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Differences Between A VA And An OBM

Where do we begin? Let’s start at the top.

The key difference between a VA and an OBM

Both a Virtual Assistant and an Online Business Manager are important in the effective operation of your business. They both create and add value and free up time and head-space for you to work on your business or directly with clients, depending on your business model. Which you use will depend greatly on the turn over you are pulling in and how many service providers, processes and automations you work with.

Think of an OBM like the PM you hire to build a building. You may hire an architect to design the perfect house, but the design doesn’t concern itself with constraints like budget and time.

The VA is like the builder, who takes the architect’s design and runs with it (implements the design into a product). The OBM manages the complete project and ensures that the result is within budget, time-scale and the design has been respected. You as the owner can focus on your zone of expertise – providing the best service possible to your clients.

Here are some sample differences for specific areas of your business:

  • A VA will manage certain tasks within your business, to allow valuable time for you to work on more lucrative aspects of your business, or take time out to develop and grow your business. An OBM will actually be involved in this process with you, helping you research, discover and manage the different aspects, so you can drive your business through to the next level.
  • A VA will receive specific instructions on what tasks need to be accomplished and when. An OBM will work with you on a schedule to assign tasks to a VA, web designer, developer, affiliates, or other support partners.
  • A VA will create a newsletter template or content and send it out to your email list. An OBM will work with you to create a sales funnel strategy to launch or sell a product or service.
  • A VA will manage enquiries and basic requests. An OBM will build relationships with your existing customers and communicate with them at a deeper level.
  • A VA will create an opt-in form for your email list and manage that list. An OBM will manage the analytics of the opt-in to measure results and create a strategy going forward.
  • A VA will produce and send out invoices and possibly track their payments, etc. An OBM will invoice clients, pay affiliates, pay contractors and create and manage other systems within your business.
  • A VA will typically work with 5-15 clients a month, implementing the various tasks assigned to them. An OBM will typically work with 2-5 clients a month, as the focus is much deeper as more attention is required to work that closely with your business.
  • A VA is a member of your team. An OBM is more like an associate partner, managing certain operations of your business, managing team players and projects, and aiding in cost-control.

Here’s a simple infographic to demonstrate some of the key basic differences between a VA and an OBM:

Cover photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

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