service for people to test out and see how well they can text specific requests and instructions.

GoButler Review

Plans and Pricing

This is what sets Go Butler apart from similar services: it’s completely free.

Founder Navid Hadzaad has stated they plan to keep it free too. There are plans to monetize the service from the B2B side. So you, the customer, should never be passed on any of the costs.

Plus, there is currently no limit to the number of requests you can make in any given month.

My guess is on the backend GoButler is earning an affiliate commission on any products they purchase on your behalf. But it seems like a heavy labor burden to respond to all the other non-monetizable tasks that inevitably will come through.

To sign up, just text GO to 25400. When I did, I got a response right away asking for my email, and explaining there is currently a waitlist to join. (I got in a few days later.)

Go Butler Alternatives

Go Butler was not the first company to think of the SMS-assistant model. There are several competitors vying for attention in this space:

  • Magic – Magic has a very similar process to Go Butler. Customers can receive information on products and services via SMS.
  • Operator – Operator has an app for smartphones enabling customers to search and shop for products through their interface.
  • Scratch – Scratch is like a personal shopping assistant in a smartphone app, great for finding gifts.
  • Fetch – Another text-message based shopping service, though when I tried it I didn’t get a response for days.

The main hook that sets Go Butler apart from all of these similar services is that it’s the only service to be completely free to the customer. I’m sure this will be a big factor when it comes down to a choice between which service to try for the first time.

(One friend of mine was using Magic and was absolutely THRILLED he was able to buy shorts through a text message, and was more than happy to pay the service fee the company tacked on.)

My main alternative for task-based assistance is Fancy Hands, and I’m confident GoButler has actually saved be a few tasks this month. Now I find myself using Fancy Hands for slightly higher level tasks with more in-depth instructions that are better suited to email instead of text.

Your Turn

Have you tried Go Butler? If so please leave some feedback below to help others with their decision.

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Outsource Workers

Outsource Workers is an Australian based company specializing in providing virtual assistants from the Philippines.

Founded in July 2013, they have worked with hundreds of clients and have established themselves in the Australian and New Zealand markets as reliable, and reputable virtual assistant providers.

OutsourceWorkers core client base is small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs, and especially real estate agents. Although no task is too large or too small, any requirements can be discussed with their service team.

About Outsource Workers

outsource workers reviewThe company was founded in 2013 by founder and CEO Brett Russo. While two years isn’t a long time for a business to be in operation, in the virtual assistant landscape that’s probably long enough to establish the company as trustworthy. If they’ve managed to stick around that long, they must be doing something right. 

When I asked what sets Outsource Workers apart from their competitors, their response was,

“There are other companies offering outsourcing services, but OutsourceWorkers offers the most affordable quality outsourcing solution for entrepreneurs. Hundreds of clients all over the world have tried our services and we have never received a complaint.”

They went on to add that their virtual assistants are very polite and can handle any task presented by the client, no matter how difficult.

Outsource Workers Intro Video

Services

The company supplies virtual assistants who are trained in a wide range of areas. They screen and interview each candidate, and after evaluating the client’s needs they match up a virtual assistant with the most relevant skillset to meet the requirements.

They guarantee that each virtual assistant can use the following tools: Outlook, Excel, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Team Viewer, YouTube, Adobe Lightroom and Nitro PDF Editor. If you have any other tools you use you should contact their team to discuss these.

Some of the typical services they provide for their clients include:

  • content writing
  • email management
  • SEO
  • data entry
  • real estate
  • photoshop editing
  • SMS campaigns
  • email campaigns
  • blogging
  • social media
  • and more

The key to getting the most value from any virtual assistant hiring company is to provide as much detail as possible, along with preferred tools, programs, and give a lot of feedback of the service in the first few weeks.

Outsource Workers have a lot of information on their website, and can be contacted via email or phone. So if you have any questions I would not hesitate to contact them.

Plans and Pricing

Their pricing starts at $7 per hour. This can increase according to the client’s needs and required experience. Outsource Workers do not go into any more detail into the pricing until a consultation to establish the required skillset has been carried out.

All their virtual assistants work from their own home offices.

Outsource Workers Alternatives

There are no shortage of companies offering virtual assistant services from the Philippines.

TaskBullet and VA Staffer are two highly rated companies. Closer to home, I know Uassist.ME also does a lot of work in the real estate field. 

Your Turn

Have your worked with OutsourceWorkers.com.au? If so, please be sure to share a brief review of your experience below to help others with their hiring decision.

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Legends Virtual Assistance

Legends Virtual Assistance is virtual assistant service offering virtual assistant services, as well as personal concierge services for their clients. Legends is a new company, forming in October of 2015.

Legends’ headquarters is based in Florida, US. Their team members stretch from coast to coast across the US, and all of their virtual assistants are US based and work from their homes.

About Legends Virtual Assistance

legends virtual assistance reviewThe company is relatively new, starting operations in October 2015. It was founded and is run by co-founders Katy Boyle, who is also the CEO, and Dustin Rusbarsky who is the company CTO.

Katy explained the company was born out of the confusion and turmoil around Zirtual’s sudden and surprising shutdown (and subsequent resurrection).

