Market Analysis Summary
Everywhere Assistant has segmented the market into three attractive, distinct, customer segments. Services will targeted to companies, individuals, and not for profit organizations. Market research indicates that these are the most likely consumers of remote administrative assistants. The virtual assistant is fairly new, proliferating with the Internet which allows service providers in remote locations to serve a large geographic range of clients. Membership records within the larger virtual assistant associations indicates that there are typically 10-15 virtual assistants within each state.
4.1 Market Segmentation
Everywhere Assistant has identified three customer segments which are the most attractive for the virtual assistant industry. These segments are customers who tend to consume the largest amount of virtual assistant services.
For a variety of reason companies are an attractive segment. Some companies have been going through corporate downsizing as a means for decreasing overhead/ the burn rate. While this does assist reducing monthly expenditures, often the company soon there after realizes that were certain necessary services being provided by the personnel that were let go. Companies also use virtual assistants for projects that come up with little notice and they need a helping hand. The virtual assistants are particularly useful because the companies only pay for the services rendered, there is no continual employment or equipment overhead.
- There are 36,554 potential customers
- Sizes for companies range from small organizations of a few people to large corporations
- Some companies will use Everywhere Assistant on a random basis, others may sign Everywhere Assistant initially on a retainer basis. This arrangement is initial because once business become more full, the highest billing rate work will be sought out since the number of hours available is limited.
Virtual assistants are also useful to may different individuals. The individuals are likely to use the assistants for tasks that they do not have time for or tasks that they simply do not enjoy. These tasks could be business related, but research indicates that many of the requested tasks are personal in nature, assisting the individual with something that they do not have time for. One unexpected tasks is trip planning. The client provides the assistant with some guidelines and the assistant performs a comprehensive search of options as well as discounts/ specials.
- Typically ages 30-55
- Median individual income is $51,000
- 91% of the individuals have a college degree
- 32% have a graduate degree
These organizations are attractive customers because they are often in a funding crunch. They often do not have the funding to have some sort of assistant always on staff ready to do work as it comes along. The not-for-profit organizations are often as trim as possible regarding staffing. This sets up an excellent opportunity for Everywhere Assistant who can provide administrative services when needed, but are not a resource drain when there is no work. Everywhere Assistant will serve a wide range of not-for-profit organizations.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
The targeted customers: companies, individuals, and not for profits were chosen because they all are likely to have a need for a virtual assistant, all for different reasons. As companies continue to become as efficient as possible, they are keeping their current employees as busy as possible. Often they are to busy to take care of projects that come up randomly, that is were Everywhere Assistant comes in.
Individuals will have a demand for Everywhere Assistant for tasks that they either do not have the time for or do not want to do. This is especially true as we (Americans) have less and less free. This then fuels our desire to pick and choose the activities that we have time for or care to do, and then subcontracted out the things we do not do. Not for profits are also attractive as they are the organizations who often have the least funds so creative options to complete tasks are always considered. Everywhere Assistant allows them to have someone complete the task with out the typical overhead associated with the worker.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
Virtual Assistants is a fairly new industry that has arisen from the convenience of the Internet. The Internet created a medium where people could communicate, transfer files electronically, do research, and find people all from one's home. In essence the Internet has created a "web" connecting people in remote locations.
The other factor that fueled the growth of virtual assistants was the downsizing of the business world. This created a lot of opportunities for virtual assistants because companies were getting slimmer and slimmer and for the small, random projects that would pop up they would just subcontract out the work. When you combine the market need for projects and the Internet as the connection to these remote people, you have a new business model.
There has also been the development of a few organizations that specifically serve virtual assistants that has assisted the growth and legitimacy of the industry. The associations have developed certification programs that has assisted growth by helping establish trust between two unknown parties. The certifications provide indications of minimum levels of skills as well as work product.
As technology increases, more and more tasks will be able to be accomplished remotely, sending the finished product electronically as well as even having face to face video conferences remotely allowing to simulate a face to face meeting, however, the two parties could be half way around the world.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
By virtue of the nature of virtual assistants (VA), competition does not have a significant physical boundaries. While there typically is 10-20 registered/ certified VA's per state, there is no advantage in choosing a VA from one state relative to another state. VAs therefore compete on availability, costs, work product and skill set.
If the projects are easy costs is likely going to be a main choice factor. If time is of the essence then availability will rule, lastly is the task is difficult the VA is likely to be chosen on their ability to handle the task. Please note that these considerations are primarily for the initial selection of a VA. Once a VA has been found and has been used a couple of times, it is likely that the client will not be looking for a new VA but will maintain a working relationship with the existing VA, assuming of course that the client's satisfaction is maintained.