Outsourced services has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, and it looks like it’s not slowing down soon. There are so many companies that facilitate the hiring of outsourced professionals, and two providers you might consider are Zirtual and Magic. Before you decide between a Magic virtual assistant or a Zirtual VA, you need to consider the pros and cons of both services. While both of these companies have been on the market for years with many satisfied customers, the simple fact is that they’re not identical.
So what makes Magic and Zirtual so different? And which company should you choose?
As we compare and contrast these companies in this article, you should also consider that there are other options out there. Wing offers unlimited, dedicated, trained virtual assistants for busy businesses, startups, and executives. Wing VAs can handle a variety of tasks, are overseen by operations managers, and offer a great value for your money; all of these factors are essential things to consider when contracting a managed VA solution.
What to Consider When Hiring Virtual Assistant Companies
Like any other research process, you’ll want to read reviews and check with trusted associates when choosing between competing virtual assistant companies. But sometimes you can’t always rely on word of mouth or personal recommendations.
If you’re shopping around for a VA solution and doing your own research, you’ll want to consider a few different factors before making your decision, including:
- Company reputation
- Variety of offerings
Let’s review the specifics of these factors and see how a Magic virtual assistant stacks up against one from Zirtual.
Reputation and how they fulfill work
Both Magic and Zirtual have strong reputations and have been in the virtual assistant business for many years. Odds are you wouldn’t be considering them if they were not well known. But there are distinct differences to how they fulfill work tasks. Magic asks you to choose between a few service options:
- Monthly business plan
Each of these tiers provides a different level of service, with the consumer and business monthly plans featuring managed assistants, while dedicated assistants are unmanaged.
An unmanaged approach may be fine for your business but it’s important to know what you’re signing up for. In many cases, having a manager there to oversee your VA is worth the extra cost. Virtual Assistants are often tasked with working independently. A remote assistant manager can help give feedback and guidance when you’re not available and keep things running smoothly.
Wing operations managers oversee teams of VAs and provide consistent feedback to ensure professional development. With this approach you can be confident that another experienced professional is looking out for your business. While some services charge extra for an “account manager”, your Wing operations manager is included in your monthly cost. Think of it as two for the price of one.
While you might get an unmanaged Magic virtual assistant, Zirtual oversees all their VAs, regardless of price tier. You can choose between tiers at a variety of price points and expect the same dedicated service, just for different amounts of time. This offers a level of flexibility that many teams appreciate, but the number of hours per Zirtual pricing tier is pretty low, which brings us to our next topic: price versus value for money.
Price versus value for money
As with any other service, it’s important to look at the fine print when considering the cost of a virtual assistant. Two services that offer the exact same price tag may differ markedly in what they offer and the value they can provide for your business.
Here’s a list of a few things to considerations to make when deciding whether a VA service is a good value for your money:
- How much time can a VA save?
- Will a VA free you up to do more meaningful tasks?
- What’s included in the cost of your virtual assistant?
- When is your VA available?
- How much work does the hourly cost cover?
- Will it take long to onboard your virtual assistant?
- How quickly will VAs complete tasks?
This last point, response time, is important to consider and we’ll discuss in more detail later. In a fast-paced business environment there are many tasks that are very time-sensitive, like social media management and customer relations.
Consider VA company pricing tiers
Circling back to our company comparison, Zirtual pricing tiers start at 12 hours of work per month for one user, with the Startup Plan being 24 hours for 2 users. This is not a lot of time for the cost, especially when you consider all of the tasks a busy startup has.
Magic’s beginning plan offers a dedicated assistant for high growth businesses starting at $10 an hour. On the surface this looks like a lot better value for your money. This price is much lower than Zirtual, but if you want the same level of service and availability, you’ll want to bump up to a tier and pay more, which of course bumps your value down.
Wing offers unlimited virtual assistance for the hours your VA is available with a response time of 3-5 minutes depending on your plan. In addition, Wing VAs typically cost 85% less than a traditional full-time employee. Wing VAs work 5 days a week and you can decide which blocks of time you’d like your VA available during the week (four or eight hour blocks, depending on your plan).
Number of tasks covered
Some VAs specialize in particular tasks and that might be just fine for your business. But most businesses need a generalist who can handle a lot of different tasks and manage multiple deadlines.
Here are a few of the tasks that a virtual assistant can handle for your business:
- Expenses and Invoices
- Web Research
- Scheduling and reminders
- Data Entry
- Shopping and Supplies
- CRM Tools
- Internal Support
A Magic virtual assistant and a Zirtual VA can handle most of these tasks. But in the case of Magic, different tasks may be handled by different VAs based on their skills. In most instances this is fine as long as someone gets the job done correctly. But sometimes it helps to have a dedicated assistant who is familiar with your particular business needs.
Each Wing VA can do unlimited tasks and works with a task queue. Just add tasks to the queue and you can be confident that your Wing VA will get them done. This allows you to work with one dedicated assistant who knows your business inside and out, saving you time and increasing value.
So now that we’ve compared the two – which is better, Magic or Zirtual?
Should I get a Magic Virtual Assistant or a Zirtual VA?
What is Magic?