Being a new company at the time of writing this review I was interested in their business objectives and what makes Legends different from other virtual assistant companies. Katy Boyle believes the difference is in their concierge service, designed to find the best VAs to match their client’s needs.

Each client is asked a series of simple and insightful questions during an introductory call to determine their needs. Then they are presented with a list of hand-picked virtual assistants to choose from.

A meeting with the virtual assistant can be arranged if required (hard to imagine making a hiring decision without this meeting!), and there is a “cooling off period” in which you can request to be re-matched if it isn’t working out for any reason.

Services

When hiring a virtual assistant to carry out tasks for you, knowing you’re hiring a competent person and knowing a bit about them is a huge plus not always offered by virtual assistant companies. Legends however have pictures of all their virtual assistants and short bio’s on their website. This is a nice personable touch, and helps when it comes to building trust with your assistant.

I spoke with Katy Boyle about how seriously they take their virtual assistant training and she explained:

“We provide individualized support and training to help our VA’s be the best they can be, at no cost to the VA. We provide skills training to help polish and improve existing skills, as well as hold seminars for people to learn new skills like WordPress design, copywriting, social media management, and other relevant skills. We assist with the creation and refinement of their marketing materials (LinkedIn profiles, websites, etc.) on a case-by-case basis as well.”

Their target customers are C-level and senior executives, serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other busy professionals who need ongoing administrative support. 

Areas of specialization include:

  • bookkeeping
  • copy writing
  • web/graphic design
  • other general virtual assistant tasks

So with their comprehensive VA training and the concierge matchmaking service between their clients and assistants, the result should be a win-win for both parties.

legends va

Plans and Pricing

There are two parts to the pricing when hiring through Legends. Firstly you pay a matching fee, this starts at $250 and can go up from there depending on the number of hours you’re looking for, the complexity of your needs, and some other factors.

Next you pay the hourly rate as set by the virtual assistant. All their assistants are independent contractors and set their own hourly rates. Some offer discounts for monthly retainer plans and packages. This is to be negotiated with the assistant directly, however you can expect to pay $30 an hour on average.

Legends Virtual Assistance Alternatives

Worldwide101 offers a similar service, as does Time Etc, though without the upfront matching fee.

Assistant Match actually runs a similar model with an upfront recruiting fee, all US-based staff, and variable hourly pricing on the backend.

Also, if you’re comfortable doing the initial search and candidate screening yourself, you can always hire an independent virtual assistant on sites like Upwork. The obvious difference here is the lack of support or comeback if your chosen assistant doesn’t work out.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Legends Virtual Assistance? Please be sure to leave a brief review of your experience below to help others with their search.

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Can You Outsource Your “Art”?

outsource artI host a weekly podcast over at one of my other sites, SideHustleNation.com.

It’s all about part-time business ideas and helping people earn money outside of their day job.

Last week, I did a short Q&A episode, and one of the questions was how much time does it take to produce each show.

I answered that I probably have 3-4 hours into each episode between the prep and planning, scheduling, recording, editing, and post-production work like writing and publishing show notes.

After the episode aired, I got a few notes from listeners surprised I still edited the show myself, and offering to help.

I know of other hosts who successfully outsource the editing work, but it’s always struck me as a tough task to let go of.

Over the last couple years of doing the show, it’s proven to be the #1 growth-driver for that business — and it’s turned into a fun creative outlet for me; those little mp3 files have become my “art.”

Knowing which parts of the conversation to keep and which parts to cut is a delicately subjective task. Would these would-be editors have the same taste in what content is worthy of airing and what they should toss?

I think there is plenty of outsourcing opportunity around the show, but I’m hesitant to outsource “the product” itself. For instance, I could have a VA help with guest research, write the show notes, create social media graphics, and upload and schedule each episode.

If I end up doing a little editing delegation next year, I’ll be sure to report back how the experiment turns out.

Your Turn

Have you ever outsourced “creative” or “subjective” work like this?

Did you give your assistant specific instructions about the finished product or did you just hand over the reins and let them exercise their own creative liberties?

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Other Virtual Assistant Companies

While I’m striving to build the most comprehensive virtual assistant company directory and review platform out there, there will always be certain companies I haven’t had a chance to fully research yet.

Still, visitors are searching for information on these companies so I don’t want their search to come up with the disappointing “no results found.”

Here are some of the VA companies people have searched for over the past few months and what limited information I could find. Sometimes it’s just first impressions.

If you have any experience with any of the companies below, please leave a comment to help others in their search. Thanks!

ACstant

ACstant.com is “your assistant via email.” This company has gone through a couple pivots over the years and it looks like their current service is by-invitation only at the moment.

AgentAnything

Agent Anything, or AgentAnything.com is a go-fer and errand-running service similar to TaskRabbit, but specializing in using local students.

Alfred

In-person assistance for house cleaning, grocery shopping, and more in select US cities.

AllDayPA

UK-based call-answering service similar to Call Ruby in the US. Virtual assistant service is also available but no price estimate is given.

Answer America

A US-based telephone answering service starting at $1 per call.

