SmartPA

SmartPA is a UK-based virtual assistant company specializing in providing virtual assistants to businesses of all sizes all over the world.

The company is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, and their assistants work remotely across the UK.

About SmartPA

The company started operations in 2008 and is based in Scotland, UK. SmartPA’s core team is based in their offices in Edinburgh, and they recruit assistants remotely all over the UK.

Despite being based in the UK, SmartPA says they work with entrepreneurs and businesses all over the world. They’re flexible in regard to business hours as their virtual assistants span across 15 countries, with teams based in the USA, Japan and Malta. So, don’t let the time difference stop you from reaching out to them.

When you sign up for a monthly plan, a member of SmartPA’s team will be in contact to discuss your requirements.

After getting a clear picture of what you require from an assistant, SmartPA will assign you the best-suited dedicated assistant from their pool of talent.

SmartPA says that every one of their VAs goes through an eight-week training and accreditation program. This is to ensure they meet their high standards and are equipped to carry out the tasks expected of them from clients.

In regard to how they see the VA-client relationship, SmartPA told me, “We pride ourselves on transforming our clients for the better. Helping them to grow and making them more resilient to pressure and change.”

How SmartPA Works

To get started working with SmartPA you can simply choose one of their monthly plans, or book a call to discuss your requirements.

You can either call their Client Engagement Team or drop them a message and they’ll call you. During this call, a member of their Client Engagement Team will establish how they can best help you.

SmartPA will then find the best-suited virtual assistant, and send you over their details to review. If you’re happy with your assistant, you can start emailing over tasks and communicating with them right away.

You’ll receive weekly reports detailing everything your assistant has been working on and how many hours they used.

SmartPA Services

SmartPA’s virtual assistants are trained and prepared to handle any business tasks that can be completed remotely.

They do say that they specialize in administrative and back-office support. But their VAs are willing to take on any tasks.

To give you a better idea, they list the following services they commonly supply:

  • Diary and Email Management
  • Call Handling
  • Bookkeeping
  • Document Production
  • Transcription and Typing
  • Data Entry
  • Travel Management
  • CRM Management
  • Research
  • Personal Support
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

SmartPA Plans and Pricing

SmartPA currently has 4 monthly pricing plans. Hourly rates range from approx. (allowing for exchange rate) $31/hr if you purchase their Premium + plan, to $41.50/hr for their smallest plan.

A complete list of their prices at the time of publishing was:

  1. Professional – £300/mo for 10 hours (approx $415 or $41.50/hr)
  2. Professional + – £500/mo for 20 hours (approx $700 or $35/hr)
  3. Premium – £750/mo for 30 hours (approx $1,000 or $33/hr)
  4. Premium + – £1,000/mo for 45 hours (approx $1,400 or $31/hr)

SmartPA offers custom plans if your requirements do not fit with any of their set monthly plans. You can also bolt-on some call handling and customer care services.

SmartPA Alternatives

For alternative UK-based companies, we recommend checking out Time ETC, highly-rated with a similar business model and hourly rates.

If you’re based in the US and would prefer to work with US-based assistants, Time ETC also supplies US-based VAs. You can also check out ClearDesk, Boldly and BELAY, three more US-based companies with great feedback.

Your Turn

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

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My Business Assistant

My Business Assistant is an outsourcing company aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses streamline their processes. The theory goes that if business can free up time, money, and resources spent on non-core processes, it usually makes sense to do that. And that’s where My Business Assistant comes in.

my business assistant reviewWhere most virtual assistant and outsourcing companies focus on serving the needs of busy professionals or solo entrepreneurs, My Business Assistant wants to help small companies take their business to the next level.

What’s unique about My Business Assistant vs. other VA companies, is that they have two working locations; one in the United States in Frederick, Maryland, and the other overseas in India. They call this the “Right Shore” approach, and assign tasks to the location best-suited to provide the most effective results.

My Business Assistant co-founder and CEO Gourab Nanda created a video on Tips for Successful Outsourcing. It’s nine minutes long, but definitely worth the time if you are seriously considering investing in a virtual assistant solution.

The services of My Business Assistant may be above and beyond the scope of what a “typical” virtual assistant company provides. Instead, they are a solution for a full-scale virtual workforce, for outsourcing entire aspects of your operation.

For example, if you run a small e-commerce website, you can hire My Business Assistant to manage all your phone orders, customer service, and live chat queries. The rates are higher than what you’ll find at AskSunday and other virtual assistant companies, but the level of service is greater as well. A US-based virtual assistant ranges from $24 to $32 an hour, depending on how many hours you need, and an India-based virtual assistant ranges from $9 to $12 an hour.

As you can imagine, this requires dedicated assistance, training, and customizable service plans, all of which My Business Assistant does. However, all this specialization comes at a price. If you need specific content written, such as an article for a website, it will run between $30 and $40. For the sake of comparison, I have purchased article writing on Fiverr.com for just $5, and have been happy with the results.

That said, plans are flexible, and you don’t have any long-term commitments. My Business Assistant is a BBB accredited business, and offers several customer testimonials on their website. For certain services, a free trial period is available, so it might be worthwhile to give them a test drive.

