Where To Hire a Small Business Virtual Assistant: Best Picks cover

Where To Hire a Small Business Virtual Assistant: Best Picks

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Here’s something to think about. Is the bottleneck in your business a lack of opportunities or an overwhelming amount of routine tasks demanding your attention? If only there was a way to hand off simple tasks, streamline operations, and free up your precious time. Enter a small business virtual assistant.

With a small business VA, it’ll be easier for you to grow efficiently, especially in the early days of your venture. They save you money on overhead, fill in skill gaps, and allow for business growth without full-time hires. However, to reap these benefits, you have to find the right partner. Understanding what to look for is the first step to ensuring that partnership will help your business thrive.

Criteria for Selecting a Small Business Virtual Assistant Provider

Choosing the ideal virtual assistant provider fundamentally influences your business growth. When you invest time and resources into this selection, you can transform your operational efficiency. As a result, this improvement may open new avenues for scalability.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Virtual Assistant Service

As a small business owner, you have unique needs. Consider these crucial elements when selecting your virtual assistant service:

  • Expertise and Specialization: Look for a virtual assistant service skilled in the specific roles you need help with. Whether it's administrative support, social media management, or customer service, you’ll find a VA who specializes in it.
  • Pricing and Scalability: Is it subscription-based, or do they charge by the hour? Consider if the cost aligns with your budget. Also think about whether the service offers the flexibility to scale up or down based on your business's changing needs.
  • Flexibility and Availability: Small businesses operate on varying schedules and need support during off-hours or peak times. Check whether the service can accommodate your specific hours of operation and adjust to your growing demands.
  • Reliability and Reviews: Research the reliability of the service. Read reviews from other small business owners. This will help you gauge their satisfaction with their assistants' performance and the company's customer service.
  • Technology and Tools: Evaluate the technological capabilities of the virtual assistant service. Are they equipped with modern tools and software that integrate seamlessly with your existing systems? Sound technological knowledge can greatly enhance productivity and communication.
  • Communication Skills: Seek providers with a strong track record of reliability. Clear communication channels are essential; establish how you'll interact with your VA and expectations for updates/response times.

Strategic consideration of these factors will help you secure a virtual assistant service that provides a competitive edge, eases your workload, and propels your small business toward long-term growth.

Why Compatibility with Your Business is Important

When choosing a virtual assistant (VA) service, compatibility with your business culture is just as crucial as the technical skills offered. Here are two brief examples that underscore the importance of this compatibility.

Tech Startup and VA Incompatibility

A tech startup specializing in app development needed a virtual assistant service to handle customer support and administrative tasks. They initially partnered with a provider known for its low-cost solutions but soon encountered issues.

Unfortunately, the virtual assistants lacked the technical knowledge to respond to customer queries effectively, leading to customer dissatisfaction and increased churn rates. Realizing the mismatch, the startup switched to a service that specialized in tech support and saw a marked improvement in customer satisfaction and retention.

Online Retailer and VA Incompatibility

An online retailer sought a virtual assistant to manage social media and customer outreach. The first VA service they used was highly rated but had a one-size-fits-all approach, which didn't resonate with the retailer's youthful, dynamic brand voice.

After switching to a boutique provider that matched their brand's energy and style, they experienced a significant boost in engagement and sales conversions.

From these cases, we can learn several key reasons why finding a VA service that meshes well with your business is essential:

  • Enhanced Brand Consistency: A VA that understands and reflects your brand’s voice and values will maintain consistency across all interactions, ensuring a seamless customer experience.
  • Increased Efficiency: Compatibility in work style and expectations allows for smoother workflow integration. With greater integration, you reduce the learning curve and increasing overall efficiency.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Make sure your VAs align with your business's approach and ethos. When they do, they are better equipped to meet and exceed customer expectations, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Support for Specific Needs: Different businesses have unique needs; a compatible VA service can provide tailored support that addresses those specific requirements effectively.
  • Understanding of Your Industry: While not always critical, industry knowledge can provide a smoother onboarding. So, you reduce the need for extensive training.

A compatible virtual assistant service functions as an extension of your team. Taking time to ensure a good fit reaps long-term benefits.

Best Picks for Small Business Virtual Assistant Services

With the abundance of options available, finding the right place to hire a virtual assistant can feel overwhelming. Let's break down the top sources for small businesses to consider, each with unique advantages.

Online Freelance Platforms

Online freelance platforms have vast, always-growing talent pools, making them excellent resources for specialized skills or adaptable support. According to Statista, 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the United States by 2027. This number constitutes over half of the total U.S. workforce.

The surge of freelancers means businesses have unprecedented access to flexible, skilled virtual assistants across numerous fields. Here are some popular choices:


As one of the largest freelance platforms, Upwork provides access to VAs with a range of skills. Small business owners can post job listings or browse profiles to find virtual assistants with the specific skills they need.

Hourly rates and fixed-price projects are both available, allowing flexibility in budgeting. Upwork’s exceptional filtering tools allow you to select candidates based on factors like rating, experience, and even specific expertise.


Featuring a bidding system, Freelancer.com allows small businesses to receive multiple proposals for their projects. This can be advantageous for price comparison and finding VAs best suited for specific tasks.

Like Upwork, it offers both hourly and project-based payment options. Freelancer’s use-to-use interface makes posting jobs and selecting candidates straightforward and efficient.


Guru.com emphasizes transparency and trust, with detailed profiles that include work history and feedback. Small businesses can benefit from Guru’s flexible payment terms and the ability to negotiate directly with freelancers, making it a practical choice for those who prioritize budget and quality control.