AS Direct VA Services

ASDirectVAServices.com is a UK-centered VA company. They’re a little coy about where their workers are actually based, but for 5 quid an hour, it’s definitely not the UK! An email to the contact address provided bounced back immediately so I’m guessing they’re no longer in operation.

AssistantToGo

A virtual assistant company with a crazy 100% flash-based website. You don’t see that too often anymore! In business since 2001, (although the site has only been around since 2004).  I believe the company is owned by Fran Esposito and based in New York. Assistant ToGo and Assistant To Go are possible variations. No relation to the owner of the Twitter handle AssistantToGo.

Azure

Azure VA Services was a small Canadian virtual assistant firm. They appear to be out of business.

Backup Men

BackupMen, or BackupMen.com is a task-based virtual assistant service similar to Fancy Hands or My Tasker. I haven’t heard anything from them since late 2011.

BestJobs.ph

An online jobs board for finding Filipino VAs, with the MAJOR downside it is against their terms to post work-from-home overseas jobs. My account was shut down without notice or warning when I went to test out the site. No idea why they have that rule! An alternative would be OnlineJobs.ph.

BPO24Hour.com

BPO 24 Hour — start-up VA company in the Philippines.

bsetc

Bsetc, as in they’ll take care of all your BS, etc, is a popular virtual assistant company based in Ottawa, Canada. Founder Erin Blaskie is a well-known entrepreneur.

Burn Your To Do List

BurnYourToDoList or BurnYourToDoList.com appears to be out of business. Rough since it sold for $85,000 not too long ago!

Call Ruby

A well-regarded virtual call-answering service with all-US agents.

CatchVPA

Catch VPA or CatchVPA.com is a personal outsourcing company in India that appears to be out of business. They were a very affordable service, with full-time monthly plans beginning at just $640.

Consider It Done

A small, US-based VA company and virtual concierge.

Csquires

Georgia-based outsourced admin company.

CyberCoders

Cyber Coders or CyberCoders.com is an international recruiting agency. They specialize in placing remote and in-person positions in the IT, finance, marketing, and executive fields. They focus on full-time work and charge employers a percentage of your new hire’s salary.

Daybreak Virtual

US-based assistants from $50/week.

DistantSupport

Distant Support, or DistantSupport.com is a virtual assistant company in the Philippines. Their website hasn’t been updated since 2010, and they offer no hint as to what kind of rates they charge (or charged, as my guess is they might be shut down).

DoMyStuff.com

DoMyStuff was a virtual and in-person errand-running service. It appears they’ve had their lunch eaten by TaskRabbit and are all but out of business.

DoNanza

DoNanza.com is a newer freelance site along the lines of Elance and oDesk.

Eagle Virtual Assistant

Real estate VAs from Real estate investor Ron LeGrand.

Easy Outsource

EasyOutsource or EasyOutsource.com is a virtual assistant directory in the Philippines. Rumor has it they’ve been acquired by OnlineJobs.ph.

Easy Virtual Assistant

EasyVirtualAssistant.com is a small US-based VA firm.

eCyberGurus

A recruiting company in India. Their site has not been updated since 2008 so I’m not sure if they are still around or not.

Elite VA

A small VA shop owned by Maria Novey and based in Pennsylvania. No updates to her site since 2006 so not sure if she’s still in business.

Elite-Virtual Assistants

A one-woman show based in Wisconsin. The yahoo email address and stock photos and text on the about us page would be red flags for me.

Elite Virtual-Assistants

Scammy looking VA site (that’s actually offline now). Appears to be owned by a scammy-looking get-rich-quick-type Internet marketer.

eSupportGuru

eSupportGuru.com is a small virtual assistant company in India. Their website looks pretty crappy and hasn’t been updated since 2009. I got attacked by the floating chat-invite box (which was offline) and it wouldn’t close when I hit the “x”.

EVAS

EVAS could stand for Executive Virtual Assistant Services, a tiny one-woman VA company out of Yorkshire, England. Or it could reference the EVA virtual assistant app for android smartphones.

EXEC

EXEC is an on-demand house-cleaning and errand-running service. They’re based in San Francisco but hope to rapidly expand to other markets. Everything is a flat rate of $25/hr. Task Rabbit might be considered the primary competition.

FlatWorld Solutions

A legitimate outsourcing provider aimed at larger companies.

GeekyStaff

Geeky Staff or GeekyStaff.com was a Filipino VA company. Now out of business.

GenieTime

Genie Time or GenieTime.com is a VA service supposedly offering “free” assistance by taking advantage of some referral arrangements with their “partners.” I’m unclear on how this works, but they’ve been on radio silence for at least 6 months so the Genie might be back in the lamp.

GhostBloggers.net

An outsourced writing service that delivers content on demand. Similar to HireWriters or TextBroker.

GlobolStaff

Globol Staff, or GlobolStaff.com, is a small outsourcing company in Singapore that specializes in SEO.

Go to Girls

Several companies are using this name or a variation such as Go2Girls or GoToGirls. There is a Denver, Colorado-based VA service from $40/hr, and also a Jacksonville, Florida service from $18/hr.

