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!

365 Outsource

365Outsource or 365Outsource.com is a BPO provider in the Philippines specializing in SEO and web development.

72 Solutions

72Solutions or 72Solutions.com is a call center in the Philippines specializing in outbound telemarketing and lead generation.

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.

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.

AnswerFirst

AnswerFirst.com is another virtual receptionist service.

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.

August 99

August99 specializes in website design and development from their office in Manila.

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.

Bay Tree VA

Baytree VA is a 10-person UK-based virtual assistant agency.

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!

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.

CloudFactory

Cloud Factory offers a unique scaleable workforce designed for larger companies who need to ramp up quickly. The workers are in Nepal and Kenya and the effective hourly rates range from $6-9 an hour with a dedicated team lead.

Consider It Done

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

CrewBloom

CrewBloom.com promises sales outsourcing that works.

CrowdPlat

An enterprise freelance platform with backing from 500 Startups.

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.

DesignContest

DesignContest.com is a crowdsourced graphic design platform similar to 99designs.

Design Tasker

As the name suggests, DesignTasker.com provides on-demand graphic design help starting at $49 per task.

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).

Dolancing

Dolancing.com is a freelance marketplace trying to gain traction against more established players like Upwork.

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 was a freelance site that ultimately failed to compete with Upwork and went out of business.

Eagle Virtual Assistant

Real estate VAs from Real estate investor Ron LeGrand.

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.

EverfrontVA

A virtual assistant company in India with plans starting at $115 a month.

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.

Flocksy

Flocksy.com is a slick-looking service that offers unlimited website help and unlimited graphic design starting at $199 a month. This is similar to Automation Agency but with a slightly narrower scope of service and corresponding lower prices.

Folyo

Folyo.me promises to match you with a qualified freelancer from their “private network of top talent” for a $299 one-time fee.

Fyxer

London-based virtual admin assistant start-up.

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.

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 looked similar to My Tasker before they went out of business.

Hire Iris

HireIris.com offers a team of all-female virtual assistants starting at $75 a week. How many hours of support included in that $75 is a little harder to tell.

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.

JobbaJob

JobbaJob is/was a personal assistant service you interface with through Facebook Messenger. They appear to be out of business though. For a similar service, check out Magic.

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 Cloud Crew

MyCloudCrew offers US an Australia-based entrepreneurs talented Filipino assistants.

My VA Team

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

Need a VA

NeedaVA.com offers virtual assistants in the Philippines starting at $495 a month for 10 hours a week of support.

The Offline Assistant

TheOfflineAssistant.com provides support for ecommerce companies, dropshippers, Amazon sellers, and digital marketers. Given the name, I shouldn’t have been surprised when their live chat was “offline” when I visited.

Out of the Box Virtual Assistant

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

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.

Outturn

According to Outturn.ph, “Millions of small businesses use Outturn for Top Quality Talents.” Millions of clients? I don’t believe it for a second.

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.

Pebbled

Pebbled.io offers unlimited graphic and web design tasks for a flat monthly fee. At press time, the rate of $69 AUD a month for unlimited graphic design seems to fall under “too good to be true” range.

Priority VA

Small US-based virtual assistant team.

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.

REVAS

Revas offers Real Estate Virtual Assistant Solutions.

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.

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.

TaskBucket

Outsource your coding tasks to Task Bucket. They appear to be out of business.

TaskEater

Task Eater (Bangladesh) specializes in offshore team-building service for startups.

TaskHire

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

TaskHusky

TaskHusky.com offers virtual support for ecommerce websites.

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.

Upswing

Upswing.today offers virtual assistants for real estate agents.

VA4Business

VA4Business.com is a virtual assistant company founded by Steve Arun and with assistants in India and the Philippines.

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.

VGofer

An affordable virtual assistant service for individuals and businesses based in New Jersey but primarily offering overseas (India?) VAs.

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 Assistly

VirtualAssistly.com is a Silicon Valley-based startup offering virtual administrative and sales support.

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.

VirtuDesk

Real estate virtual assistants.

