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Virtual Gurus: Virtual Superheroes Achieving Double the Success


Gone are the days of unfinished tasks, unscheduled meetings, and missed deadlines. For decades, productivity has been a major hurdle for thousands of eager businessmen. Today, running a business solo is out of fashion - and personal assistants are taking the center stage! Every Iron Man needs its own Jarvis, and so, every business - physical or online - requires its manager. For this reason, Bobbie Racette created Virtual Gurus.

If you're looking for a virtual assistant for your business, Virtual Gurus can match you with the ideal candidate. The platform has gathered all the top–tier virtual assistants worldwide, able to work around the clock. With the aid of a virtual assistant, businessmen can make greater use of your full-time staff, cut expenses, and save a significant amount of time.

Bobbie Racette’s decision to start Virtual Gurus required more than just business acumen - here’s how the company’s narrative unfolded over the years.

From a Freelancer to a CEO

Bobbie Racette, the Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, has always shown signs of being a natural leader. He had worked hard to overcome her terrible background and managed to channel his energy in aiing many outcasts who also don't fit the corporate box. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and the child of two mothers, Bobbie used to struggle with harsh discrimination on regular basis. As a result, she had a lot of heartbreaks to deal with throughout her journey.

Initially, Bobbie started working at an oil and gas company, where the work was steady and busy all the time. But, when the oil price collapsed in 2015, thousands of people including Bobbie, were forced out of work. Applying for jobs was easier said than done, given the detailed process and its inefficient system performance. These obstacles, technical as they were, had Bobbie wondering whether there was a more apt option for job seekers in Canada.

Bobbie Racette started as a freelancer herself, while tirelessly building the vision of Bobbie’s offices in Calgary, Alberta for new opportunities. With her desire to develop new ideas and create a positive social impact in the Indigenous Community, her success was guaranteed.

2015 Marks the Beginning, 2017 Marks the Year

As a freelancer, before she started collaborating with Raven Indigenous, there were a couple of times where Bobbie thought about turning freelancing into a small business. Raven Indigenous Capital Partners is a company that invests in Indigenous Social Enterprise to facilitate the flow of capital and support the revitalization of Canada’s Indigenous economy.

Bobbie Racette launched her company Virtual Gurus in 2015. Even so, she didn’t sign her first client until two years later, in 2017. Virtual Gurus is a two-sided marketplace integrating two cultures that provide equal employment opportunities to historically underrepresented individuals. gurus working with the program are trained to be dedicated virtual assistants, able to help all busy organizations accomplish more. As for clients looking for virtual assistants, they just have to visit the VIrtual Gurus’s Talent Marketplace and take their pick.

Virtual Gurus’ main office is situated in Calgary, Alberta. The platform works via a project management system offering complete transparency - from the time the client starts working with the assistant until their project is finished.

Taking It Step by Step

One of the things Bobbie has figured out over time was that, in 2017, the company’s matchmaking rate was between 20% to 40%, which she considered a success.

In the beginning, virtual assistants would simply find a client match. However, the platform refined its offering and introduced interviews, so the top three or four matches could be estimated. As the concept is new to many, Bobbie encourages a little bit of “hand-holding” from the company’s account managers.

Internally, virtual assistants that are hired to work on the platform will sign a diversity and inclusion contract listing all client differences. For the company, the most important thing is to understand clients’ culture and how to work their way into it. Opening those doors has escalated the company’s matchmaking success rate to a whopping 90-95%.

When virtual assistants come into Bobbie’s agency, they fill out a VA vital statistics form and keep it updated henceforth. The form then goes into the platform’s new matchmaking algorithm profiles, updated every month. All this can be seen live on the platform’s website.

The Assistant Academy

There are free courses from the Virtual Gurus Academy where assistants improve their skills, get higher pay, and move into different systems. Assistants that are in training also have a private Facebook and Slack group. There, they get the assistance, and the tech and social media support they need. Even more, they regularly get vouchers for dinner parties, where they can socialize and build their team spirit.

Working hours at the platform are flexible. Say, if the virtual assistant can work from 11 am to 4 pm, the platform gives them working hours tailored to their needs. Employees are welcome to work anywhere from 10 to 60 hours a month. Interestingly, the company doesn’t let gurus jump right into 160 hours - they have to prove themselves first!

One of the Largest Corporations in Canada

Since Raven’s investment, Bobbie grew the company staff, from 5 to 17 members.

About 400 contractors are actively working on the platform database, 3,000 of whom have been pre-vetted and ready for work.

In March 2021, the company closed more than a million dollars in new investment. Since the closing of the round, their year-over-year growth has changed over 110%. The total funding amount of the company is around $2.6 million, carried out in 2 rounds.

The latest funding took place on April 15, 2021, from a Seed round. Apart from Raven, the other two investors are The 51 Ventures and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

For Bobbie, every hire still feels deeply personal and takes her back to her own beginnings. Seeing where she came from and how far she’s come motivates her to keep aiming higher and bigger. When Bobbie first launched the company she couldn’t imagine its groundbreaking success.

It just evolved with the flow.

Recently, Bobbie was named Canada’s Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year, and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. She continues nurturing her passion for mentoring and collaborates with the First Nations Youth that shows interest in tech and business.

Virtual Gurus Today

Given its business-driven mission, Virtual Gurus grew to become the largest freelancing platform in Canada, with its headquarters in Alberta.

During the pandemic, Bobbie provided free services to around 110 startup clients in Canada and helped them reduce their fees. With this tactical move alone, the company witnessed a 13%, 17%, then 66% month-over-month growth in September 2020.

Virtual Gurus never wanted to be a local Canadian company only, so they expanded their services and offers to the US market as well. In the US, the company provides their clients with a virtual local system, so the client can meet their match more efficiently. Although the work is done remotely, clients and assistants who feel the need to meet up in person can, by all means, do it.

Virtual Gurus proved that virtual assistants can do a marvelous job in building anyone’s brand image to the nines. Tackling various tasks at once - managing ads, revamping content, showcasing via social media platforms, and implementing marketing strategies - are Virtual Gurus’ specialties. With all these implemented, the platform lets thousands of clients know that a quality assistant is, indeed, half your business!