Hello Smarter

HelloSmarter or HelloSmarter.com is a virtual assistant company in India that looks similar to My Tasker.

Hit Rate Solutions

Call center operation in the Philippines, that also offers virtual assistants. Pretty bare bones website, with no pricing estimates given for VA service.

HRFAX

Or HR Fax. There are several Ripoff Reports of this company being a giant scam. I would stay away.

IVAA.org

The International Virtual Assistants Association is a non-profit trade organization for virtual assistants. They offer professional education and certification services. If you want to hire from their member-base, you can submit a request for proposal on their site. Also might be searched for as IVAA or ivaa.com.

iWork Virtual

Several scam complaints about this one too. For legit VA training, check VirtualAssistantForums.com.

Jplayers

An mid-sized Indian outsourcing shop that does web development, design, and more. Looking through their portfolio though, I’m not loving their work.

Kaori-san

Kaori virtual assistants (meetkaori.com) specialize in bilingual English and Japanese service for personal and small business tasks.

Live2Care

Part of the Live2Sell group is a call center operation in the Philippines.  The CEO, Chris Ducker, also runs Virtual Staff Finder, which might be worth a look for smaller businesses.

LiveHelpIndia

I had to test the “Get a Quote in 5 Minutes” box on the LiveHelpIndia.com website. I did get a response with 24-hours, but not within 5 minutes. That’s a tough promise to deliver on for anything that’s not automated. After that though, my subsequent emails have been ignored. Check out other India virtual assistant companies.

LRN LLC

Also doing business as LRN.biz. The content of this site is almost identical to the HRFAX site, and has received similar scam complaints. Stay away.

Maxim Liberty

Virtual bookkeeping service in India, with rates starting at $5 per hour.

MBX Assistants

Looks like a scam.

MiPA

Or Mi PA. Virtual assistant company in India, appears to be out of business.

Miracle Assistant

US-based admin support by Stacey Normandy and team since 2001.

My365Assistant.com

My 365 Assistant, or My365Assistant was a New York-based VA company that has gone out of business.

My VA Team

I contacted them via the form on their website and never heard anything back.

Out of the Box Virtual Assistant

I couldn’t find any information on this company so I can’t really say anything.

Outsource2Africa

Kenya-based outsourcing company, specializing in transcription services.

OutsourceEverything.co

Virtual assistant company gobbled up by Zirtual.

Outsource Office Staff

Global outsourcing firm (Philippines, Pakistan, Nicaragua) with incredibly low rates if you can hire 6 or more full-time VAs. Site hasn’t been updated since 2012 though.

Outsourcing2Vietnam.com

Startup virtual assistant and outsourcing company in Vietnam with a background in SEO service.

PAEveryday.com

PA Everyday or PAEveryday is a virtual assistant company in the Philippines. I was in touch with the CEO, Tim Reading, earlier this year, but after a couple emails neither him nor his team continued to reply.

RemoteJobs.ph

RemoteJobs is a job board in the Philippines that can be more effective than Craigslist in finding qualified virtual assistant candidates. The site is similar in function to OnlineJobs.ph, only it appears to be completely free to use.

RGB Virtual Assistants

Appears to be a scam.

Sales Rain VAs

Also listed as salesrainvas. Newer VA company in the Philippines. Nicely designed site with rates from $250 per month for 5 hrs a week, up to $850 for a full time dedicated VA.

Sourcefit

An outsourcing / staff leasing company in the Philippines. They’ve been in business since 2007 and serve the mid-size business market with professional in-office staff.

Sun LLC

Another scammy operation promising work-from-home jobs.

SupaHands

Supa Hands or SupaHands.com is a Malaysian version of Fancy Hands.

Supreme Outsourcing

A virtual assistant company in the Philippines, founded in 2011 by Louis Lautman. For full-time VAs, the pricing is pretty attractive, especially for the longer-term contracts.

Supreme Support Service

Outsourcing company in the Philippines

Systems Junction

SystemsJunction.com is a BPO and virtual assistant company in India. They’ve attempted to drop spam comments on this site more than once.

Talk2Assistant

Talk2Assistant.com never responded to my request for information. Check out their flash intro for a good example of a bad example.

Task Angels

TaskAngels.net is a small virtual assistant company in the Philippines from the makers of Task Army.

TaskAnything

TaskAnything.com or Task Anything was a small VA company that now appears to be out of business.

TaskHire

TaskHire.com or TaskHire.ca is a Canadian errand-running service similar to TaskRabbit.

Thumbtack

Find specialists online or locally to get the help you need.

Today’s Admin

Today’s Admin is a US-based virtual assistant company that charges a flat rate of $55 an hour for their services.

Top Hat Concierge

An Atlanta-based virtual concierge service that appears to be out of business. I contacted them for more info several months ago and never got a response.

VA4Business

VA4Business.com is a virtual assistant company founded by Steve Arun. I’m not sure whether they’re targeting US or UK customers, as rates are quoted in dollars on some pages and pounds on others. Their site hasn’t been updated since 2011 so they might no longer be open for new business.