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.

Wishup

An India-based personal assistant company with support starting at $349 a month.

Word Agents

WordAgents or WordAgents.com provides outsourced content writing service. I get the impressions it’s a little higher end than something like HireWriters but perhaps below a service like Scripted.

WP Radius

WPRadius.com offers unlimited WordPress support for small jobs like Zen WP and Access WP.

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.

Zapatask

Although Zapatask.com had one of my favorite names for an outsourcing company, the task-based VA service appears to be out of business.

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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Hired

Hired is a US-based company specializing connecting clients with engineers, designers, data scientist, and product managers.

Hired uses intelligent AI to match clients with talented candidates in their database. The results are delivered straight to your mailbox to browse in just a few hours.

About Hired

Hired was started by three successful entrepreneurs; Matt Mickiewicz, founder of 99Designs and Flippa, Douglas Feirstein, founder of LiveOps, and Allan Grant, founder of Curebit.

They have been in business since May, 2012, and received a Seed Round of $2.7 million in funding in January 2013 from a group of investors.

The company is based in San Francisco, California, and also have an office in London. They have more than 500 employees, with most working from their San Francisco offices.

Their target customers are companies looking to hire engineers, designers, data scientist, and product managers, as these are their specialist areas. These aren’t your typical “virtual assistant” roles, but could be important positions to fill on your growing team, and you can hire remotely on the platform.

How it Works

Hired say that more than 70,000 candidates complete a profile every month, with less than 5% being accepted.

The accepted candidates have their details mailed out to prospective employers, it’s then up to the employers to make contact if they want more information on the candidate.

Their main objective is to speed up the recruiting process. Hired say they decrease the time-to-fill by 38% over conventional hiring channels, with clients filling their positions in an average of 25 days for full-time employees, and 10 days for contractors.

Using their marketplace employers also decrease their cost-per-hire by 27%. You are given visibility over the salary ranges of competing companies so you can make an informed and compelling offer.

Services

Hired operates a marketplace for employers to find skilled staff.

You can find full-time, part-time, or contractors and their AI sends you prospective candidates within hours of you making a request.

As a job seeker, you’re able to apply to be added to the Hired database using your LinkedIn profile.

Each week Hired approves the candidates they feel are most suitable, they are then coached by one of their Talent Advocates through the processes they have in place to be noticed by employers.

But here’s the kicker for solopreneurs and other boostrapped business owners: companies recruiting through the Hired marketplace must be either publicly traded or venture-funded.

Based on the skillsets of the candidates specified they are sent a list of the best fitting candidates.

Hired also also give transparency into offers from other companies so employers can make an informed offer, benefiting both the employer and the candidate.

Plans and Pricing

  • Employers using the Hired marketplace to recruit have the option to pay a one-time commission fee of 15% of their new hire’s annual salary, or they can pay a fixed monthly fee and hire as many candidates as they wish.
  • The rate of hiring temporary employees is 30%, and 15% for independent contractors.
  • For exact pricing you need to contact Hired directly.

Hired Alternatives

Upwork is the largest online marketplace for freelance talent, although you have to do all the vetting of candidates yourself and it’s more geared toward project work vs. ongoing employment like Hired.

There are various US-based virtual assistant companies that can offer full or part-time assistants on a long term basis.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Hired? If so, please leave a review 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.

(In the video below you’ll see a crew of VAs working the night shift to serve clients during US business hours.)

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.

eLuminous Leadership Team Interview and Office Tour

This video gives you a behind-the-scenes look at eLuminous’ virtual assistant office setup, their leadership team, and even a little glimpse into their company culture.

VAA Exclusive: Mention Virtual Assistant Assistant for 20% off your first month of service!

I thought it was a cool way to share what it’s like over there, and to see something a little different from the super-polished stock-photo-laden marketing videos you typically see.

Services

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

  1. Web Development and Project Management
  2. Real Estate Assistants
  3. E-Commerce Support (for Amazon FBA and other e-commerce sellers)
  4. Internet Marketing

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-level package includes 20 hours of virtual assistant time, with their other packages offering 40, 80, 120 and 160 hours.

