What are the differences between an OBM and a VA?
Sometimes my clients come to me unsure if they need an Online Business Manager or a Virtual Assistant. And one of the main questions I get asked a lot is “ What are the differences?”
The simplest answer I can give is: “An OBM manages online businesses.”
Which if we were to put into a diagram might look something like this depending on your team structure at present:
There are definitely some KEY differences between an OBM and a VA and hopefully this will also help to make it clearer:
VAs are implementers. They carry out tasks and make stuff happen with the help of detailed instructions.
VAs work on a task basis and are responsible for completing their work on time and to a professional standard, but they have a safety net of higher level guidance to catch them when they fall.
VAs are team members and are usually responsible to an OBM or business owner.
VAs get things done without having much control over workflow or priorities.
VAs usually work for an hourly fee and have multiple clients in order to fill their schedule and earn a good living.
ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGER
OBMs are project managers. They come up with the strategy for how to get things done, and then parcel out tasks to their team.
OBMs are responsible for the daily operations of the whole business, or for the entirety of a project – which includes the work of other team members.
OBMs LEAD a team, often including VAs, web designers, writers and social media experts.
OBMs work with the biz owner to discuss strategy and priorities.
OBMs work more deeply with a few select clients and are compensated on a retainer or retainer+incentive basis.
If we wanted to make it even simpler I guess you can some it up as follows:
When you’re hired as a VA, you’re hired to get your work done.
When you’re hired as an OBM, you’re hired to make sure that everyone gets their work done.
Was this a useful guide to the differences between the two roles? I hope so and as always I would love to hear your comments below.