What is the Difference between a Virtual Assistant and an Online Business Manager?

If you’ve reached a point in your business where you’re finding it too much to keep on top of everything and you’ve been thinking about taking on an employee, there are other options you can consider first. With the continuous advances in technology, it’s becoming more and more common for business owners to outsource work to freelance virtual assistants. People who work as virtual assistants (VAs) and online business managers (OBMs) might be just what your business needs. 

Having some freelance support could help you to feel less overwhelmed with the tasks you need to complete. So, who are VAs and OBMs and what do they actually do? In this article, we ask the question:

What is the difference between a Virtual Assistant and an Online Business Manager?

Firstly, there is some level of overlap between the work of a VA and that of an OBM. Using either of these options is usually low-risk and they are often freelance, remote workers who offer support to businesses in order to support growth of the business. Both a VA and an OBM can be flexible and aim to help the owner of a business by freeing up their time in order for the business owner to focus on building their business and generating more revenue.

So, what is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is most commonly used for outsourcing general day to day admin tasks. Some of the things they can help with are:

  • Managing emails
  • Data entry
  • Typing up notes
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Digital marketing tasks 

There are many more tasks that a VA can do! You can ask a virtual assistant to help with almost any of the day-to-day small business tasks you have to complete.

Virtual assistants have strong communication skills, adapt quickly and are reliable. They have a good knowledge of business administration and will sometimes have a specialist area, such as copywriting. VAs are great at implementing tasks from detailed instructions and will be a valuable member of the team.

What is an Online Business Manager?

Compared to the virtual assistant role, the online business manager is slightly less well known. As business continues to grow online, however, the demand is on the rise and this newer role is becoming increasingly popular. An OBM is a managerial role. They can usually plan and oversee processes as well as manage teams. 

Online business managers usually have experience in business management and project management. Rather than just taking on supervised tasks for your business, they work more independently and are able to help run your business so you’re able to focus on the core business duties. As well as managing people and projects, OBMs can look after operations, such as client relationships, making sure good systems and processes are in place and communications. They can also help with metrics management, for example tracking statistics so you know what is working well in your business and what isn’t.

The Differences Between A VA and an OBM

Virtual assistants can be compared to employed staff in that they require a fair amount of direction from the business owner. Online business managers, on the other hand, take on a more independent position and are able to lead and supervise operations. Whereas VAs are task oriented, OBMs are managerial oriented. This difference is reflected in the price that you’ll pay. OBMs are usually higher priced than VAs. 

In ways, the role of the Online business manager is more substantial than that of the virtual assistant. VAs are suited to businesses that are growing and need a hand getting some day-to-day work done. OBMs are more suited to businesses that are in need of someone to manage the daily running of their business. 

Are you in need of a VA or OBM? Get in touch today for a Coffee Chat.