Based on my conversation with Harshal, it sounded like their preference was to work with clients on the 160 hour engagement. He also indicated the clients that see the best results are the ones that have clearly-defined goals and outcomes in mind.

eluminous technologies pricing

VAA Exclusive: Mention Virtual Assistant Assistant for 20% off your first month of service!

eLuminous also have a WordPress and CMS support package, aimed at businesses wanting ongoing website support.

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

eLuminous Technologies Alternatives

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. Sandeep also told me they really try and take a consultative approach in learning about your business so they make suggestions and become a valuable partner.

The virtual assistant marketplace is a competitive and crowded one. If you’re looking at virtual assistant companies in India, My Tasker or VA Talks might be worth a look, though neither have the 15+ year track record of eLuminous.

That said, they offer similar pricing and it probably makes sense to reach out to at least a couple different companies to see who impresses you and who seems like a good fit for your 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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Fin

Fin is a 24/7 personal assistance service available when you need it on the other end of your phone. “You use it like Siri, Echo, or Google Now… except it actually works,” their developers said.

Fin uses a combination of machine and human intelligence to find answers, send messages, handle bookings, and take care of anything you’d expect from a personal assistant.

The company has been in business since 2015 and their staff are based in San Francisco, California.

About Fin

The company was founded by Andrew Kortina and Sam Lessin, and to-date they operate with less than 50 employees.

Their target customers are professional or regular people who can benefit from an assistant to help them manage some of their workload.

The benefit of using Fin over hiring a personal assistant is that you have assistance on-hand 24/7. All you need is an Internet connection and a smartphone, two things most people are never without.

How Fin Assistant Works

Fin uses a combination of humans and AI, and as a result they say their app is, “more accurate, powerful, and better able to handle real nuance and complexity,” than the other AI assistants such as Google Now, Siri, and Echo.

They also say their smart technology improves as it gets to know you better over time. Giving you a personal experience, customized experience, not a general AI experience.

You can delegate to your Fin assistant via email, SMS, iOS, or the web.

Services

Fin specializes in providing 24/7 assistance through their smartphone app. All you need is an Internet connection and you have a combination of artificial and human support on hand.

The services are only really limited by your imagination and needs. You can ask Fin to call, email, text, schedule, book, and make purchases for you.

You can use Fin to transcribe documents, perform online research, or just find answers for those questions you need answering there and then.

Some examples of common requests Fin is used to handling are:

  • Fin, can you take care of this hospital bill for me? Use my Amex.
  • Please remember Cotogna as a place I can get dinner after 10pm.
  • I am going to New York next week. Can you lookup the people I said I wanted to spend more time with?
  • Can you unsubscribe me from these mailings (see pic attached)?

As you can see from the above, Fin is best used for tasks that save you time or make sure you don’t forget important appointments, just like a PA would.

Plans and Pricing

Fin currently has two pricing plans. You can get started and try the service for just $25 per month, or for $120 per month you can have access to all their services.

The $25 per month plan is called Fin Contacts and includes:

  • Finding phone numbers and emails for people you’ve recently met
  • Looking up information for friends or colleagues
  • Getting introduced to people you’ve not met yet
  • Searching for people within companies
  • Finding information on people you’ve emailed

The $120 per month Fin Assistant plan includes everything in the Fin Contacts plan, as well as:

  • 24/7 human-backed assistance
  • Chat with Fin via iOS
  • Friends can email your Fin assistant too
  • Voice and image transcription
  • Integration with Google calendar
  • Handle booking, meal, and travel plans
  • Carry out research
  • Make purchases
  • Draft emails and documents

The service operates on a monthly pricing plan with a $1.00 charge per minute, which probably sounds more affordable than $60 an hour. You only pay for the minutes you use and there are no extra charges … except for the 2 hour minimum, in which case you’re getting charged at least $120 even if you don’t use 120 minutes worth of requests.

You can cancel at any point by simply telling Fin you wish to cancel.