UPDATE: My Business Assistant has taken to posting spam comments on this site. If you plan to hire them for SEO, my advice would be not to. In the past few months they’ve posted the following generic and irrelevant comments under the names “Phone Customer Support” and “Outsource Customer Support”:

  • I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.
  • The theme of your blog is very beautiful and the article is written very well, I will continue to focus on your article.
  • Thanks for sharing these thoughts. This has been very helpful to me. Looking forward to read more informative topic.

These tactics are considered extremely low value and can really hurt your brand!

If you’ve had any experience with My Business Assistant, positive or negative, please share it here.

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Virtual Clouding

UPDATE: It appears Virtual Clouding is out of business. Please consider one of these alternatives.

Virtual Clouding is virtual assistant outsourcing company in India. The business was founded in 2009 as a labor force “cloud” service to go alongside the rise of the hosting and data storage cloud.

Virtual Clouding offers a variety of virtual services, including administrative support, research tasks, customer service, web development, and more. You get a dedicated virtual assistant, but they may subcontract out your tasks to someone else better qualified to complete the job.

virtual clouding reviewThey claim to have a staff of 100 people working around the clock to meet the needs of clients in different time zones.

The rates for Virtual Clouding vary on how many hours you’d like to use their service each month. The entry-level plan is just $15 a month and includes one hour of outsourced tasks, with additional time available at $15 an hour.

For $120 a month, you can get 10 hours of time, and for $360 you can get 40. Obviously the dollars per hour cost goes down with the more time you buy.

My favorite has to be the massive “Unlimited” plan, which grants you 720 hours for $3600 a month. That’s the equivalent of 4 and a half full-time employees!

No word on how Virtual Clouding is tracking the hours spent, or whether higher-skilled tasks like programming burn hours at a faster rate. From what I can tell, the time is use-it-or-lose it; unused hours won’t roll over to the next month.

They’ll also quote project-based work if you don’t want to sign on for a recurring billing, although there are no long-term commitments.

Now, Virtual Clouding and I got off on the wrong foot. They decided to post a spammy comment on this site a couple years ago, and when I played dumb and asked for more details, they never replied.

A year after that, I contacted them through their website, but again, never got a response. Indeed, their site and social media accounts have not been updated since late 2011. So they might no longer be open for business.

For a more responsive alternative virtual assistant company, check out My Tasker or 24/7 Virtual Assistant. The rates are similar and they have generated positive feedback here on VAA.

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

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Top Virtual Assistant

Top Virtual Assistant is a Canada-based virtual assistant company specializing in providing virtual assistants to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses all over the globe.

The company is headquartered in Canada, their assistants work remotely from all over the world, primarily India.

About Top Virtual Assistant

Top Virtual Assistant has over 10 years of experience and states that they have served over “300 happy clients”. Top Virtual Assistant is owned by Ajay Seth. Ajay has a background in IT and leading large teams of employees. He decided to start Top Virtual Assistant to, “help businesses prosper with unmatched additional services at minimal costs.”

Top Virtual Assistant says their assistants work remotely all over the world, with most of them being based in India.

When you sign up for a monthly plan, you’ll be assigned a dedicated assistant. Top Virtual Assistant says their assistants have excellent English and communication skills, and they have the skills to handle any business tasks that can be completed remotely.

Top Virtual Assistant also offer a free 10 hour free trial so you can try their services before making a commitment!

How Top Virtual Assistant Works

Top Virtual Assistant likes to start client relationships with a video call. You can of course reach out by email or phone, too. Whichever form of communication works best for you, they’re happy to accommodate.

During the call, they will get to know more about you, your business, and what your requirements are from a virtual assistant.

A member of Top Virtual Assistant’s team will then find the best-suited assistant from their team, and get back to you to introduce them.

Once you’re happy to start assigning tasks to your assistant, you can communicate via Skype, Slack, video call, and most other channels you already use.

They can help you with:

Most of their assistants work within US business hours. However, there is some flexibility as they’re based in India if you want them to work in a different time zone.

Top Virtual Assistant Services

Top Virtual Assistant’s VAs are skilled and equipped to handle a complete range of virtual assistant tasks. This means you can outsource just about any task that can be completed remotely.

To give a better idea, here are the categories they list as areas they specialize in:

Top Virtual Assistant Plans and Pricing

Top Virtual Assistant currently has three pricing plans to choose from. Rates start as low as $10/hr, and the minimum monthly cost is $390.

A complete list of their pricing plans at the time of publishing is:

  1. Select – $720 per month for 60 hours ($12/hr)
  2. Prime – $1,600 per month for 160 hours ($10/hr)
  3. Custom – Starting at $390 per month for 30 hours

All of their plans come with a 15-day money-back guarantee and you can cancel at any time.

They also offer a free 10 hour free trial so you can try their services before making a commitment!

Top Virtual Assistant Alternatives

Their direct competition in the US is ClearDesk and Time Etc. For alternative virtual assistant companies offering VAs based in India, we recommend checking out My Tasker.

MyTasker is a highly rated company that offer a similar range of services and pricing. If you really can’t decide, both of these companies offer free trials.

Your Turn

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

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