The question on many business owners’ lips is: What’s the difference between a Virtual Assistant (VA) and an Online Business Manager (OBM)?

VAs and OBMs are two relatively new terms that have both become popular with the rise of online businesses where business owners can work anywhere and at any time.

Most online businesses have a VA, that is, a Virtual Assistant (or several), or an Online Business Manager (OBM) – or both.

So what’s the difference? In this blog, you’re about to find out!

The difference between a VA and an OBM?

Are you ready to move your business to a new level? But you’re not sure about one tiny little detail that can have a massive effect on your future…

1. Do you hire a VA (virtual assistant) to help with your admin tasks and day-to-day duties to run your business?


2. Do you start working with an OBM who can help you build your systems, start recruiting the perfect team and reconcile your metrics.

The difference between a VA and an OBM is vast and each will play their part in your business.

An OBM works with their clients on a business partner level to create specific strategies to help their business grow. Then they manage the project, strategy, event or team from start to finish. They are in essence the planners of the VA-OBM combination.

A VA is more task-driven rather than project driven. They are the doers in the equation.  With a VA, you give them the task and they do it so you don’t have to! 

EXAMPLE: A virtual assistant might take on a specific task within a project, such as the graphics for a new website. Whereas an OBM would oversee the website as a project, making sure all tasks were completed on time and milestones met, advising on the strategy of the website and hiring the right people to help. They would work with the VAs to get it done.

What does a Virtual Assistant (VA) do?

As mentioned, a VA handles one-off tasks or those mundane regular tasks that you don’t like doing or are too busy to do!

This can be anything from scheduling social media to data entry to graphic design. VAs are usually virtual and work in a casual capacity, for example, a VA would work for a specific time to get a task done, or they would be on hand to complete monthly tasks for you for a set amount of hours.

A VA could form part of your admin staff, or they could be your admin girl.

What does an Online Business Manager (OBM) do?

An OBM manages all aspects of your business — operations, projects, people and metrics. They handle everything from the logistics of planning an event to product launches to overseeing the day-to-date operations of running your business and your team.

Which one do I need right now?

An easy way of remembering how an OBM or a VA can help you is this:

  • Online Business Manager (OBM) is goal-driven (focus on growth and work with you).
  • Virtual Assistant (VA) is task-driven (focus on execution and work that is done for you).

If you’re not sure if you need virtual assistant services or the help of an online business manager, why not take my interactive quiz and find out?

Click here and find out today if you need to hire a VA or an OBM!