Fin Alternatives

It feels like this kind of personal assistant service is starting to gain some momentum and I expect more companies to enter the space.

As for right now, Magic is their main competitor and worth taking a look at. You can do a lot of the same tasks with Magic, with the biggest differentiator being Magic costs nearly half as much and doesn’t have any monthly minimums. (Magic also only interacts via text message.)

Another alternative to consider are task-based services like Fancy Hands (team-based) or OkayRelax (dedicated).

Your Turn

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

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Theme Days: How to Implement a Theme Day System in Your Work Week to Be More Productive

My favorite productivity hack of the year?

That’s easy: theme days.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, it means to compartmentalize your schedule by day (or segment of the day) to allow for more “deep work” and fewer task-switching distraction and reboot time.

It’s a suggestion I picked up from Mike Vardy at Productivityist.com.

My Theme Days

Here’s what it looks like in practice for me:

Mondays are set aside for content creation and writing. This is the day I normally work on finalizing the podcast episode for the week or the following week (trying to build a bigger content queue). In the afternoon, I’m drafting or formatting blog posts, or editing guest articles that have come across my desk.

Tuesday is meeting day, and is often stacked up with calls and recordings from 8:30am to 5pm. It’s a marathon of a day and sometimes I’m losing my voice by the end of it, but what this has done is freed up much longer blocks of time the rest of the week.

No longer do I run into the situation of, “Well, I’ve only got 15 minutes before my next call, so I can’t really get anything done. I’ll just go on Facebook.”

Before implementing this I had a rule called “no meetings Fridays,” which worked so well I figured I’d try “no meetings Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays” too. How it works is in my calendar booking tool (Schedule Once) I’ve just blocked off all the other days.

Of course it doesn’t work 100% of the time and I will take more urgent calls on other days, but this has provided a great framework and structure to the week.

On Wednesdays, I work on this site and my other side projects, and try and clear up and nagging administrative issues. Those could include accounting and insurance tasks, housekeeping items, or travel planning.

And finally on Thursdays, I have almost the whole day dedicated to longer-term growth projects for my main business. This year, that’s been working on a redesign of the website, setting up a new email system, taking courses, and mapping out future projects.

In the past, those types of projects were the easiest to procrastinate on because there was rarely a big enough block of time to get started and feel like I could make meaningful progress.

I try and take most Fridays off, but will jump online during our son’s nap time to catch up on email before the weekend.

Why It Works

Each time you switch gears and jump from task to task, there’s a ramp up cost in terms of your productivity. The theme day system allows you to stay on one type of task for longer periods of time, AND feel good about the work because that’s what you’re “supposed to” be doing that day.

It also gives you a dedicated time block on your calendar to knock out the essential components of your business and your work, where otherwise they can tend to get pushed aside by more urgent-seeming tasks.

Creating a Theme Day System That Works For You

If you’ve never tried something like this in your own work week schedule, you can start small the way I did with “no meetings Fridays.”

When I started back in the spring, I positioned it in my head as a productivity experiment I’d test out for a month to see if I liked it. Turned out, I loved it!

Instead of putting out fires as they arose or working on what seemed to be the most urgent, I now had a dedicated time on the calendar for all of the most important aspects of my work.

Your schedule will probably look much different than mine, but one thing to keep in mind is to front-load your week with your most important tasks.

For me, my business runs on content; it’s the primary growth driver and monetization method so that had to come first. Next up is the recording and meeting marathon on Tuesday, which I chalk up partly under content and partly under marketing.

Wednesday and Thursday are important but less mission-critical in the near-term. If they don’t happen for a week or two, it’s not going to be the end of the world.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried a theme day set-up? What was your experience with it?

If you give it a shot, definitely let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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Delegate Solutions

Delegate Solutions is a virtual assistant company based in the greater Philadelphia area. All of their virtual assistants work from their homes across the US.

The company started operations in early 2017, and to-date have already taken almost 8,000 hours of work off the hands of busy entrepreneurs and business owners.

