Virtual Assistants are not a new concept. But I’ve noticed a crop of services recently that have popped up, offering admin services from a number of handpicked VAs. I suspect this has occurred as a backlash against the rise of very low price, (often, but not always) low quality VAs. Freelance marketplaces are waking up to the concept that paying a freelance VA a good hourly rate often leads to a good outcome for both the client and contractor.
Three companies in particular have popped up recently to help businesses with their admin and general tasks: Fancy Hands, TimeEtc and Supertasker. Read on to find out what each of them offers.
Fancy Hands was the first site like this that I discovered, thanks to Jo Gifford. For a monthly plan ranging from $25 (5 tasks) to $65 (25 tasks), Fancy Hands gives you access to personal assistants who can do tasks for you like book appointments, book a table at a restaurant, source a product online, research something for a blog post or find a cleaner. They’re the most affordable of the three services, but the tasks in general appear to be smaller.
Although I love the idea of Fancy Hands, but most of those are tasks I’d happily do myself. When it comes to hiring a VA, I’d usually do it because a) I can’t do the task myself (at least not well), or b) it’s time consuming and I’d rather spend that time bringing on new business.
TimeEtc is the site that I’ve had some experience using. They offer $25 of free credit to give it a try (little warning though, if you don’t sign up and top up your credit at the end of your trial, get ready for a LOT of emails). The basic concept with TimeEtc is that you send them a task, and they assign one of their (UK-based, very talented) VAs to do the task. When I gave it a try, my task was to create a comparison report of other blogs in the UK. Not only did the service, and my assigned VA, produce a report in just a couple of days (my deadline was relaxed), but she also gave me a few suggestions of what I could do going forward. Very impressive!
TimeEtc’s pricing is more than Fancy Hands, but it’s easy to get your head around – a flat rate of £26 an hour. The tasks are definitely more advanced than what Fancy Hands would do too (have a look at some of them here). While I can’t afford it this month, I’ll definitely consider topping up my credit and using it in the future.
Finally, we come to PeoplePerHour’s latest product. SuperTasker was launched earlier this month, offering services at a one-off price. For example, you can buy an infographic for $150, a blog post for $45 (delivered in 3 hours, up to 400words) or $5 for image resizing/cropping delivered in an hour. Like TimeEtc and Fancy Hands, the freelancers providing these services are vetted, and it’s super-easy to use. I’d definitely consider using SuperTasker for a a few one-off tasks (especially as it doesn’t require a membership like TimeEtc and Fancy Hands).