Are you looking at these two titles wondering, “Wait…What is the difference?” Well, it is very important for you to know the difference to help in your decision of knowing what exactly it is you and/or your employees need.
While the unique roles of an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant are both important in the effective operation of your business, let’s break down what the differences are so you can rest assured you are, in fact, making the right decisions for your business.
Technically, a virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally a self-employed business operator providing professional administrative, secretarial, and minor technical help, from a home office.
A VA is your ‘go to’ person when you need that bit of work done that you just don’t seem to have the time for. The person who can source that special gift or resource you need but don’t know where to look. The person who can free up your time doing those administrative tasks you dislike or put into the ‘too hard’ basket’ for a later time.
This is the person who kind of takes on the grunt work of your business. They’re the Jack/Jill-of-all-trades you’ve heard so much about and are responsible for all sorts of the recurring tasks that are part of running your business; all the stuff that bogs you down but needs to get done.
While some VAs can specialise in certain areas, many of them are generalists who can handle a wide variety of tasks including email management, research, scheduling and calendar management, handling remote calls, social media engagement, content creation, and more.
In other words, you get exactly what you pay for without the need to employ extra staff who take up space you might not have.
The role of an OBM is quite different from a Virtual Assistant and you can have both roles work in your business.  It is important to understand the differences between a Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. In Australia, most Virtual Assistants are Virtual Industry Professionals or Online Business Managers for the following reasons:
  • they are often proactive rather than reactive and accomplish tasks without you asking.
  • they develop an understanding of your business and keep the cogs turning
  • they understand the bigger picture of your business growth and development
  • they think outside the box
  • they give you ideas for growth and strategy in your business and quite often manage those ideas from start to finish
OBMs are big-picture thinkers and know how to take your vision and develop a plan for how to get there. They typically take on the responsibility of planning and team management while delegating most of the actual tasks to other team members. They’re the overseers. Making sure everything gets done and fits into the overall plan, but are ready to jump in to get the job done when need.
Working with an Online Business Manager is usually more of an investment than engaging a Virtual Assistant, but they bring with them so much leadership, skill, experience, and reliability, that you would never doubt for a second the incredible value they’re bringing to your projects.

When You Hire an Online Business Manager You Get…

MORE TIME: Who doesn’t need more time?
The main goal of an online business manager is to free up your time so that you can work on the things that only you can do or the things that you enjoy most about your business.
A TRUSTED PARTNER: Essential to the relationship
Online business managers truly care about their client’s businesses. They understand the overall business vision, are excited by the things to come, thrive on the day-to-day operations, they are comfortable with outsourcing and delegating and strive to make the business succeed. They treat the client’s business as if it were their own. In a sense, hiring a good Online Business Manager is like having a trusted partner invested in your business.
A DECISION MAKER: Making all the decisions is exhausting!
Running a successful business requires a lot of day-to-day decisions and projects are often delayed because business owners don’t have time to handle them all. Fortunately, most decisions don’t have to be made by the business owner. A good online business manager will be willing to make decisions on their client’s behalf. This doesn’t mean they will be making all of the decisions; however, after establishing a guideline with the client, they can certainly handle many issues that arise throughout the day.
COMPLETED PROJECTS: A key component to bigger profits
Aside from the business owner, the Online Business Manager is the workhorse of the business. They spend most of their time planning, organising, and managing the tools, resources, and staff within the business. Their focus is to ensure that things are running smoothly and efficiently; answering questions, dealing with unexpected issues in a timely manner, and keeping projects on track so that business goals are met. The seamless transition from one project to the next allows the business owner to stay focused and the business to grow.
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