About Delegate Solutions

The company was founded by Emily Morgan. Emily has a wealth of experience in the virtual assistant space — she speaks publicly on the topic, has been featured in The New York Times and other publications, and has published a book called VA Training Camp.

Their target customers are highly successful entrepreneurs and executives. They say they are looking to work with clients who, “Understand the leverage that delegation provides, and are clear on their goals they are trying to achieve.”

Something that separates Delegate Solutions from the way a lot of virtual assistant companies work is that you’re not paired up with the same assistant for the duration of your relationship.

Instead they utilize the brainpower of their entire team to tackle your tasks if need be. Some people may prefer building a strong working relationship with the same assistant, but there are definitely some pros to using collective heads.

Services

Delegate Solutions provide virtual assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners, and as such can handle just about any task that can be performed remotely.

To give you an idea of the areas they specialize in, they group their services into the following categories:

  • Corporate
  • Executive Support
  • Social Media
  • Asana Deployment
  • Consulting Services

Pretty broad, right? I think it might make sense to reach out if you have a specific role in mind to see if the service is a fit.

Plans and Pricing

Delegate Solutions do not currently have set pricing or plans to choose from, which you know means it ain’t gonna be cheap.

After a consultation to establish exactly what your requirements are, they will work out a customized quote. They have three different types of arrangement:

  • Projects – If you have specific short-term tasks you will be assigned to their project team. Project arrangements start at 10 hours.
  • Reservations – If you have a varying volume of monthly workload their reservation plan uses a monthly tiered fee and allows you to reserve hours for the busy months.
  • Retainers – If you expect a similar monthly volume you can commit to a certain number of hours per month and get a discounted rate. Retainer arrangements start at 20 hours per month.

Delegate Solutions Alternatives

There are plenty of US-based virtual assistant companies to choose from. Worldwide 101 and Time ETC are two of the longer established companies with a good amount of positive feedback.

Your Turn

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

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Design Productive

Design Productive is a subscription-based graphic design service. They have been in business since 2016 and offer competitively priced packages with unlimited revisions.

The company is based in Hong Kong. However, they have staff based remotely all over the world enabling them to provide 24/7 service across different timezones.

About Design Productive

The company is headed up by Fawn LaBrie. After working in media, marketing, and design for 15 years, Fawn saw an opportunity to simplify the process for small businesses to outsource design tasks.

She started Design Productive to provide a simple solution to the ongoing design tasks needs of a business or entrepreneur. With a flat monthly fee, global timezones, and not charging for revisions.

“Working for and with creative agencies I’ve seen so much wasted time on revisions, quoting for revisions, halting design work while revision costs are being approved by clients, it’s crazy inefficient,” Fawn said.

Design Productive cite their target customers as anyone with three or more design needs a month, as this means you get ongoing value from their monthly pricing plans.

They offer dedicated assistants to carry out the work, and have turnaround times of between 1-3 days depending on the monthly plan.

How Design Productive Works

Services

Design Productive’s design team are ready and waiting to take on any small design tasks.

It’s easier to say what they don’t do. They don’t support heavy manipulation tasks, large scale projects, 3D or motion graphics, or any tasks expected to take longer than their projected turnaround time.

Common requests from clients include:

  • Business cards and stationery.
  • Flyers and posters.
  • Basic photo editing.
  • Presentations.
  • Merchandise and t-shirt designs.

They state their area of expertise as, “Quality graphic design, quick turnaround, unlimited fee revisions.”

Plans and Pricing

Design Productive currently have three pricing plans ranging from $149 to $449 per month. The differences in the services included in each plan are as follows:

  • Mini Graphic Design Package – $149/month – You can submit 3 design tasks per month, have unlimited revisions, one brand, and tasks are turned around in 3 days.
  • Small Business Design Package – $249/month – You can submit unlimited design tasks, have unlimited revisions, one brand, and tasks are turned around in 2 days.
  • Unlimited Graphic Design Package – $449/month – Same as with the Small Business Package you can submit unlimited tasks and request unlimited revisions.