Founded in 2015, Magic sources and screens virtual assistants that can be embedded in your business. Magic remote assistants can handle a variety of tasks and usually work in teams of roughly 3-5 trained generalists or specialists (for the mid-tier Consumer Plan and monthly Business Plan).
Here are a few of the skills that a trained Magic virtual assistant can handle:
- Sales (LinkedIn management, finding and sourcing leads)
- Administrative (Calendar and inbox management, e-commerce inventory)
- Recruiting (Technical recruiting, scheduling and coordinating interviews)
What makes a Magic Virtual Assistant a good choice?
One of the key benefits of Magic Virtual Assistant is flexibility. There are no long term commitments (unless you opt for the pricier monthly plan). As the company’s website states, you can hire a remote assistant for as low as $10 an hour and they bill weekly, with no contracts or annual commitments.
Magic is ideal for companies that have short term or sporadic needs and do not require a dedicated solution. Your VA will indeed be dedicated during the time you hire them, but if you stop using Magic and decide to restart in a few months there is no guarantee you will retain the same talent. That being said, if the price sounds good and this arrangement works for your business in the short term, hiring a Magic virtual assistant makes a lot of sense.
But some businesses need a dedicated long-term solution. A dedicated VA will get to know your team. He or she will understand your products, your customers, and how best to prioritize tasks. This makes it a lot easier to complete more complex jobs like sales calls.
With a dedicated VA like the ones offered by Wing, you can delegate tasks like social media marketing and sales calls and be confident that your VA understands your business. Of course, not all companies need this approach, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
What are the drawbacks of hiring Magic?
One of the drawbacks of hiring a Magic virtual assistant is the price. While $10 an hour seems pretty low for a virtual assistant this is only the starting rate. The next tier up is $35 an hour, which works out to a lot more than many of Magic’s competitors as you scale up the hours. So, you’ll end up paying more for the exact same set of services.
And don’t forget training and onboarding. As a manager, you must also factor in the amount of time that it takes to train new talent if you decide to leave Magic and come back. Some businesses that have short term goals may not be concerned about this, but if you’re looking for a VA for the long term and don’t want to pay the cost of higher Magic tiers, this is worth keeping in mind.
What is Zirtual?
Zirtual is a popular virtual assistant company that was founded in 2011. The company offers trained VAs to support your business with one monthly fee.
Zirtual VAs can provide support for many tasks, including:
- Social media marketing
- Online research
- Phone calls and meeting scheduling
- Travel booking
What makes Zirtual a good choice?
One of the reasons Zirtual is a good choice is flexibility and variety of services that are all rolled into one transparent monthly cost. Many businesses rely on Zirtual VAs to complete a number of tasks, including inbox and calendar management, expenses and invoices, social media strategy, research, and data entry.
In a fast-paced business environment it is important to onboard a VA who can complete a wide variety of overflow tasks. If you’re going to spend time onboarding and training a VA, it’s nice to know that they can handle whatever overflow task comes their way.
That being said, there are a few services that Zirtual doesn’t provide, including:
- Customer support
Wing VAs can handle customer support, sales and reception, and all Wing VAs are fluent in English and will arrive on day one ready to interface with customers after receiving background information from you on your company.
What are the drawbacks of hiring Zirtual?
One of the drawbacks of Zirtual is the amount of hours your VA is available. Some companies, like Wing, offer unlimited virtual assistance 5 days a week during the times that you decide. Wing’s VA plans start at 4 hours a day for one user (totaling roughly 80 hours a month). Zirtual plans start at 12 hours a month for about the same cost which adds up to less value for your money.
You also want to consider response times when comparing services. While Magic and Wing offer response times in the range of a few minutes, Zirtual can only promise that their assistants will get back to you within two hours, either with a completed task or with an estimated delivery time.
Magic Virtual Assistant vs. Zirtual VA: Which is Better?
If you’re looking for a long term, dedicated VA solution, Zirtual is a better value than Magic. With Zirtual, you’ll have a variety of services rolled into a tier with transparent pricing. You’ll be working with the same assistant and can build a relationship over time. Magic’s pay-as-you-go approach doesn’t allow for this kind of flexibility and dependability, at least not at the entry level price point. That being said, Zirtual is not a great value for your money because you only get about 12 hours per month at the entry level tier.
If neither Magic nor Zirtual are the right fit for your company, consider Wing. Wing VAs provide all the services that Zirtual VAs do and more. Meanwhile, Wing offers competitive pricing, with VAs available five days a week for four to eight hours at a time.
Wing Offers High Quality VA Support
With so many options for virtual assistant support, it’s a good idea to do your research. Wing has you covered with managed, trained, and dedicated assistants that can do a variety of tasks starting at 499/mo for 4 hours per day, Monday to Friday.
Wing doesn’t just provide top-notch VA support—it takes on the difficult work of hiring, vetting, and ramping up for clients. With Wing, you’re sure that you’re not just offloading work to some external party. You’re handing it off to an experienced professional surrounded by a team of supervisors and customer success managers who want you to reach (or smash!) your goals.
Schedule an intro call or chat with Wing today to find out how we can help your business.
Dan Eder writes frequently about digital marketing trends, SaaS, and e-commerce. He has previously worked as a content writer at an SEO agency for tech companies, an e-commerce specialist at a Fortune 500 company, and a journalist for several educational outlets. Read more from him at www.daneder.com.