BELAY is a virtual staffing solutions company that employs exclusively US-based assistants and specialists. The company got its start in 2010 helping churches and pastors outsource their administrative work, and has since expanded to serve businesses (small & large) nationwide.
In 2017, BELAY brought several different business support companies under one roof and under one brand. The most well-known of those is eaHELP, which you’ll see referenced in many of the reviews below.
The company gets its name from mountain climbing; a belay is a means of supporting a climber so he or she can continue safely without falling. Similarly, they aim to support your proverbial climb as well.
BELAY Founder Interview
Bryan Miles, the founder of BELAY, is focused on delivering superior service to his customers. The strategy seems to be paying off, with business growing rapidly and a host of marquee clients. In fact, the company has earned glowing endorsements from author Michael Hyatt and other Fortune 500 companies.
I had the chance to sit down with Bryan and ask him a few questions on what sets BELAY apart from the competition, who their target customers are, what areas of work they specialize, and who should NOT use their service.
As mentioned in the video, use this link to grab a free copy of The Virtual Assistant Solution (which normally sells on Amazon for $2.99).
With so many changes in our economy and hiring strategies, Bryan argues it may be time to rethink your approach to staffing. In fact, he gives 9 reasons to consider going virtual for your next hire in his free ebook (email opt-in required, but worth the read).
BELAY’s menu of services includes 4 main categories:
- Virtual Assistants
- Content Writers
- Web Maintenance
BELAY executive assistants are highly skilled administrative professionals trained in a variety of support tasks. Their goal is to match you with a virtual assistant who will work cohesively with you and your existing team even though they’ll be working remotely. BELAY strongly believes that every leader thrives with the support of an intentionally matched VA.
Some of the more common jobs BELAY VAs do include scheduling and travel planning, research, preparing presentations, social media admin, project management, and other ongoing business support functions. The idea is to let someone else handle what they’re good at, so you can focus your time on what you’re good at — or what you need to do to grow your business.
The BELAY model is known as a “staff leasing” arrangement. Where other virtual assistant companies may assign your tasks to whoever is available at the moment, BELAY gives you a dedicated/assigned assistant so you can build a one-on-one relationship and gain the efficiencies that come with it.
BELAY has extensive experience in bookkeeping for non-profits and churches. These services were previously offered under the MAG Bookkeeping brand.
As a national leader in church and non-profit bookkeeping services, BELAY understand the unique needs and challenges of non-profit and church bookkeeping. BELAY Virtual Bookkeepers possess the knowledge, passion, and expertise necessary to keep your mission moving forward.
BELAY bookkeepers provide:
- Bank Reconciliation
- Accounts Payable
- Payroll Services
- Cash Flow Management
- Financial Statements and Reporting
- Account Structure
- And more
Website Support and Maintenance
BELAY provide clients with all the critical support needed to keep your WordPress site running smoothly, such as:
- Hosting Support
- Domain Management
- Software Updates
- Improving Site Speed
- Hacking Prevention
- And more
The webmasters at BELAY can also create landing pages and do graphic design tasks. They offer unlimited site edits per month, along with expert advice and ongoing analysis of your site. You can work with their webmasters to make all the changes needed to get your site up to a high standard, or build a new site from scratch.
Typically, the clients that engage this service are business owners who have decided it’s time to outsource the maintenance of their site so they can focus their time elsewhere.
Others have outgrown their original website and are struggling to keep up with the maintenance and need to expand.
If you need help with your written content, BELAY can help there as well. Quality content is at the forefront of Internet marketing, and BELAY’s content writers can help you spread the word of your business through site content and marketing.
When I spoke with Ivy Sprague, who heads up this division of BELAY (formerly known as Ellipsis), she explained the service in this way, “We want to be the voice in your head…only better. We’ll write about anything, from accounting to Internet security.”
The company partners with professional writers to create content that will make a difference to your business. Their writers will help spread the voice of your business to a much wider audience. Writing content is a time-consuming process, hiring a writer from BELAY means you can free up time to focus on other areas of your business.
BELAY content writers produce:
- Blog posts
- Social media content
- Lead generation and sales copy
- Email marketing campaigns copy
- Ebooks and White Papers
- and more
The writers are trained to keep the content they provide in your own “voice.” They will call you to discuss your current content strategies, previous writers you may have used, what style of writing you want for your business, and aim to provide you with more than just a quote.
With dedicated support and All-American executive assistants, BELAY is a positioned as a premium service in the competitive world of cloud staffing. But instead of racing to the bottom on pricing, they want to help your organization race to the top, with hand-picked VAs matched against your needs (both professional & personal requirements).
The company offers monthly service plans and the sign-up process begins with a free consultation and personalized price quote.
A flat monthly fee gives you access to your VA week in and week out, without having to worry about overhead, timesheets, and billing headaches. Modest discounts are available for scaling up the engagement, and you can change plans at any time given reasonable notice.
US VA Company Comparison Chart
|Minimum Package||$430 for 10 hours||$78 for 3 hours||20 hours a month||$398 for 12 hours|
|Minimum VA Experience||7 years||5 years||5 years||1 year|
|Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
Plans and Pricing
As you might expect, BELAY is considerably more expensive than many of the overseas virtual assistant options. In some parts of the world, you may even be able to find a full-time virtual employee for a lower monthly fee. But BELAY believes you get what you pay for, and clearly isn’t targeting the same customer who’s looking for the $5/hour VA.
As of October 2017, their hourly rates range from $37 – $43.
The good thing is that these rates are “all-inclusive,” in that you don’t have any additional employer burden costs to pay on top of it, like you would with a traditional W-2 employee. If you are a non-profit or a church, lower rates may be available.
VAA Exclusive: Mention Virtual Assistant Assistant when you join and get 5 free hours!
BELAY’s agreements are offered as month-to-month contracts with a 30 day cancellation notice, and there are a variety of contract sizes available from each service line.
How it Works
For new clients, BELAY guides them through a proven on-boarding process led by a BELAY Relationship Manager. The Relationship Manager acts as a client’s trusted advisor for:
- The selection of your new BELAY specialist (your virtual assistant). BELAY uses a multi-step process and a team of people to find the best specialist for what needs to be done and fits the culture of your organization. (When I went through this, it included a full-blown personality screening to make sure my assistant and I were compatible.)
- A successful start with a new BELAY specialist. The client’s Relationship Manager guides them through best practices for working with their new, remote BELAY specialist from their vast experiences with clients that span over 30 different industries and all sizes or organizations.
Press and Awards
In 2015, eaHELP was named the 131st fastest growing company in America by Inc. Magazine, earning a spot in the prestigious Inc. 500 list.
A few other virtual assistant companies operate on a similar model with home-based American assistants, including top-rated firms like Time Etc and Worldwide101. Worldwide101 has similar (though more transparent/flexible) pricing options, and Time Etc is the most affordable of the three.
For the website maintenance and support service, you might consider Zen WP.
For the content creation service, Copywriter Today may be worth a look.
Employee Burden Infographic
Have you worked with BELAY (or eaHELP, Render, Ellipsis, or MAG Bookkeeping)? If so, please consider sharing a short review below to help others with their decision.