Virtual Assistant Assistant Exclusive: Use promo code VAA10 and get 10% off ANY Design Productive plan for life!

You also have access to a dedicated design team, can submit tasks for unlimited brands, and have a 1-2 day turnaround.

All packages come with a 14-day money back guarantee and no fixed contracts. So, you can break away if you’re unsatisfied in any way.

The only restriction on the “Unlimited tasks,” is that you can only submit one task at a time. Based on a 2-day turnaround time, that translates to about 10-15 tasks per month.

Design Productive Alternatives

Looking at the other subscription-based design companies offering comparable services and pricing Design Pickle and Unicorn Go are worth checking out.

If you don’t anticipate having an ongoing need for fresh graphics, a crowdsourcing platform like 99designs or DesignCrowd might be better suited. And for one-off graphics, there’s always Fiverr, where you can buy multiple gigs to see which one comes back best, making it “the poor man’s 99designs,” or the DIY option with a service like PicMonkey.

Your Turn

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

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Remote.com

Remote.com (formerly Outsource.com, which was widely derided as a scam by freelancers) is a virtual assistant company based in Burlingame, CA. They have been in operation since January 2017 and match business owners with virtual assistants from all over the globe.

They use an AI-powered matching system to match up clients with the best suited virtual assistant from their database, helping to establish that first point of contact and continued support with the working relationship.

About Remote.com

Remote is headed up by CEO Nick Macario. The interesting thing about Remote that separates them from other VA companies is the way they find virtual assistants for their clients.

They leave the matching process up to their own AI algorithm. Saying, “Our AI-powered matching technology ensures that job seekers are able to access the best-matched opportunities based on their preferences and qualifications.”

As a client looking for an assistant, you fill in all the details about yourself, your company, and what skills you’re looking for in an assistant. You are then offered assistants based on your requirements.

What’s not yet clear is whether this is just a buzz-wordy way to accomplish what other VA companies do by filtering their database based on skills and resume keywords.

Once you get your match, you can start working together, communicate through the Remote.com platform, and send payments through their secure escrow system.

Remote’s target customers are anyone finding themselves too busy working in their businesses with routine tasks that could and should be outsourced.

Services

Remote say you’ll be able to find an assistant for any tasks that can be completed remotely. They also facilitate partly-remote and full-time assistants, so it’s possible to find someone willing to relocate.

Some of the tasks their assistants commonly handle include:

  • Administrative tasks
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Online research and data entry
  • Customer service
  • Marketing
  • Content management
  • Development
  • and more

A nice feature on their website is that you can search their database by skills as a direct route way to find a candidate capable of handling your tasks.

Plans and Pricing

When hiring a full-time assistant, you can post a job for free as a basic listing, or upgrade for a premium listing and some additional perks.

The available plans are as follows:

  • Free Job Post – A basic 30-day listing, company profile, and basic AI-powered outreach.
  • Premium Job Post – $295 – You get a featured listing for 30 days, 10x the exposure, and advanced AI-powered outreach and recruiting tools.
  • Elite Placement – Custom Pricing – You can work with a dedicated “talent specialist” at Remote to find the perfect assistant, you’ll need to contact them directly for a quote.

Once you make your hire, there is a 10% charge of the project cost when you start working with an assistant.

Remote.com Alternatives

While Remote is unique in the way they match up clients with assistants automatically, there is no shortage of virtual assistant companies waiting to match you up with an assistant to meet your requirements.

For a much wider candidate pool, you might consider Upwork, one of the largest freelance marketplaces online. If you need tech-specific help for a larger project, TopTal or Gun.io might be worth a look.

For US-based companies that will find assistants for you, Worldwide101 and Time Etc are two highly rated firms.

Your Turn

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

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3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Deena Anreise, the Marketing Manager for Prialto, contributed this post.

Take it away, Deena!

**********

Teamwork is the cornerstone of every successful business, but achieving team cohesiveness can be a challenge. Leaders, managers, and business founders often struggle to understand what they can do to ensure their teams work together in the most effective way.

