Using outsourced help – whether that’s using a virtual assistant to help you book travel or hiring a development firm to build your website – is something that nearly all businesses need from time to time. But finding a qualified person to do that job from freelance job boards on online recommendations can be difficult. A company called Leverage wants to make using virtual assistance easier for individuals, small businesses and larger organizations by offering an on-demand workforce that can do just about anything.
The way co-founder Ari Meisel described Leverage’s value proposition is that it “can do anything that’s legal for anyone or any business.”
This includes things like personal shopping or travel planning for overwhelmed and very busy working professionals, as well as business needs like graphic design, building websites or apps, producing podcasts, crafting a sales funnel, and more.
The idea for Leverage begin, as many companies do, with a personal struggle. Nine years ago, Meisel was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and found he needed to reduce his own stress levels by slowing down how much he was doing – leading to a need for outsourced help.
When he met friend and co-founder Nick Sonnenberg, who then happened to be working on his own productivity app at the time, the startup idea was born.
The two founders launched Leverage the day after the shutdown of a notable name in the virtual assistance market, Zirtual. Immediately, they had 10 clients from a Mastermind coaching group Meisel was running.
What makes Leverage different from hiring a virtual assistant on your own is not just the quality and expertise of the team members it offers.
“You don’t just get an individual assistant, you get the whole team,” explains Meisel. “We provide the personalization of the individual assistant with the expertise and the bandwidth of the whole team.”
By their first full year of business, Leverage had grown its revenue to $1 million, and is on track for $4 million this year. It now has a client base of around 450 customers who range from busy individuals and small businesses to large companies and organizations that have as much as $100 million in revenue per year.
Its customer base today includes a number of notable names, including Shark Tank’s Daymond John, NYT bestselling author Sally Hogshead, marketing guru Joe Polish, Gazelles Inc. founder and CEO Verne Harnish, and others. It also has a number of business customers, including some government agencies.
To use Leverage, businesses pay $199 per month for a subscription and then another $40 per hour, which is billed by the second. The subscription includes unlimited (unbillable) coaching, as well. This makes Leverage not just another outsourced workforce option but also a business consulting service, Meisel says.
In addition, members gain access to a Slack community of around 500 members which focuses on the topic of increasing productivity.
The company went on stage this afternoon at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017 (where it won the Wild Card spot to compete in the Startup Battlefield) to preview its own product management software, Leverage Dashbrd. The application will be free to use, but will have the ability to instantly outsource tasks to its workforce with the touch of a button.
Leverage has been profitable from day one, the founders claim, and has never raised outside funding.