Have you heard of the term "team VA?"
Well, guess what? There’s no such thing.
What there are, are virtual temp/virtual staffing services. These models work with clients just like a temp agency would–by supplying and rotating help according to client specifications. If someone gets sick, they have someone else to fill in. It’s a commoditized version of support without any true relationship and none of the value that goes with a true, committed right-hand relationship with a self-managed, self-directed Virtual Assistant business owner.
That’s absolutely NOT the same thing as Virtual Assistance. What I see is that those folks don’t understand themselves what Virtual Assistance is all about and how it is vastly different from secretarial services.
Secretarial services are project based models. They conduct business on a transactional basis, sort of like your local Kinko’s. You have a project, you submit it to them, they get it done, and that’s the extent of the relationship. It’s one-off or occasional. Sure, you might be a repeat customer. They might know your name and the name of your company. They might send referrals your way. But they have no further meaningful role in their customers’ businesses. That’s a transaction-based model.
Virtual Assistance, on the other hand, is a relationship-based model. Virtual Assistance is the profession of administrative experts. Virtual Assistance is about working in ongoing, relational collaboration across the board with clients–not on one specific service. It’s inherently a solo-based model because it is fundamentally about the unique and intimate working dynamic that happens only between two people–the Virtual Assistant professional and the client.
Being someone who realizes the importance of accuracy and using proper terminology, I think it’s important for us to recognize and understand these differences.