VAdirectory.net

VAdirectory is a network of virtual assistants where you can submit your VA job for proposals.

VAnetworking

A large virtual assistant networking community founded by Tawnya Sutherland in 2003. You can join as VA, and pay for premium resources to help with your virtual assistant business, or if you’re looking to hire, you can submit a request for proposal to the community of VAs. Also vanetworking.com.

Vicky Virtual

Virtual receptionist service like Gabbyville.

VirTasktic

Small New York-based virtual assistant company offering a variety of marketing and admin support functions.

Virtual Assistant Chick

Southern California virtual assistant company founded by April Sullivan. They specialize in helping real estate agents.

Virtual Assistant Forums

A popular and active forum for virtual assistants. You can also submit your request for proposal to the community to hire directly through the site.

Virtual Office SA

South Africa virtual assistant and virtual office admin company. Website could use a little love. All boilerplate content with no real USP.

Virtual Web Outsourcing

Small virtual assistant company in Davao City, Philippines. No updates since 2011 so not sure if these guys are still in operation. Also VirtualWebOutsourcing or Virtualweboutsourcing.com.

VirtualJobs.ph

Filipino job board now redirects to RemoteJobs.ph.

WeWorkRemotely

We Work Remotely or WeWorkRemotely.com is a jobs board by the team at 37signals (creators of Basecamp) to promote full-time telecommuting positions.

Yantram

Yantram BPO, or YantramBPO.com is an outsourcing service in India. Their website is a little rough around the edges but their rates are very low.

YourUSAVA

YourUSAVA.com is a small California-based VA company. Rates are quoted on a one-on-one basis.

Zaarly

Zaarly started out as a competitor to Task Rabbit but has pivoted to be more of a peer-to-peer marketplace for goods and services.

Zeerk

Zeerk is a Fiverr clone except the prices can range from $2 all the way up to $100.

Have you worked with any of these companies? If so, please leave a quick note down below and let others know about your experience (good or bad!). Thanks!

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DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd is a marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design contests. The Sydney, Australia-based company has been around since 2008 and has facilitated thousands of design creations during that time.

In fact, they boast nearly half a million designers on their platform ready to tackle your project. Some of their top designers have earned more than $100,000, and you can even invite them to submit their concepts for your contest.

Services

designcrowd reviewDesignCrowd plays to the idea that for creative work like graphic design, it’s better to get a broad range of ideas and concepts, instead of working exclusively with one designer. Their platform facilitates these types of “crowdsourced” contests, with you as the client gathering a ton of options and picking your favorite.

The company offers their marketplace for a wide variety of design services, including logos, web sites, advertising graphics, flyers, print ads, t-shirts, business cards, and more.

A typical DesignCrowd contest gets a little more than 100 entries. I imagine you’ll find something suitable for your brand out of 100 choices!

How it Works


Your first step in getting started with DesignCrowd is to create a design brief. It’s a fancy way of asking you to describe your project and any vision you have for it, so designers have some sort of starting point.

At this stage, you can also decide which price tier you’d like to offer to the winning designer. Naturally the higher your offer, the more designs you’re likely to attract.

Almost immediately, designers will start submitting their ideas and concepts. You can solicit feedback from friends, customers, or colleagues, and even request revisions from the designers before you decide on the winner.

Once you have your selection, you get all the necessary files, legal protections and rights to that design, and funds get released to the winning designer.

Plans and Pricing

Like other crowdsourcing sites, DesignCrowd has some pricing flexibility depending on your budget.

Logo design packages start at $99 and go all the way up to nearly $1000. The drawback to the $99 price-point is that you’ll only get 1 designer, which kind of defeats the “crowdsourcing” purpose.

designcrowd pricing

At the top-end, I can see some overwhelm setting in from trying to choose from 200+ designs, so would probably opt for something in the middle. DesignCrowd indicates their $440 package promising 75+ designs is their most popular offering, though if my budget is tight I’d go for the 50+ tier and save the $200.

Money Saver: Use Discount Code DC75OFF for $75 off your design project. Expires Nov. 30th. 

There are add-ons to make your contest private or feature it to get more submissions.

If at the end of the contest you don’t like any of the designs, DesignCrowd will refund your project under their 100% money back guarantee.

DesignCrowd Alternatives

There are several companies that offer similar graphic design outsourcing. The best-known of the crowdsourcing options is 99designs.

If you have a need for ongoing design work, Design Pickle might be worth checking out.

Your Turn

Have you worked with DesignCrowd? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their hiring decision.

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Sidekicks

Sidekicks enables entrepreneurs and business owners to quickly hire and build their own virtual teams. The company does this by connecting clients with hand-picked assistants that are skilled in handling the tasks required.

I think this is my favorite name for a VA company I’ve come across so far — every superhero needs a sidekick!

About Sidekicks

sidekicks reviewThe company went live in early 2015. It’s run by Jeremie Rodger, Erik Hatterscheidt, Collin Vine (Zirtual), Till Kruss and Todd Herman.

The company is based in Canada, and depending on time zone requirements they offer virtual assistants from the Philippines or Argentina. (Odd geography? Their community manager, James, explained they employ a bunch of US graduates living in Argentina.)

