Where do you go if you need help? A common question quickly gets specific when you define the type of help you need. Busy entrepreneurs and executives, for instance, might just not have the time to take care of the daily tasks that get in the way of strategic planning or stakeholder management.
In that case, you need a virtual assistant. But of course, that realization is only the beginning. You also need to make sure that you hire the right professional, which is where this guide comes into play.
Let’s dive deep into your options. We’ll start with an overview of the tasks entrepreneurs and execs most typically need help with, which can give you a good overview of the types of services that make the most sense for your need.
What do Execs and Entrepreneurs Commonly Need Help With?
Ultimately, your tasks in most needs of assistants are down to your individual situation. Still, many of them may fall within these seven categories.
1. Email Inbox Management
That red number just keeps on climbing. What do you do? How can you spend significant time sorting through your inbox when so much else has to happen? Before you know it, you might begin to lose track of important conversations or questions. Assistance in sorting through your inbox can become immensely valuable.
2. Calendar Management and Scheduling
Similar to the inbox, calendar management has a tendency to take over. You might need help simply knowing when you have some free time, and when you need to schedule in meetings with important stakeholders or members of your team.
3. Data Entry
Large companies tend to have entire digital or data teams. You might not have that luxury. Data entry requires immense focus and attention to detail, as well as a significant time investment. If you don’t have all three, you might want to hire external help.
Do you have the time to research anything from competitors to market trends? This is valuable information that can drive company-wide decision-making. And yet, it also takes significant time. Working with a virtual assistant can help you get it done.
5. Procedural Improvements
An experienced professional in the industry can do more than the above. They can also help you look at internal company processes and find bottlenecks as well as other opportunities for improvement. That helps you run your company more efficiently, without requiring your valuable time.
6. Project Management
Experienced virtual assistants are also able to manage complex projects, which is invaluable for busy execs just looking to focus on strategy. The day-to-day collaboration, keeping others on tasks, and meeting deadlines, can all be accomplished by a dedicated professional.
7. Editing and Proofing
Finally, many execs and entrepreneurs benefit from the fact that they don’t have to be the last and only eyes on a piece of communication before it gets released. From letters to reports, the right assistant is able to edit and proof any correspondence before it gets in front of your audience.
What are Some of the Best Virtual Assistant Services?
The good news: you can alleviate all the above issues by hiring a trustworthy virtual assistant, who would be highly qualified to take each task off your hands. However, that can only be possible if you find the right service to hire through.
You naturally have the option of simply hiring your own assistant. But that requires significant time in itself, and also means you might have to pay for benefits and other human relations costs. The right virtual assistant service saves you time and money, finding a professional on your behalf while making them available only at the times and for the duration you actually need their expertise.
The best virtual assistant services tend to distinguish themselves through a few simple variables:
- Quality, particularly the quality and experience of the assistants they make available.
- Service, especially as it relates to the ease with which you can work with the service and the assistants they provide.
- Price, as in the amount you’ll need to pay both for the service and for the professional you’re hiring.
With these variables in mind, let’s rank the top companies that help you work with virtual assistants who can actually help your business succeed.
10 Companies that Help You Work with the Best VAs
Don’t call us biased. Zirtual is the top-ranked service because of the quality VAs you can get. Each of our assistants is based in the U.S. and highly educated to perform any administrative task required by the company.
We pride ourselves in working with professionals who can jump right in, little to no onboarding required. That saves you time and helps you focus on strategy faster. You also get one dedicated assistant, allowing the business relationship to move quickly and minimizing the required training down the road.
Based in India, MyTasker offers affordable assistants along with a range of specific qualifications. The low price, though, is offset by the fact that these assistants are not based in the United States, which can complicate communications.
MyTasker is flexible but does not dedicate the virtual assistant to your company. That typically means you can get help around the clock, but it also means that there might be an adjustment period for longer or more complex tasks.
3) Pepper Virtual Assistants
Established in 2009, Pepper VA (based in the Phillipines) specializes in executive and marketing support and project management. You might also find assistants that are specifically trained in copywriting and graphic design, along with IT help.
The staff is all fluent in English and college-educated, which is a big plus. But the specialization can be a challenge, because each assistant is highly focused on their area. Every business gets a team of six assistants, making onboarding difficult especially at lower contract levels.
Don’t get confused: the company may be based in the United States, but the professionals working on your account will be in the Philippines. That’s by design, as TaskBullet seeks to vitalize the local economy and provide work for many of the highly-educated personnel on the ground.
Relationships tend to be complex. Every client gets a project manager, who works directly with a rotating team of virtual assistants. That can help streamline relationships due to the single point of contact, but it also means you don’t actually talk to the VA on a daily basis.
5) Hello Rache
If you’re in the medical field, you might have heard of this one. It’s a specialized boutique firm, with highly-trained medical assistants who can help in the healthcare field.
Hello Rache’s virtual assistants are all based in the Philippines, which explains the low cost: a flat rate of $9 per hour. They get the right training for the industry, but that specialization can also become problematic. Plus, time zone differences and potential language barriers could be an issue.
6) Outsource Workers
Based in Australia, Outsource Workers specializes in virtual assistants who focus on real estate. While the skill set within this industry range widely, they all come back to help realtors and property managers more effectively run their business.
To succeed with that type of specialization, every assistant goes through rigorous training and selection before they can represent the company. The result is a highly-skilled assistant ready to help your company, although of course the location can present a challenge at times.
It’s all about the small tasks. While many of the above service assume a more comprehensive working relationship, OkayRelax goes in the opposite direction. You can sign up for just a few tasks a month, and get billed by the tier you’re signing up for.
On the higher-professional tasks, you even get access to the same assistant. It’s a great tool when you just need the occasional hand, but falls apart if a virtual assistant is more of a consistent need.
Here, we have our first freelancer marketplace. The idea is that you don’t hire the company; the company is just the go-between you and the freelancer you hire. A relationship like that is more direct but also has its disadvantages.
First, the vetting responsibility is all up to you. No guarantee that you’ll get an educated, skilled assistant. Second, all the billing has to be manual, as do task assignments and other pieces of the relationship. The independence may be great for some businesses but can throw a wrench in the plans of others.
This company is based in Central America, providing VA services in both English and Spanish. Every assistant under its umbrella has either lived or studied in the United States.
While commendable, of course, language skills are still an important skill to remember. UAssistMe also tends to be pretty restrictive with its business hours, which can make the working relationship difficult for busy entrepreneurs.
This company has offices in the U.K., U.S., and Australia, with professionals from all over the world under its umbrella. The assistants are mostly focusing on basic tasks like email management and flight booking. At a higher tier, you can also get more comprehensive help.
The trade-off, of course, is natural for a big company that serves 1,400 clients in 30 industries: you might not get the personal attention you need on the service and support side. The pricing is competitive, but it can be difficult to manage the accountability side of this business relationship.
And there you have it! Our top 10 virtual assistant companies today. Each of them comes with its own business structure, advantages, and disadvantages. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide which of them is the best fit for your business and unique situation.