Over the last decade we’ve seen an evolution in business where that company’s core products are shared by its customers.  This collaborative economy enables customers to get the services they need exactly when they want them at a price that is significantly more affordable than having the service outright.

Jeremiah Owyang of CrowdCompanies.com explains that the sharing economy thrives when certain conditions are met.

Societal Drivers – As a tribal species we are naturally inclined to seek out connections with one another.  Fueled by our desire to connect we have become global, seeking out new ideas, traditions, and methods of sustaining life for generations to follow.  The exponential increase in our population paired with limited resources created a sociological shift to want to find new ways reduce consumption and do more with what we have.

Economic Drivers – With 34% of Americans looking to cut their spending people are looking for more economical ways to maintain the services they’ve become accustomed to.  On the flip side you have people looking to flexibly make extra income. This created an untapped market of laborers looking to learn skills that fit the needs of these new clients.  When you mix all this together with a wave of entrepreneurs selling their new passions to venture capitalists the economic conditions are set for collaborative consumption to thrive.

Technology Enablers – A desire to want to connect globally is one thing but actually being able to do it is another.  We’re in a world of the  internet of everything.  This opened the door for new ideas to come to fruition.  Mobile devices allow us to move from impetus to action seamlessly, social networks keep us in the know of what’s happening around the world, and availability of technology is rapidly increasing for all parts of te world including developing nations.

Now, all this sets the stage for businesses with the sharing model to thrive.

Zirtual fits in the sharing economy – our dedicated virtual executive assistants are shared among clients.  While these three conditions opened the door for founding Zirtual, we know there is more value added over hiring a traditional executive assistant.

Reduction in Time Waste

Assistants help free up your time by taking over tasks your schedule has become to full to handle; things like organizing meetings, arranging travel, transcriptions, or research to name  a few.  Passing these tasks off to an assistant can save hours a week.  Virtual assistants take it a step further because you’re only paying when they’re working.  Odds are your assistant will not be busy 24/7 (give him a raise if he is) so why burn cash on an assistants’ downtime?

No Detractions from office productivity

If you hire an assistant in-house, they become an employee.  Things like payroll, benefits, job training, development, and more all become your responsibility the second you decide to bring the position internal.  If you’re a smaller startup with limited resources it can be seen as a distraction, something taking away from the core focus of your business.  We handle all of those aspects with our virtual assistants.  All you have to concern yourself with is prioritizing which tasks to delegate.

Easy access for those in need

Did you know the average salary for an executive assistant is $47,500 a year?  That get’s closer to $60,000 when you factor in benefits and other employee costs.  New companies cannot afford to shell out that kind of money for help but still have a need for the service.  Creating access is fundamental to collaborative consumption and the idea of virtual personal assistants creates new opportunities for money conscious businesses to get the help they need.

Domestic job creation

One of the positive side-effects of hiring only US-based assistants is job creation.  We’re creating jobs for people who may not have ever had the opportunity to work.  Our assistants are made up of stay-at-home mothers & fathers, people with disabilities, people who move often but want to keep a continuous career, and people who love to travel.  We have a uniquely diverse demographic makeup and are proud to be able to give Americans new opportunities to support themselves.