Sidekicks.co aims to connect clients with virtual assistants at a cost effective price, with their site stating ‘time is money, money is time’. They put a lot of emphasis on saving time and money by hiring one of their virtual assistants, known as ‘sidekicks’, affording business owners the time to work on other areas of their business.

Each sidekick is required to complete a 100+ step video training course. With only 3% of applicants passing their rigorous filtering process. This ensures that only the most qualified and competent applicants make it through to be matched up with their clients.

Their target customers are small teams, entrepreneurs, busy people, Amazon businesses, and any type of small business looking to increase their productivity through outsourcing tasks to a shared VA.

Sidekicks Founder Interview


VAA Exclusive: Get 25% off your first month of Sidekicks service through this link.

In chatting with Jeremie, I was surprised to hear him mention the clients that tend to get the most value from the service are those already doing $500,000 in revenue a year, because the service seems like a strong value for businesses of all sizes.

Services

The company provides clients with a versatile and vetted selection of virtual assistants. So depending on the client’s type of business, the VA will offer support as directed by the client.

Sidekicks have a comprehensive and rigorous process when vetting their remote workers. They put their applicants through their own academy training course and only match them with clients after they have passed to a high standard.

As a client, you can discuss your needs with Sidekicks and you will be matched with the best-suited assistant.

For example, as an e-commerce owner you can expect to receive support with email filtering, implementing systems, content creation, travel planning, social media marketing, blog management, customer support, WordPress support and much more.

Plans and Pricing

Sidekicks currently have three monthly membership packages. You can choose to either pay $449 for their Part-time VA, $859 for their Full-time VA, or $1699+ for their VA Team package.

sidekicks pricing

With the Part-Time VA you receive 20 weekly hours or virtual assistant time. This will be a shared sidekick available between 9-5 (UTC+8 — approximately a 12 hour flip from US east coast time), along with a CEO training course and email support.

VAA Exclusive: Get 25% off your first month of Sidekicks service through this link.

The Full-Time VA package gives you access to a dedicated sidekick for 40 hours a week, along with the CEO training, email, and phone support. The current $859 price-point is quite competitive among virtual employee options and perhaps reflects the relative strength of the US dollar overseas lately.

The VA Team package provides a team of sidekicks with 80+ weekly hours, along with the same training and full priority support. It’s the go-to option for small businesses with a lot of work to delegate.

Sidekick Alternatives

The virtual assistant marketplace is a crowded one, but in addition to Sidekicks I’d take a look at companies like Uassist.ME, Task Bullet, or Carve as viable alternatives.

When I asked Sidekicks what sets them apart from the competition, they argued their CEO training course and putting their assistants through the 100+ step video training course gives them a comparative advantage.

Your Turn

If you have hired a Sidekick? Please leave a review below to help others with their VA hiring decision.

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Zen Virtual Assistants Finder

Zen Virtual Assistants Finder, or ZVAF as they are known, is a self-titled ‘professional matchmaking service.’ Which is another way of saying they supply virtual assistant services to entrepreneurs and business owners.

The company was formed in January 2013. Founder Joel Nelson decided to form the company after being frustrated by his own experiences with finding virtual assistant services. Putting his own experience to task, Joel decided there had to be a better way to match virtual assistants with clients.

They only use virtual assistants in the Philippines as Joel believes they offer the best value when it comes to VA work.

How it Works

zvaf reviewWhen you first make contact with ZVAF you’re offered a free 30-minute consultation with one of their experienced virtual assistants. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you have and assess if the company’s services are going to match with your requirements.

If you decided to go ahead, you fill out a detailed VA requirement form to be be matched with their experienced VA’s best suited to your needs. ZVAF then set up video conference calls with three VA’s, where you can ask any questions you like to select the most suited VA.

You will communicate directly with your VA, and a manager will then check in after a couple of weeks to ensure things are running smoothly.

Zen Virtual Assistants Intro Video

Services

The company has access to a large pool of virtual assistants and will match you with one or more assistants depending on the volume of work you anticipate. They arrange one-on-one client consultations to help clients strategize with a clear line of communication.

When I spoke with Joel, he explained their target customer is any busy and stressed entrepreneur, business owner, or even stay at home parent that needs a custom and professionally vetted VA or team of VAs to handle a project.

He emphasized that there are no limits to the type and services their clients are looking for. The company specializes in finding the ideal VAs to handle any client requirements.

With a commitment to helping clients hire the right VA the first time to save them time and money, they carry out background checks, confirm references, and personally interview all virtual assistants on their books.

And as students of the “content marketing” trends, Joel and his team host live webinars and even have a podcast. (I was a guest on episode 7!) 

ZVAF Founder Interview

I had the chance to sit down with Joel for an extended chat about his company. If you’re on the fence about using their service (or another recruiting service, or posting a job yourself), this conversation will clear up a lot of your questions.

Joel shares how he first got into outsourcing and how that turned into a business. Then he walks us through Zen Virtual Assistants Finder’s 5-step process to match clients with a “rockstar VA” and set them up for long-term success.


