Secretarial Services or Virtual Assistant?
If you consider providing secretarial or typing services, you've probably wondered what
the difference is between a secretarial service business and a virtual assistant business.
These terms are often interchanged. Busy professionals, businesses, and entrepreneurs
are using secretarial services and virtual assistants for the same reasons:
• They need help with administrative work, office support services, routine
tasks, and other time-consuming projects.
• They don't want to hire a full-time in-house secretary and provide employee
benefits, office space and equipment.
• They don't have time to do all the work themselves and use outside help to
take some of the workload off their shoulders.
Here are some similarities between secretarial services and VAs:
• They provide administrative support to businesses and entrepreneurs and a
variety of office support services that may include typing, word processing, data entry,
Internet research, email services, correspondence, and clerical tasks typically performed
by an office secretary.
• They are self-employed entrepreneurs and independent contractors.
• They work from their own office and use their own equipment.
By using the Internet, email, phone, and mailing services, businesses can outsource any
work that can be done from a remote location, and virtual assistants and secretarial
services can assist businesses from anywhere in the world.
What are the differences between a secretarial service operator and a virtual assistant?
• Secretarial services are perceived as typists and word processors. VAs are
portrayed as highly skilled and trained professionals.
• Secretarial services are typically providing typing, word processing, data
entry and other office support services. In addition to typical secretarial services, VAs
often provide specialized services. These may include graphic design, web design, bookkeeping,
realtor assistance, writing, event planning, and programming. The services VAs and secretarial
services can provide are endless depending upon their knowledge and skills.
• Secretarial services were traditionally working with local clients but
today they are also working with distance clients and can therefore call themselves
virtual assistants. Most VAs assist both local and long-distance clients.
• In the past, clients dropped off work to secretarial services but today
they often work through email, phone, fax and mail. VAs get work assignments through the
Internet, telephone, fax, and email.
• VAs need a web site, must be Internet savvy, and must be proficient with
Internet marketing to promote their services online and get nationwide and global clients.