Online Business, Online Business Manager, Working with a VA, Working With a Virtual Assistant, Working with an OBM

What’s the Difference Between VA & OBM?

So you may be slightly confused by all of the differences between a VA (Virtual Assistant) and an OBM (Online Business Manager) and how they can help your small business. So how do you tell whether you need an online business manager or a virtual assistant? Read on to find out which could be best for your business.

Virtual Assistant

Typically the traditional services a Virtual Assistant offers are those of a doing nature – so basically broken down it goes like this – The client needs their website updated with a new page, so they ask the VA to make specific and measurable changes. VA will charge either project rate or by the hour, they make the changes. Job Done! VA’s can be very niche and have a specific skillset or you can work with a VA that has more general admin skills – it really depends on what you need doing and the skills involved. This will also be reflected in price as well and the length of time you work together.

The most important thing to remember about working with a VA is that they aren’t your employee and instead are your equal, they too are business owners with skills and knowledge in their chosen field.

Online Business Manager

OBM’s are normally the next step on from a Virtual Assistant – often Online Business Managers have come from a background of VA work. The main difference is that an OBM is more strategically focused and proactive rather than reactive. The client needs to implement structure or processes – OBM will look at stats, find opportunities and update SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) inline with what the business needs.

You would typically work with an OBM if you’ve reached a certain level within your business and just need systems and procedures in place so that you can scale your business. The rate at which you pay is usually a project rate depending on what level of service you need – OBM’s often work on a three month contract as this is a good amount of time to implement lasting changes.

So Which Do I Need?

Whether you choose a VA or OBM you need to know what you want before you start. Having a clear goal or way in which you need help is a great start. If you are unsure then starting with a VA is the perfect way to work with a freelancer – if you don’t know what tasks you need completed but you do know you need help then try this exercise. Write down all the tasks you need to do in your business (this is great to give to an OBM when you are ready too) and how long they take you. Put next to it whether you enjoy this task or find it difficult as this can also inform what you pass to a Virtual Assistant.

If you already have this sussed and know exactly how you want to grow your business but just need organising then a OBM could be for you.

Let’s Chat

If you’ve looked at your options and want to know more then I’d love to have a chat. My style is fairly informal and I like to get a real feel for your business so a chat would be a great start. I know not everyone has time for this to start with so a quick email is just as good. You can contact me at

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