OBM vs VA: Is One Better Than The Other?

OBM vs VA: Is One Better Than The Other?

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Are you another business owner or solopreneur who’s tired of drowning in endless to-do lists? Do you end up feeling more confused trying to master every complex tech tool there is? Even after so many attempts, do you wind up getting overwhelmed with finding the right kind of strategy for your business? Well, now is the time for you to stop and admit to yourself that you need help. And by help, I mean professional help coming from the stars of the digital marketing world. But who do you call and say SOS to—an OBM vs a VA?

Hiring support in the form of an Online Business Manager (OBM) or a Virtual Assistant (VA) can be a game-changer. But for today’s episode on OBM vs VA, how do you decide between the two? What’s the difference, and which one is better? Let’s settle the great debate once and for all.

The Superpowers

OBMs as Strategic Superheroes:

Online Business Managers (OBMs) possess a unique set of strategic superpowers that extend beyond the average business manager. Their expertise lies in crafting and executing business strategies, project management, efficient team coordination, and implementing systematic approaches to business operations. OBMs act as indispensable right-hand partners to entrepreneurs, enabling them to shift their focus to their core strengths and the core activities that drive their business’s success. In essence, OBMs are visionaries who ensure that every aspect of a business runs harmoniously, optimizing productivity, and contributing to sustainable growth.

VAs as Versatile Multitaskers:

Virtual Assistants (VAs) are known for their versatility as multitaskers. They are the workhorses of a business, adept at handling a wide range of administrative responsibilities. VAs excel in executing tasks that, while essential, can be time-consuming for business owners. These tasks include scheduling appointments, managing emails, handling basic bookkeeping, and even managing social media accounts. VAs are indispensable in ensuring the efficient day-to-day operations of a business, allowing entrepreneurs to concentrate on their core activities.

2. Implementation vs. Strategy:

VAs as Implementers:

VAs operate as the implementers of a business’s plans. They thrive on clear, detailed instructions and diligently execute tasks. When faced with uncertainty, VAs aren’t afraid to seek clarification to ensure that their work aligns with their clients’ expectations. They often work within a well-defined scope, and their role is crucial in bringing the vision and strategy of a business to life. VAs play a vital role as the backbone of daily operations, ensuring that the business functions smoothly and efficiently.

OBMs as Strategists:

OBMs are strategic thinkers and planners. They take on a more forward-looking, big-picture role within an organization. Rather than being mere implementers, OBMs stand side by side with entrepreneurs, helping to manage the day-to-day operations of the business while also contributing strategic insights and guidance. They serve as a bridge between the entrepreneur’s vision and the team’s execution, ensuring that every action aligns with the overarching business strategy. OBMs provide a valuable additional perspective on strategy, helping businesses navigate complex challenges and make informed decisions.

3. Scope of Work:

OBMs for the Big Picture:

OBMs have a broad scope of work that encompasses the entire spectrum of a business’s operations. They are responsible for overseeing every aspect of the business to ensure that it aligns with long-term goals and objectives. OBMs provide strategic direction, guide teams, and maintain a focus on the business’s overall growth and success. Their role extends beyond individual tasks and projects, as they are deeply invested in shaping the trajectory of the entire organization.

VAs for Varied Tasks:

VAs offer a wide range of services that cater to the specific needs of a business. They excel in providing support for various tasks, often working on a project-by-project basis. While their work is incredibly valuable, it tends to be more task-centric and project-specific. VAs are the go-to experts for handling individual assignments and ensuring that they are completed efficiently. They free up valuable time for entrepreneurs to concentrate on their business’s big-picture objectives. It is also very important to emphasize that VAs offer specific expertise, you can check out this article to know more about The 10 Types of Virtual Assistants. As a good and mindful business owner, you need to keep in mind that VAs focus on task-based services. You might already realize that expecting a VA to do everything will only eventually hurt your business. Spoiler alert: this might be a good time to think about hiring an OBM (Thank me later!).

4. Assistant vs. Manager:

VAs as Assistants:

VAs function primarily as assistants who execute tasks and responsibilities. They are accountable for their own work and are often responsible for completing their designated part of a project. While they may possess strong organizational and multitasking skills, VAs typically do not have the overarching managerial responsibilities that OBMs do. However, they may still be involved in certain project management aspects, depending on the specific requirements of their clients.

OBMs as Managers:

OBMs are natural managers who take on broader responsibilities. They not only execute their tasks but also oversee the work of their team members. This includes guiding the team, ensuring that tasks are completed on time, and maintaining a comprehensive view of project progress from initiation to completion. OBMs are accountable for the success of the entire team and project, making them valuable in ensuring that all components align with the business’s strategy and objectives.

