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What's The Difference Between A VA & An OBM?

For many business owners, getting extra help is essential in keeping operations running smoothly. The roles of Virtual Assistants (VAs) and Online Business Managers (OBMs) have become increasingly important in improving both the functioning of a business and driving growth. To get the most effective assistance, it is essential to understand the differences between a VA and an OBM so you can hire the right support for your needs. So, let’s dive in!

Roles and Responsibilities of VAs and OBMs

Virtual Assistants are like the Swiss Army knives of the online business world. They can handle a wide range of tasks, including administrative support, email management, scheduling, social media management, customer service, and more. Often working on a task-by-task basis, a VA provides practical support when you need it.

Online Business Managers offer a higher managerial expertise, which may include overseeing the day-to-day operations of a business, and working closely with business owners to make sure everything runs smoothly. Their responsibilities often include team management, project management, system implementation, and the overall optimisation of business processes.

Level of Autonomy

VAs usually offer specific services and perform tasks independently. They often follow predefined instructions provided by the business owner. The working relationship is task-oriented, with clear briefs outlined for each assignment.

OBMs operate with a higher degree of autonomy and decision-making authority. This may include making strategic decisions, managing teams, and implementing operational changes on behalf of the business owner to enhance the overall efficiency. The OBM’s role is more about overseeing the entire area of business, rather than focusing on individual tasks.

A business owner may hand over the responsibility of their whole business, or areas of it, to an OBM. For example, operations management, marketing, team management and project management are all business areas that can be handled by an OBM.

Collaboration and Communication

VAs typically communicate directly with the business owner or a specific department manager. Communication is task-centric, focusing on the details and requirements of individual assignments. Regular updates and feedback sessions ensure alignment with business goals.

OBMs engage in strategic communication with the business owner. They provide regular updates on the business’s performance, discuss ongoing projects, and collaborate with other team members. The communication style is more holistic, encompassing the entire business ecosystem.

VA or OBM? Choosing the Best Option for Your Business

Both VAs and OBMs make significant contributions to the success of an online business, yet their roles and responsibilities are different.

If you’re looking for support with specific tasks, a Virtual Assistant might be the ideal choice. They can help take the pressure off your day-to-day tasks, while leaving you in control, which is the best option if you do not feel comfortable in handing over areas of your business to be managed by a third-party.

On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to manage the broader aspects of your business, make strategic decisions, and enhance your operations for long-term success, an Online Business Manager may be a better choice.

Ultimately, deciding on a VA or an OBM will depend on your specific needs and goals. Understanding the difference enables you to make an informed decision about the level of support you need. Whether it’s a VA or an OBM, the right professional can be a game-changer in improving your business and your work-life balance.

If you are considering hiring a VA or an OBM, feel free to book a call or get in touch for more information.