I previously used Zirtual for a few months, and really loved it (but my cash flow was very limited so I had to cancel it). The company has since imploded, so I'm hesitant to hire them again. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives? I am looking for US-based, and higher quality (not just someone to book meetings but also someone who can do research, create spreadsheets, create letters based on a template but that need to be customized, etc). Any recommendations?
This is actually kind of a funny question to answer on Clarity. Not sure if you're aware, but we (Startups.co) actually own Clarity, Launchrock, and of course, Zirtual!
Zirtual has an amazing product and great people. The company ran into problems around how it managed utilization of folks, which is common among highly staffed businesses.
There wasn't anything "broken" with Zirtual as a business, which is why we acquired it. It's a great company, just like Clarity which we also purchased this year.
If you have particular questions about the level of service or the company behind it, you can simply ask me directly - firstname.lastname@example.org. I can give you any kind of insight that you'd like. But don't worry about the service - we have great people and we're a happy, profitable, growing company.
I see you have already gotten quite a few responses here, and so I am going to make a pitch for Worldwide101, which is the virtual assistant company I founded back in 2009. Our team is US based, and we provide "business grade" virtual assistants - so in essence "more than basic admin" and "high quality", which seems to be what you are after. Here is a link to our website http://worldwide101.com/
If you are interested, I would love to find out a bit more about your requirements so we can suggest a VA for you. You can also check out objective VA company reviews on this site http://www.virtualassistantassistant.com/
All the best,
I have several virtual assistants I use that would fit what you are looking for. Some are based in Canada. I know you suggest that you are looking for US-based virtual assistants. However, I would consider that some overseas virtual assistants are quite skilled. The virtual assistant that I have used the longest and is by far the best is based in Pakistan. He is a vital part of my team and cares deeply about the success of my projects. He learns quickly and values the relationship which he shows through honesty and quickly letting me know if something is above his skill level.
If you are willing to go through the ropes posting a job, interviewing, and vetting someone, I would suggest Upwork (formerly oDesk). This is where I have been discovering most of the people I work with. However, it is extremely challenging to vet and decipher between quality candidates.
I hope this helps. I may have some virtual assistants that I have used with extra time. I would love to chat further, here is my Clarity VIP link for a free call. https://clarity.fm/lipmanb/vip/t
I work with solo entrepreneurs and professional coaches, advising on, streamlining, and in many cases managing their administrative procedures and projects, and also advising on and implementing effective social media strategies to achieve the next level of success in their business. You can learn more about me and how I help my clients by visiting my website at http://www.UpscaleYourBusiness.com.
I'd love to learn more about you and your business as maybe we would be a good ‘fit’ to work together. If you’re interested in exploring this as a possibility, please use this link to schedule a time for us to speak: https://www.timetrade.com/book/X9KZK
I look forward to connecting with you soon.
My name is Joel Nelson, founder of www.zenvirtualassistantsfinder.com a Philippines based Virtual Staffing company.
I am truly sorry to hear your work has been interrupted by Zirtual’s unfortunate demise. Sadly, the model Zirtual employed was/is unsustainable; I know this because I had originally structure Zen Virtual Assistants the same way - only in our case we focus exclusively on Filipino based talent. We saw the warning signs early and pivoted fortunately.
As you may have discovered, finding ‘a virtual assistant’ is relatively easy. Simply Google Virtual Assistant and 16.9 Million results (last I checked) are available for your viewing pleasure. You may have also discovered that the real challenge is not finding ‘a VA’, but rather finding ‘the RIGHT VA’ for your needs and expectations and budget.
I know you desire a US based VA, but I encourage you to consider the Philippines for your talent search.
No, not because I happen to own a Virtual Assistant company based in the Philippines, but rather, because I saw through personal experience outsourcing to Filipino VA myself that there is nowhere else in the world that offers such unique value. (i.e. highly educated, highly technical skilled, high English proficiency, at $5 - $7 per/hr. AND best of all, consistently some of the nicest more honest people you’ll ever meet).
I know you’re on a budget, and still need highly skilled staff to help you execute your vision. Consider the Philippines.
We offer a FREE 15 min consultation at www.zenvirtualassistantsfinder.com to help you get clear on exactly what you need to accomplish and which proven Filipio VA’s can help you execute your plan.
Consider booking a free consult and let’s see if we can help:
Also, consider checking out our Podcast for tips & tool when working with Filipino VA’s:
I've worked with Virtual Assistants for about 7 years now and am a big fan of Fancy Hands. Fancy Hands has become my go-to after working with a number of virtual assistants I've found on Elance/Odesk (before they became Upwork) and Zirtual.
Fancy Hands has completed over 1200 tasks for me. Of the 1200 tasks, many have been of the type you describe, so I think you'd be very happy with their service.
They also have a tiered pricing structure, so you can find a plan that fits well with your budget. Of all the VA's I've tried, I've also found that Fancy Hands has the most favorable price/value ratio, when you break their pricing down at a cost/task level.
You can find less expensive VA's on Upwork, however my experience has been that they actually become more expensive, by either taking longer to get something right or by taking more of your time to explain something to them, which starts to defeat the purpose of using VA's in the first place!
To me, the big benefit of a service like Zirtual, that you won't get from Fancy Hands, is the historical knowledge and relationship that you build with a dedicated or semi-dedicated VA, like Zirtual gives you. That said, for the one-off types of tasks you describe in your question, I still think Fancy Hands would be a pretty solid fit for you.
Good luck with your choice and always happy to discuss further on a call!