5. Team Member vs. Team Leader:

VAs as Team Members:

As team members, VAs are typically hired to fulfill specific roles and responsibilities within a business. They focus on completing their designated tasks efficiently and effectively. While they contribute significantly to the team’s success, their role is more individualistic, and they may not have the broader team leadership responsibilities that OBMs take on.

OBMs as Team Leaders:

OBMs step into the role of team leaders within an organization. They are responsible for ensuring that every team member fulfills their respective responsibilities. This involves managing the implementation of tasks, guiding the team to achieve project objectives, and maintaining a strong leadership presence. OBMs play a pivotal role in orchestrating the teamwork required for the successful execution of business initiatives, making them critical assets in businesses of all sizes.

6. Long-Term Investment vs. Budget Spending:

OBMs as Strategic Investments:

Online Business Managers (OBMs) undeniably come with a higher price tag, but they are akin to strategic investments in your business’s future. These seasoned professionals bring a wealth of expertise in business strategy and management to the table. While their services may be relatively costly compared to Virtual Assistants (VAs), the return on investment becomes evident as they take charge of your business’s overall management and growth. The expense incurred in hiring an OBM is an investment that can lead to substantial rewards and sustainable success.

VAs as Budget-Friendly Allies:

On the other hand, Virtual Assistants (VAs) are your budget-friendly allies, offering cost-effective solutions tailored to the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs. VAs are the financial lifeline for those who require essential administrative support without straining their financial resources. Their ability to efficiently handle day-to-day tasks and provide valuable assistance at an affordable rate makes them indispensable assets for businesses looking to optimize their budget while maintaining operational excellence.

7. Accessibility and Convenience:

OBMs as Long-Term Anchors:

OBMs are typically engaged in long-term partnerships with businesses, acting as steadfast anchors in the turbulent seas of entrepreneurship. They dedicate their time and unwavering attention to managing your business operations, offering consistent support as you navigate the ups and downs of your business journey. When you possess a clear vision for your business but face challenges in its implementation, an OBM stands as a dependable partner, providing the stability and guidance needed for your business to thrive.

VAs as Flexible Fighters:

In contrast, Virtual Assistants (VAs) are the epitome of flexibility when it comes to availability. They possess the agility to adapt to your business requirements, whether you need project-specific support or ongoing assistance. VAs are the “flexible fighters” who can seamlessly align their support with your unique needs. Their adaptability ensures that you receive the right level of assistance at the right time, making them valuable assets for businesses seeking customized and adaptable support.

8. Business Growth:

OBMs as Growth Partners:

OBMs are your strategic partners in the crusade for business growth. They bring their expertise to the forefront by assisting you in creating and executing comprehensive business strategies. OBMs streamline operations, optimize productivity, and are fully committed to propelling your business forward toward long-term success. If your business needs continuous, hands-on management and strategic guidance, an OBM can provide the necessary consistency. Their role is not just about maintaining the status quo but actively contributing to your business’s evolution and expansion.

VAs as Efficiency Enhancers:

Conversely, Virtual Assistants (VAs) play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of your existing business operations. They are the “efficiency enhancers” who expertly manage day-to-day tasks, allowing you to focus on the broader aspects of your business. VAs ensure that routine functions are handled seamlessly, giving you the time, space, and peace of mind to explore new opportunities and areas for growth. While their focus may be on the present, VAs contribute significantly to your business’s stability and readiness for future growth initiatives.

So, OBM vs VA, who wins?

The choice between hiring an Online Business Manager (OBM) or a Virtual Assistant (VA) begins with a thorough assessment of your specific business needs. Consider the nature of your industry, the complexity of your projects, and the tasks that require attention. If your business demands comprehensive strategy development, long-term planning, and the management of intricate operations, an OBM may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if your needs primarily revolve around executing day-to-day tasks and short-term projects, a VA could provide the support you require. In conclusion, the decision between hiring an OBM or a VA should be based on a careful evaluation of your goals, budget, availability requirements, and long-term vision. Both roles have their unique strengths and contributions to offer in the online business community. Ultimately, the right choice depends on what aligns best with your entrepreneurial journey and the strategic direction you want to take your business.


Stuck in a bind about which one to hire, OBM vs VA? Thinking about hiring both? Our team at All Out Virtual can sort things out for you. With more than 200 successful projects worldwide, our all-star team is here to help you implement your tasks and ideas, develop the right strategy, and manage your projects for you so you only have to focus on what matters for your business. All Out Virtual’s mission is to set the stage for business owners like you to start or scale and empower you to achieve your goals of increasing conversions and boosting revenue. Talk to us and we’ll get you through!

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Picture of Hi! I'm Christy

Hi! I'm Christy

My superpower is working with coaches, creatives, and service-based specialists to craft, streamline, and automate their client experiences so they can increase conversions and focus on revenue generation.

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