I'm excited to share with you the first day of working into building an outsourcing service.
I came across an episode from the Mixergy podcast where Andrew interviewed Assistantly founder, Laith Masarweh. He started a virtual team staffing service during the pandemic and in less than one year he starting earning over $1M in revenue. With around 40% profit!
This made me curious about his business model. So I decided to make a quick exercise to assess its viability. I'll try to make it short because I don't want to overthink.
I'm aware there are tons of VAs companies out there. Some might say it's a saturated market. But I see this as a validation of the demand.
- A simple search in the /r/slavelabour subreddit threw +40 people looking for VAs in the past month.
- Upwork shows +10 posts of people looking for an assistant IN THE PAST HOUR.
- The term "virtual assistant" has 500k monthly searches on Google.
The pricing model depends on the amount of hours worked and the specialization of the person's skill set.
These are the monthly prices:
- Virtual team member: $997 part-time (80 hrs./month) / $1799 full-time (160 hrs./month)
- Unicorn: $1,197 part-time / $1,999 full-time
That's an average of $12.7 per hour. Which is pretty standard for VA prices.
This is far less than what Prialto charges:
- 1 unit: from $1,350 for 55 hrs./month
- 3+ units: from $4,050 for 165+ hrs./month
That's $24.5 per hour. I think this is because the service is more specialized than what a VA does and they're also more involved in the business process management.
The greatest cost will be staffing. So this is going to be my riskiest economic variable.
In Upwork there are postings looking for VAs paying between $3-10 per hour. I think that paying around $5-$6 per hour would be a fair wage.
I found virtual assistant offers from as low as $3 per hour at the /r/slavelabour subreddit
So I might end up having a $5-$6 margin per hour if I consider the lowest price range. This leaves me room to invest in things like:
- Paying for tools that let me and the assistants do better work.
- Hiring more than one person for the same job for the assistants testing period.
- Paying people for custom training around the job tasks.
Overall I'd say it seems like a pretty viable business model.
I'll do this as quick as possible. I'm convinced that it has a very low impact, specially at the beginning.
Choosing the name
I need to come up with a name for this. I know this is not that relevant.
I'm using Namelix to generate name ideas and namecheckr to see the social media and domain availability.
Playing with both, I ended up with this shortlist:
I'll go with Beyondtal for this. I like the way it sounds and it seems professional.
Buying the domain
I bought the domain www.beyondtal.com in Namecheap for $9.16. I have a hosting there too that I'll use for this.
This is what I did:
- Set up the domain as an addon domain.
- I had to wait a bit for the automatic SSL certificate installation.
- Installed WordPress in the domain.
Creating the logo
I used Looka to get some ideas and get a nice color palette. I picked a logo that was easy to replicate. This took me about 15 minutes.
Creating the social media accounts
I created a few admin email accounts and saved the credentials in Bitwarden.
Now's when the fun part starts. I'll focus on writing the offer based on Russell Brunson and Alex Hormozi's frameworks.
I'll study a couple of competitors and their services reviews to find customers' pain points. I'll try to do what Rohan Gilkes did with his company: he built it around not doing the things his competitors' sucked at.
This mental model is called inversion. The idea is that when you try to avoid losing, you might end up winning more.
To finish I'll leave you with a Charlie Munger quote for you to ponder:
It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. There must be some wisdom in the folk saying, `It’s the strong swimmers who drown.’