Secretarial services are often mistaken same as virtual office assistance. The latter is an evolution of the other. Stacy Brice envisioned the business model concept where the role of an administrative secretary is raised to equal & collaborative partnership with the clients of his/her choice and thus the concept of virtual assistance originated. Though similar, there are few remarkable differences between the 2.
Focus- The focus of secretarial services is one-off, occasional piecemeal-work whereas virtual office assistant focuses on ongoing, across the board & systematic administrative support.
Client expectations- The client of secretarial services is not looking for a partner but completion of the project or task in hand. A client seeking virtual assistance is looking for an administrative partner who would understand the business as intimately as the client himself and provide support for any number of tasks or projects in a continuous capacity.
The relationship- The relationship between the secretarial service provider and its client is very transactional whereas in the other case the relationship is that of an ongoing partnership. The personal involvement which a virtual assistant puts in his/her client relationships is absent in the former case.