PeoplePerHour.com is another excellent platform for sourcing virtual assistants. It focuses on connecting businesses with freelancers on a per-hour or per-project basis, which is ideal for tasks that require specific time commitments or expertise.

The platform’s intuitive project posting system and freelancer rating system help small businesses quickly and efficiently find the best match for their needs.


Compared to other platforms, Toptal offers a slightly different approach by providing a highly curated list of freelancers.

While it is generally more suited for businesses looking for top-tier software development and finance expertise, it also offers highly skilled virtual assistants. Toptal is perfect for small businesses that require high-level proficiency and are willing to invest in top-quality talent for their critical tasks.

Service Marketplaces

Marketplaces offer a streamlined approach to hiring virtual assistants, often focusing on predefined tasks or standardized services. They can be great for small businesses with clearly defined needs and limited time to invest in a custom hiring process.


Fiverr.com is renowned for its unique approach to freelancing, where services—or "gigs"—start at just $5. Small businesses can browse pre-packaged services such as social media scheduling, calendar management, or basic research.

This platform often favors affordability and quick turnaround times. The simplified tiered pricing structure makes it easy to scale services as you need.


While primarily known for in-person tasks, TaskRabbit also connects businesses with virtual assistants. This can be useful if you occasionally need hybrid support – someone who can handle both virtual and locally-based tasks as needed.

Virtual Assistant Agencies

Virtual assistant agencies offer a more structured approach to outsourcing, providing businesses with dedicated support from experienced professionals.

Since agencies typically employ assistants to handle a wide range of tasks, from administrative duties to specialized project management, they ensure a high standard of service.


Wing provides a versatile virtual assistant service tailored to meet the demands of startups and enterprise teams alike. With a subscription-based model, clients gain access to a dedicated, full-time team member capable of things like:

  • Managing complex calendars
  • Conducting research and reports
  • Handling calls
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Responding to emails
  • Ordering products
  • Managing CRM tools
  • Tracking expenses and invoices

Wing's service is up to 80% quicker and cheaper than traditional hiring, offering the flexibility to scale up or down as necessary, ensuring a perfect fit for small businesses looking to optimize their operations efficiently.

Time Etc.

Time Etc. offers a robust solution for small businesses seeking reliable administrative support. Their team of experienced virtual assistants can take on various tasks, including managing schedules, conducting research, and handling day-to-day administrative duties.

What sets Time Etc. apart is a focus on providing dedicated assistance, allowing small business owners to delegate important tasks with confidence, knowing they are in capable hands.


Belay Solutions specializes in matching small businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives with highly skilled virtual assistants. Belay’s assistants are proficient in a wide range of administrative and operational tasks, making them a valuable asset for anyone looking to enhance their productivity and focus on core business activities.

Social Media and Networking

Leveraging social media and networking platforms is an increasingly popular method for finding virtual assistant services. These platforms allow direct interaction with potential candidates and provide insights through community feedback and recommendations.


Known as the professional networking site, LinkedIn allows small business owners to post job listings or search for virtual assistants through connections and recommendations.

It's also a great place to review candidates' professional backgrounds and skills, ensuring you find someone well-suited for your business needs.

Facebook Groups

Many Facebook groups are dedicated to virtual assistance and freelance work. These groups can be a goldmine for finding talented individuals, as you can post job offers or ask group members for recommendations based on first-hand experiences with specific freelancers.

Industry-Specific Forums

Participating in forums related to your industry can lead you to virtual assistants who specialize in your field. This method is particularly valuable as it connects you with professionals who already understand the nuances of your industry and can jump into tasks with little need for extensive briefing.

Tips for Working Effectively with a Small Business Virtual Assistant

To maximize the benefits of working with a VA, keep these strategies and tips in mind:

  • Prioritize Over-Communication (Initially): In the early stages, err on the side of overly detailed instructions and frequent check-ins. This builds a shared understanding and reduces potential misunderstandings.
  • Invest in the Right Tools: Establish clear communication channels. For example, would you need project management software, instant messaging, etc.? This ensures streamlined collaboration and task tracking.
  • Document Your Processes: List down how to do everything, even simple tasks! When you have a shared reference point for how your business operates, it makes delegating tasks far smoother.
  • Set Clear Expectations and Goals: From the outset, define what success looks like for the tasks assigned to your VA. Set realistic goals, deadlines, and the quality of work expected to ensure that both parties are aligned with the business objectives.
  • Provide Structured Onboarding and Training: Even experienced VAs will need to understand how your business operates. Provide them with a thorough onboarding process that includes training on your systems, processes, and company culture to set them up for success.
  • Offer Regular Feedback: Constructive feedback is crucial for ongoing improvement. Regularly review your VA’s work, offer constructive feedback, and acknowledge their successes to motivate them and help improve their skills over time.
  • Focus on Outcomes, Not Hours: If possible, focus on the quality and completion of tasks rather than strict hours tracking. This allows flexibility and promotes trust in your working relationship.

Final Thoughts

Hiring the right virtual assistant can transform your small business, giving you back precious time and boosting productivity. This article has helped you evaluate the options for finding the right small business virtual assistant, from freelance platforms for flexibility to dedicated agencies like Wing for tailored support.

Compatibility is key. Invest time in understanding your needs and finding a VA who aligns with your business goals. Wing offers both general virtual assistants to handle everyday tasks and specialists for niche needs within various industries and business departments. Explore the recommended platforms as your first step towards unlocking the power of virtual assistance for long-term success.

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