VAA Exclusive: Get $97 off your ZVAF matchmaking service with this link.

Plans and Pricing

ZVAF offers its totally custom VA finder service for a flat fee of $497.

This is preceded by their 30 minute free consultation, so you can make an informed decision before parting with any money.

VAA Exclusive: Get $97 off your ZVAF matchmaking service with this link.

Zen Virtual Assistants Finder Alternatives

ZVAF’s primary alternative is Chris Ducker’s Virtual Staff Finder. They are both virtual assistant ‘matchmaking services’ that are strictly Philippines based. There are a few differences however.

ZVAF offer a free consultation before committing to spending and money. They also feel they offer a more bespoke service when it comes to matching clients with VA’s on particular skillsets. (VSF has scaled back their service to ONLY recruit general VAs.)

The other alternative we mention in the video is the “DIY method” at OnlineJobs.ph. I’ve found some good people there, but it does take some time and effort. Zen aims to remove the time-consuming screening / vetting process from the equation.

Your Turn

Have you used ZVAF’s matchmaking services? If so please leave a review below to help others make an informed decision of their own.

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Kitedish

Kitedish is a WordPress support company providing support to clients who need help operating their WordPress sites.

The company was formed in 2014 by a team of WordPress developers. They initially offered support through the Upwork platform, but empowered by the growth of the WP platform and of companies like WP Curve, they set out to build their own service and standalone brand.

About Kitedish

kitedish reviewThe three founding members are still running the operations of the company and are Bryan C. as manager of US operations, Benj B. as COO, and Lara Vanessa Delfin as Executive Assistant.

(Mysteriously, Lara is the only one with a surname.)

Kitedish has grown to employ 28 full-time WordPress developers located all round the globe, at such locations as South Africa, Central America, Eastern Europe, the Philippines and Australia.

Services

The company’s directive is straightforward: they provide on-demand support and fixes for WordPress sites. They give their clients peace of mind that their sites are backed up regularly, the security is tight, and everything is running smoothly.

By hiring the services of Kitedish you have access to world-class WordPress developers. Knowing their site is being taken care of gives business owners more time to focus on what’s important to keep their business growing.

Even seemingly small tasks can be time consuming to fix if you’re not experienced with WordPress; I’ve learned this first-hand! In addition to their maintenance and security functions, Kitedish provides a subscription service to cover any requested change or tweak to your site, no matter how big or small. Signing up to a monthly plan means you have someone on-hand at all times to fix any issues.

Kitedish has exclusive information and content for clients. This covers a range of WordPress topics, as well as tips on increasing traffic and conversion rates.

When asked about their areas of specialization, Kitedish simply say that anything WordPress is where they specialize. Whether it’s a Woocommerce site, a large membership site, or just a blog, if your site runs on WordPress, they can help. 

Plans and Pricing

Kitedish currently has four monthly membership plans:

  • $24 for the Basic plan
  • $69 for the Starter plan
  • $95 for the Standard plan
  • $199 for the Pro plan

All their plans offer proactive WordPress upgrades, theme upgrades, plugin upgrades, detailed notes for every task, secure daily off-site backups, 24 hour email and chat support, and a monthly security scan.

kitedish pricing

The major difference between the plans are the amount of credits. Each credit is equal to half hour of work. The plans come with 16, 24 and 56 credits for the Basic, Starter and Standard plans respectively.

That means for the starter plan, you can submit task requests for up to 8 hours worth of work in exchange for your $69 subscription. Pretty cheap for competent technical help!

Your unused credits carryover each month, and if you find yourself with too many credits you can pause your subscription at any time. This makes for a flexible system that works to the advantage of the clients when monitored.

The Basic plan works as a pay-as-you-go scheme. You purchase credits at a $6 per hour rate as and when you need them. That rate almost seems too-good-to-be-true for qualified technical website support, even at cheap overseas labor rates, right?

Kitedish is currently offering your first month at only $0.99.

Kitedish Alternatives

The most prominent Kitedish competitor is WP Curve, which offers “unlimited” WordPress support and small jobs for $79 per month. However, they also have a 3-month minimum and no equivalent to the “Basic” plan where you can buy credits on-demand. 

For one-off WordPress jobs I normally head to Upwork or, more recently, Codeable.

 

Your Turn

Have you worked with Kitedish? If so, please leave a review of your experience below to help others with their decision.

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My Tasker (MyTasker)

MyTasker is a relative newcomer to the virtual assistant industry, but brings years of experience to the table. The India-based company was founded in 2012 by three veteran VAs.

Since the MyTasker team spent the time in the trenches, they know how to take care of clients and were able to recruit high-performing professional virtual assistants to join their team.

my tasker reviewThey started out as a contract service on Freelancer.com, and after gaining some traction on that platform decided to launch as a standalone operation.

Services

My Tasker offers a dedicated virtual assistant service starting at 10 hours a month.

my tasker reviewThis plan, dubbed Professional Assistance, plans target entrepreneurs who need affordable help in their business.

Your dedicated MyTasker VA can handle everything from customer support (online or over the phone), transcription, social media management and online marketing, online research, website maintenance and more.