By definition, teamwork is bigger than one person. But there is one important action that any leader can do to promote teamwork: delegation.

Delegation has many qualities in its favor.

To speed along a time-sensitive project, specific duties can be assigned to team members who excel in those specific areas. Conversely, if a project has a lot of lead time, it can be beneficial to assign certain tasks to members of your team who are less skilled in that area, with the goal of strengthening their skillset.

More often than not, leaders choose to delegate to an assistant who can manage all repeatable tasks. By delegating these tasks, leaders gain back time to accomplish more high value tasks.

Nick’s Notes: This is the first type of outsourcing, and is far easier to set both yourself and your assistant up for success.

Delegating is a great way for leaders to test the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. Delegating also provides a proactive way for leaders to give team members a feeling of ownership and a continued sense of advancement while freeing up their own time to focus on more higher level, pressing issues that only they can tackle.

Delegation is obviously fantastic on many levels, but is sometimes easier said than done.

Here are 3 of the most common pitfalls that leaders fall into when delegating — and how to avoid them.

PITFALL #1: Inhibiting

Don’t stifle creativity by assigning jobs and requiring each team member to focus solely and individually on that task alone.

Solution: Reward your team by stoking their sense of continued advancement.

Providing your team members with opportunities to grow and acquire new skills can go a long way. A team member’s sense of achievement and worthiness will inspire them to push themselves harder next time, to not give up, and to give their best.

Show them you see how hard they are working. When they nail it, let them know they’ve done a good job.

PITFALL #2: Micromanaging

Micromanaging is an undesirable behavior for two reasons.

First, it shows a lack of trust in your workers to do their job, and second, it bogs you down with minutia when you should strive to have a clean plate so you are able to focus on bigger issues.

Provide a clear vision and expected outcome for the work, and be available to answer questions, but let your team actually do the work without meddling.

Nick’s Notes: For more in-depth tasks, I try to explain the project as best I can, and then ask for a progress report check-in at maybe 10% of completion to make sure my assistant is on the right track.

Solution: Trust your team.

You gave them their job for a reason; give them some breathing room. If someone is struggling to complete what they’re assigned, offer help or advice or suggest they collaborate with a team member.

Even a worker who has failed at a task in the past should be given another opportunity, since they likely learned from their mistakes and will appreciate your show of faith.

Nick’s Notes: In my case, I was really frustrated when my first VA couldn’t seem to get it right. I totally took for granted that I’d been doing the task I’d assigned for years and it was second nature to me. There’s always going to be a learning curve.

Remember the 10/80/10 rule of outsourcing.

PITFALL #3: Over-Assigning

All this talk of delegation and its benefits may make you want to over-delegate by assigning all the work to the members of your team so you can sit back and relax.

Don’t fall for this temptation, because doing so can harm your business.

Solution: As a leader, you are naturally responsible for the big picture and general project management.

A lack of participation on behalf of a business’s leader means a lack of supervision and accountability on behalf of the team members. Delegating should never be the act of giving over work you should be doing.

Rather, view delegating as removing tasks from your agenda that you shouldn’t be doing.

Nick’s Notes: I usually fall in the opposite camp of having a hard time letting go of tasks!

Conclusion

Team cohesiveness should be a goal, and delegation is one of the most powerful ways to ensure you reach it. Avoiding these three common pitfalls of delegation is the key to managing a united team and maintaining a thriving business!

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Remote Workmate

Remote Workmate is an Australian-registered virtual staffing solutions company that puts a spotlight exclusively on outstanding Filipino virtual assistants.

The company has been known to some since 2008 when Australians John Paul Grant and Matt Canty, who were then based within the Philippines, started offering multiple forms of virtual assistant services to entrepreneurs and business owners.

About Remote Workmate

remote workmate review

In 2014, Darwin-based Chris Whitrod, the current company CEO, bought the name Remote Workmate from Paul and Matt and focused on providing long-term, dedicated virtual assistants with ongoing support as the company’s main form of service to entrepreneurs and businesses primarily from Australia, New Zealand, North America, and Europe.

