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The Virtual Office Secretary

Thinking of becoming a Virtual Secretary?

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Being a Virtual Secretary was mentioned on the Wrightstuff show broadcast on Tuesday 16th October 2007 on Channel 5 and I would like to use this opportunity to further explain the term Virtual Secretary as this was glossed over rather crudely by someone offering general ideas on ‘making money’.

A Virtual Secretary is not an employee of any company.  They are highly skilled, experienced, trained and dedicated self-employed professionals who, like the majority of business people, are providing a value service to the business community.  Whilst more recently the concept of outsourcing administration work to a Virtual Secretary / Assistant has gained in popularity and more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of doing so, Virtual Secretaries / Assistants have been around for over 20 years.

The difference between then and now is due in the main to advances in technology.  Remote working and outsourcing is gaining in momentum and is quite literally opening up a world of opportunities.

To succeed as a Virtual Secretary (also known as a Virtual Assistant, Virtual PA) takes more than just a PC and a few years secretarial experience – a whole lot more!

The successful businesses, of which The Virtual Office Secretary are one, are run by highly experienced Personal or Executive Assistants with strong marketing, sales and organizational skills combined with a key ingredient – entrepreneurialism.

The successful Virtual Secretaries / Assistants work from fully equipped offices with far more than a PC and internet connection.  In fact they would often rival corporate environments in terms of facilities, equipment, and range of software and once again a key ingredient – flexibility.

Their skills are vast and have been developed over many years, often culminating in Personal / Executive Assistant positions at MD, CEO and President level.  It is at this level that a Personal / Executive Assistant knows what it takes to keep a busy professional or executive focused on their core activities and is able to provide the range of support necessary – instinctively knowing what needs to be done rather than being directed to do so.

This is the level of support expected in large corporations and is invaluable to the SME market and where the successful Virtual Secretary / Assistant is perfectly positioned.

Many Virtual Secretaries / Assistants work alone, but increasingly they are forming networks to broaden their range of service offering, increase capacity, provide a “virtual team” for larger projects, increase knowledge base and facilitate collaboration with their peers.

Simple benefits to clients of Virtual Secretaries / Assistants include:

No Overheads

Cost Effectiveness




As such and as a general rule, Virtual Secretaries / Assistants do not employ staff – They are not employment agencies.  Why offer such invaluable benefits to their clients but not allow their own businesses to benefit in the same way?

All professionals working within the network of The Virtual Office Secretary have:

They all are also:

Whilst many people start a Virtual Secretarial / Assistant business as a means of generating an income whilst raising a young family, and indeed this was the same for myself, it is not one for the faint-hearted.

At the end of the day, if you commit to a client to completing a task or project at an agreed time and then you fail the likelihood is that the client will send you no further work – a lost client!

Likewise, the same happens within any Virtual Secretarial / Assistant network.  Clients are hard won.  Keeping them and servicing their business requirements is vital.  Any network must work as a team to maintain exacting high standards and ensure continuity of service – our clients rely on us as do their businesses.

So what are the options?


Is being a Virtual Secretary / Assistant a great way to earn an income? - YES

Does it allow flexibility and for a healthy work/life balance? - MOST OF THE TIME

Is running your own business rewarding - YES

Is it for everyone? - NO

Is it easy? - NO

Is it for you? - IT COULD BE!


The Virtual Office Secretary was established in 2000 is run and managed by Sarah Rhoads.  Sarah has a wealth of experience having worked in a number of large corporate organisations at Personal / Executive Assistant level and also as sales executive and Marketing Manager.

Her network of Virtual Secretaries / Assistants is growing rapidly as her business is growing and they boast an enviable client base.

The Virtual Office Secretary does not employ any staff directly.  However, if you would like advice and guidance on starting your own business in this market, there are a myriad of “business in a box” solutions or “How to” guides available on the internet.  There are also valuable conferences being run throughout the country, ideal for both the fledgling and experienced Virtual Secretary / Assistant. 

Alternatively, please subscribe to our “Business Direction” Newsletter, at an annual cost of £200.00 (instalment options available upon request), which is published bi-monthly and aims to provide you with the right tools and advice to setting up on your own.  Subscribers can also use The Virtual Office Secretary as a resource and support on an ongoing basis – we want you to succeed.  There remains plenty of room for excellent Virtual Secretaries / Assistants in the industry.


It will not happen overnight.

You need to understand your market and match your service offering accordingly.

You need to work hard to make it a success.

To fulfil your potential you will need to be 100% committed






Meet the The Virtual Office Secretary at the


                                               A member of the

                                    Alliance of UK Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce - Member


UK Secretarial Services companies


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Last updated October 23, 2007


Preferred supplier to

Zurich Financial Services Group Plc




It will not happen overnight.

You need to understand your market and match your service offering accordingly.

You need to work hard to make it a success.

To fulfil your potential you will need to be 100% committed