Naturally, your virtual assistant can handle general administrative tasks as well such as appointment setting, travel or restaurant reservations, or other back-office tasks that can be completed remotely.

MyTasker Intro Video

How it Works

With My Tasker, you’re assigned a qualified VA based on the anticipated roles you need filled. You can communicate via phone, email, or Skype, and delegate tasks on a recurring or on-demand basis. For each task you delegate, they’ll either tackle it themselves, or request help from a qualified team member.

Your pre-purchased hours expire at the end of each billing cycle, but there are no long-term contracts and you can cancel at any time.

Your VA’s hours are tracked inside MyTasker’s internal dashboard so you can always log in and see how much time you have left for the month.

MyTasker Review


I was impressed during my trial of My Tasker, but I was using their now-discontinued “Lifestyle Assistance” plan, which offered 30 15-minute tasks for $39 a month. I guess I’ll have to do another trial run here soon!

Plans and Pricing

The rates for Professional Assistance start at $120 for a 10-hour a month plan, and go all the way down to $7.50/hr for a massive 160-hour plan.

That means you can have a full-time 40-hour a week VA for just $1200, which is a strong value for ongoing business support. If you want to take the service for a test drive, I suggest selecting one of the smaller plans to start with, and then scaling up your engagement from there. (Use the discount code below!)

mytasker pricing

Pricing Table (accurate at press time):

  • 10 hrs per month – $120 ($12/hr)
  • 20 hrs per month – $220 ($11/hr)
  • 40 hrs per month – $400 ($10/hr)
  • 60 hrs per month – $540 ($9/hr)
  • 100 hrs per month – $800 ($8/hr)
  • 160 hrs per month – $1200 ($7.50/hr)

If at any time you go over your plan’s hours, additional time can be purchased at $15 an hour (assuming staff availability).

VAA Exclusive: Get 20% off your first month w/ discount code VAA20MT.

I asked Ronny, the COO, what sets My Tasker apart from the competition, both in India and elsewhere. He explained that the team’s extensive experience in the industry, especially on the customer service side, gives them an advantage.

“We have the freedom to go that extra mile to make sure our customers are satisfied,” he says, implying that other larger VA companies don’t necessarily afford that freedom.

Your Turn

Have you worked with MyTasker? If so, please share your experience below and help others with their decision.

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TimeSvr

TimeSvr.com is a virtual assistant company that was founded in 2008. The company is based in Pakistan, and was actually the service I used to hire my first full-time assistant.

As a customer, you can opt for dedicated assistance or task/team-based service. TimeSvr virtual assistants (they call them “aides”) are college-educated young professionals with proficient English language skills. Depending on your needs, your TimeSvr aide can work flexible hours, which is helpful given the 12 hour time difference between the US and their offices.

timesvr reviewThese virtual assistants really get into your business. They stay up to date with and research the market and competition. They read and follow reviews, engage users and potential customers through twitter, facebook or LinkedIn.

Services

timesvr reviewThe task-based assistants handle your basic administrative tasks like online research, travel planning and coordination, setting up appointments and that sort of thing. With this plan, you can send in your task requests, and the first available assistant will get to work on it and notify you when it is complete. You can use their online interface to submit tasks or use email, Skype, or another instant messaging service.

With a dedicated rep, you have a little more leeway into training and ongoing processes. TimeSvr explains that their aides can double up as customer support reps, conduct PR campaigns, set-up user testing experiments, and a variety of other projects small business owners can think up.

I had my dedicated TimeSvr assistant work on my Google AdWords campaigns, data entry projects in Excel, and research and write company blog posts.

TimeSvr Review

Plans and Pricing

TimeSvr offers two levels of service: TimeSvr Personal and TimeSvr Dedicated.

They’re best-known for their personal plan, which allows you to unload “unlimited” basic tasks for just $69/month. Basic tasks are typically defined as one-off projects, usually lasting 15 minutes or less, such as managing appointments, making phone calls, online research, and travel reservations.

With TimeSvr Dedicated, you can get a dedicated Business Support Agent who works 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for $700 a month. It works out to less than $9 an hour. The advantage of the Dedicated plan is you aren’t limited by “basic” tasks. You get to work one-on-one with your assistant and train them just as you would an in-house employee. They can work for hours or days on one project without interruption.

TimeSvr Dedicated is quite affordable for this level of service, plus you don’t have to worry about payroll processing, employment taxes, benefits, or even providing a workspace.

Even though TimeSvr is one of the smaller virtual assistant companies, both of their plans offers a great value.

TimeSvr Alternatives

The closest alternative to TimeSvr is Efficise, a new virtual assistant company in Pakistan actually founded by TimeSvr alumni. They’re offering 50 tasks a month  for just $65.

Another entry is OkayRelax, with dedicated assistants out of the Philippines.

If you don’t think you’ll have enough tasks to justify an “unlimited” plan or the 50 tasks a month, you might consider smaller options from US-based firms like Fancy Hands or Red Butler.

If you have had experience with TimeSvr, positive or negative, please rate your experience below.

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