Remote Workmate Services

Remote Workmate provides virtual assistant recruitment plus ongoing client support with no lock-in.

Their recruitment process requires 1-2 weeks or until the client is happy with their selection. Remote Workmate provides unlimited HR support and payroll management while the client takes care of the virtual assistant task delegation.

If in the unlikely case that the client is unhappy with the performance of the person they hired, they can ask for a replacement for no additional processing or recruitment cost!

Remote Workmate aims to work on roles specific to their client needs as opposed to the pre-packaged role descriptions. If they think that the expectations that clients have are quite impossible, they make recommendations on how to make it more realistic.

Based on their past experiences, here are some of the most usual type of roles that they have helped clients fill:

  • Social Media Marketing Specialist
  • SEO Specialist
  • AdWords Expert
  • Content Writer
  • Virtual Administrative Assistant
  • Telemarketer/Appointment Setter
  • Real Estate Virtual Administrative Assistant
  • Property Management Assistant
  • Graphic Designer
  • WordPress Expert
  • Business Development Specialist
  • Customer Service Specialist
  • Recruitment Specialist
  • Bookkeeper

All Remote Workmate virtual assistants are working from home and comply with certain equipment standards like minimum internet connection speed and ideal computer specifications. They work for a minimum of 20 hours per week promoting better and longer working relationship with their clients.

How it Works

Remote Workmate’s hiring process is pretty straight forward. The company works closely with their clients from the discovery call and allows them to take part in the recruitment process as much as they want.

After the discovery call, the recruiting specialists hit the trail and try to find the best possible candidates from their network. They’ll present those assistant profiles to you, and you can schedule interviews with the ones that look most promising.

Plans and Pricing

Remote Workmate does not have a “one-size fits all” pricing plan. As the company strives to have experienced virtual assistants take interest in open roles, the rates are then driven by their skillset and years of experience.

On their website, Remote Workmate gives a rough idea of the average rate for each type of role, in USD:

  • Social Media Manager $7.00 – $8.50
  • Graphic Designer/Web/PHP Developer $9.00 – $11.00
  • General Virtual Assistant $6.00 – $7.50
  • Marketing Assistant $6.50 – $7.50
  • Content Writer $6.50 – $7.50
  • SEO Specialist $9.00 – $11.00
  • Customer Service Specialist $6.00 – $7.00
  • Payroll Officer/Bookkeeper $6.00 – $8.00
  • Content Writer $6.50 – $8.00
  • Real Estate Virtual Assistant $6.00 – $7.50

If you’d like to have an idea of what the ballpark rate would be for a role specific to your requirements, you can email them at [email protected]

So what’s included in the rates?

  • The recruitment process
  • The replacement process (if requested)
  • VA Pay
  • HR & payroll management
  • Client consultant (client’s go-to person)
  • Time tracking software

Each client receives one billing invoice per month on a pre-payment basis. Payments are done via bank-to-bank transfer, Transferwise, or Paypal.

Why Remote Workmate?

One thing that stands out with Remote Workmate’s service is the freedom to end it if you are unhappy for any reason at all. That speaks volumes as to how confident they are with the quality of service they can provide.

Since they have quite an extensive recruitment process, with 3 out of 4 stages allotted to it, you can rest assured that they won’t stop trying to find a VA you’ll be happy with until you say so. By the time you are working with a VA and you feel that you’ve selected the wrong one, you always have that free replacement to fall back to.

Remote Workmate Alternatives

Remote Workmate is an interesting model that falls between the do-it-yourself recruiting model of OnlineJobs.ph (where you’ll pay a small upfront fee to access the job board, and likely a lower monthly rate ongoing), the straight-up recruiting service of Virtual Staff Finder (where you pay a bigger upfront fee and likely a lower monthly salary ongoing), and a managed VA company like VA Staffer (where you’ll pay a higher monthly fee in return for a dedicated office facility and on-site infrastructure).

Your Turn

Have you worked with Remote Workmate? If so, please share a quick review of your experience below and help others with their decision.

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