Tonya Thomas was surfing the internet one day about two decades ago when she stumbled on a virtual assistant training program. At the time, she worked as an executive assistant for a construction company that employed her husband, which required frequent cross-country moves.
“When I saw the course, I thought, ‘OK. This is perfect,’” she says. “So, I took the training program, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Thomas founded The Small Office Assistant, a virtual assistant company, in 2001. She quickly became uninspired with the work, finding herself in a technical role more than the CEO role.
“I was having a coaching session with someone I was working with, and she said, ‘You don’t have a business, you have a job you created for yourself,’” Thomas says. That inspired her to rebrand the company and revamp its business model.
The result: Team Delegate, a fully remote executive assistant company that pairs executives and businesses directly with an assistant who best fits their needs.
Thomas is the matchmaker, assisting with the client onboarding process using her proprietary delegation system. Most clients are privately-owned companies that require general administrative work and C-Suiters who need a personal assistant to help with inbox and calendar management.
Team Delegate’s revenue grew 30 percent in August and 46 percent in September.
Having a virtual assistant instead of an in-house assistant is beneficial for clients in a couple of ways, Thomas says. “Anytime we do something, we do it, and that’s it. There’s no downtime,” she says. There are also cost savings; the assistants work as independent contractors, meaning there are no extra taxes associated with their work.
In an increasingly virtual world, remote services like those that Team Delegate offers are becoming more in demand. Thomas says her company saw August revenue increase by 30 percent and September revenue increase by 46 percent.
“There’s explosive growth in the industry,” she says. This is particularly true on the corporate side, she adds. “Now that a lot of companies are going remote, they are more open to the idea of using virtual services,” Thomas says. “They see that it works, and it works well.”