Why, as a competitor, I am heartbroken about Zirtual
Published by Time etcfounder and CEO at
A few weeks ago I saw this video of Maren, CEO and founder of Zirtual. In the video she mentioned Zirtual's run rate was around 10 million dollars and that the company had some 400 full-time assistants. At the time I did some quick maths and worked Zirtual's average revenue per assistant was about $25,000 - a figure that's way, way too close (or even below) the cost of employing each assistant.
At the time I admired Maren's courage and figured Zirtual must be about to raise a massive round of financing to continue their exciting growth path. Several weeks later it appears as though things have gone very wrong - with Zirtual ceasing their operations.
As a Virtual Assistant service that has enjoyed healthy competition with Zirtual over the past few years the general consensus is that we must be delighted that things have gone wrong for them. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Why I am truly heartbroken
Zirtual, more than any other Virtual Assistant service, has done more to raise awareness of the Virtual Assistant market and educate entrepreneurs and busy professionals that there is a way to get the help they need without hiring a full time assistant.
They spread the word about what's possible when you hire a Virtual Assistant faster than we could - and blazed a bright trail in an industry that had very little media and social coverage prior to their arrival on the scene. They communicated something very complicated in a way that was easy to understand for almost everyone.
And now, they're gone - and suddenly too. They leave a huge void in our industry and hundreds of unanswered questions from clients and assistants alike.
The reason I feel sorrow today is that, following Zirtual's sudden closure, I fear people will lose faith in Virtual Assistants - the implication being that hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs will potentially miss out on the support they really need to reach the next level in their business and an equal number of Virtual Assistants may be deprived of the opportunity to work for some incredible people from home.
I reached out to both investors and executives at Zirtual to see if we can help within hours of the news being announced but I have yet to hear back. There is a very real possibility that we could use Time etc's technology to continue providing a Zirtual service to clients AND continue providing work to Zirtual assistants.
In the meantime our team are actively helping both Zirtual clients and assistants who email us at email@example.com. Email us and we'll reply within an hour.
CEO and Founder - Time etc
Update: I am being asked by Zirtual customers if we can help find a replacement assistant. Please email a copy of your latest Zirtual receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll reply with advice.
We're a highly rated and Award Winning Virtual Assistant company - founded in 2007. So far we've helped more than 4,500 businesses in the U.S. and UK and taken care of more than 1,100,000 tasks, assignments and projects for our clients.