Business Tips

Top Differences Between A Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager

April 23, 2018

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I'm Court —online systems educator for coaches. I'm here to help you love your business again.

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To run a successful business, you need a strategy. From Facebook marketing to coffee ordering, each aspect of your company has to work together to form a strong brand. Without organization and a little bit of automation, you’d run out of hours in the day before each task complete or client contacted. If you’ve been rocking your startup to quick success, you know the pressures of a ringing phone, unanswered emails and orders waiting to be fulfilled – all good problems to have, but problems none-the-less if you don’t make a move to manage the influx in demand.

There are times when growth calls for expanding your team, but if what you need is someone to handle the daily grind, a virtual assistant or online business manager may be a good fit. If you’re thinking you don’t need a personal assistant – good. That’s not what we’re talking about.

What’s A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is a task doer. If you’ve ever seen the woman sipping a latte, taking in invoices, scheduling the budget retreat with one ear-bud in and checking off the team’s to-do list – all while killing it in some Kate Spade pumps – you’ve met a virtual assistant. VAs work from home and ask questions, complete tasks, and implement the game plan. These dynamic team members are the workhorses of your business.

What’s An Online Business Manager?

An online business manager is a strategist. OBMs concentrate more on how the project should get done rather than enforcing the tasks to make it happen. An OBM is concentrated on the future of the business and designing a plan to grow the brand (and revenue).

As a business owner, it’s nearly impossible to be a good manager and a good leader. The work will eventually demand that you focus on one or another – and that’s the point when you need to hire an online business manager.

What’s The Difference Between a VA And OBM?

There are a few key differences between a virtual assistant and an online business manager that will help you decide which one is a better fit for your needs.

  • Assistant vs. Manager: An assistant takes direct orders and completes their part of the task. A manager oversees the project to ensure each piece is completed on schedule and the big picture comes together.


  • Worker vs. Orchestrator: Hiring a VA means you have an extra team member to help get work done. An online business manager is hired to ensure everyone gets their work done.


  • Catch-all vs. Communicator: If a client has a last-minute change, the VA is the person who is working late to get the change complete – with no regard to if it’s actually the best move for the company. An OBM is in tune with a company and its goals, so when a last-minute change is requested, the OBM has the perspective to say when an idea is good or not and successfully communicate that to the owner.


How do you know what’s right for you and your business? If you’re ready to spend more time advancing your business and less time tracking down the team member whose report was due last week, check out the advantages of hiring an online business manager. Rely on an OBM to create and implement a strategic plan that will better suit your clients, your team members and your desire to build your brand not get buried in the tedious tasks. You didn’t start your business to manage it forever, right? 


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