You know you need help with the day-to-day tasks in your business, but you aren’t quite sure if you need a VA (virtual assistant) or OBM (online business manager).
First, let’s look at the key differences between the two.
Doing vs. Managing
The role of a VA is to be the “doer” in the business. Their duties and responsibilities will vary depending on their area of expertise – admin, customer service, tech, marketing, etc.
The purpose of the OBM is to be the manager in the business – to make sure the right things get done, at the right time, in the right way, by the right people.
The VA is responsible for their OWN tasks and projects being completed and delivered in a timely fashion.
The OBM is usually focused on what the entire team is doing – making sure that everyone is completing their tasks in a timely manner, to ensure that progress is being made toward the established business goals.
The VA needs to plan their time and workload effectively to ensure that their own work is being completed.
The OBM is planning for the business at large – always looking ahead to what’s coming up and creating plans and systems to ensure the business is running smoothly and effectively (vs. functioning in a constant state of reacting to ‘last minute’ requests and overwhelm that is so common when there isn’t a plan).
Working with the Team
The VA is very focused on their own work, and will engage with fellow team members as needed to complete their own tasks.
The OBM is the key point of contact for the entire team – working closely with them on a day-to-day basis, to ensure that everyone is clear on their tasks and deadlines and has what they need to do their best work.
Put simply – a VA works independently with a focus on completing their own tasks, and will often rely on the business owner (you!) telling them what needs to be done. Whereas an OBM is able to plug into the big picture, layout plans and work with the entire team to ensure that everyone is ‘getting the right stuff done’ and progress is being made to meet the goals of the business.
So how do you know if you need to hire a VA or an OBM? A few things to consider:
- What stage of growth is your business at? You’ve worked hard to establish your offer, find clients and get the money coming in the door… now it’s time to focus on building a foundation for growth. You are making at least a consistent $15 – $20k month, have big plans for where you want to go next, and you know you can’t get there on your own. This is where an OBM comes in, working with you to lay out the right plan, team, and structure to get you to the next level.
- Who is currently managing the team? If you are like many of the business owners I speak with, you don’t realize how much time and energy it takes to manage the day-to-day of your business. Creating plans. Making sure you have the right people and resources to get things done. Checking in with the team to ensure they are on track (and working together when things are off track). Until you have an OBM in place, all of these things fall on your shoulders and can be a huge drain of your time and energy.
- Where are the bottlenecks? In the early days of a business, your own hustle is enough to carry you through – you work hard and get it done. But when you reach the early 6-figure mark, hustle mentality actually starts to get in the way. There is only so much of your time and energy to go around – and if you’re the ‘hub’ of everything that happens in the business, you become the biggest bottleneck. And OBM will work with you to get ‘all the things’ off your plate, so you can get back to growing the business and doing what you love.
There comes a time when your business becomes bigger than you building it yourself. Where what you did in the early days – the hustle and ‘do it all myself’ mentality – is no longer effective and it stunts your growth.
If you’re ready to get to the next level and free yourself from the day-to-day grind, let’s talk.