Family business: Sam and Ellie of Virtalent

Name of Business: Virtalent, a Virtual Assistant service

Your names: Sam and Ellie Wilson

Having built Virtalent, our cloud-based business in the sky, we now split our time between the UK and Spain. Not only are we business partners, but we happen to be married too so Virtalent is very much a family affair!

In a previous life, Sam spent time coaching small businesses at Aston Business School and helped launch Silicon Canal – Birmingham’s answer to Silicon Valley. Before turning his hand to building businesses, Sam also headed up sales for a small start-up (where he glamorously sold bathroom suites over the phone) and in marketing for a group of private international schools. 

Before Virtalent, Ellie spent time working as a freelance Consultant to help review operational and recruitment processes – from small companies looking to scale up, through to the Global Head of Digital Marketing for GlaxoSmithKline. 

As entrepreneurs, opportunity came out of our shared frustration of being unable to find reliable long-term support we could rely on. Sensing a gap in the market, we began to explore the burgeoning Virtual Assistant sector, and discovered a wealth of professional VAs able to work closely with clients remotely.

Other VA companies existed, but we wanted to challenge the way of the conventional ‘task-focused’ Virtual Assistant agency model – which focused on quantity over quality. Instead, we focused on building meaningful one-to-one relationships with both clients and VAs. We wanted to put people before profits. 

And so, in the summer of 2014, Virtalent was born.

We have put absolutely everything we have into Virtalent. 

Each year since launch day, we have more than doubled Virtalent’s revenue, year-on-year, without fail. All without any VCs or comfortable savings accounts to fund anything at all. We continually reinvested any profit and occasionally took a trip to the bank! 

Everything has been done entirely remotely, we’ve never rented an office and we’ve always managed a team across the breadth of the UK. From our sales team in The Wirral to our Client Success Manager in Yorkshire, we’ve never met each other in person but it’s clear to us that we have built a team we can always depend on.

Our vision has always been to create a smarter and more convenient way for entrepreneurs to access a variety of skills through one managed service. The service we provide allows ambitious business owners to raise their aspirations, free up their precious time and focus their mind on growing their company.

We’ve incredibly proud of our cloud-based culture. And it really works. We now have close to 70 ambitious, extraordinarily talented Virtual Assistants who really dig our remote mantra. They can reach for the stars doing a job they excel at, but with no commute and a flexible schedule that gives them the ultimate work-life balance. Need to pick up the kids from school one day? No problem. Want to go for a morning run before settling into your comfy home office? You got it.

Bring on the next 5 years! The best is yet to come.

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