This can be a stumbling block for some, and to be honest until I went through the OBM Certification course via IAOBM, I couldn’t answer this succinctly myself! So what is the difference between a Virtual Assistant and an Online Business Manager?
If we think in terms of the traditional, standard bricks and mortar successful business, you would have the CEO at the very top of the hierarchy. That CEO cannot possibly grease every cog and wheel as well as find time to grow the business, she may be an amazing CEO who can do anything –
but even and an amazing CEO cannot do everything. She instead employs someone to ‘manage’ what happens inside that bricks and mortar. Someone who makes sure that the right things get done at the right time by the right people in the right way. That person in the traditional, standard bricks and mortar world can be called, Chief Operating Officer (COO) or for the smaller businesses, the General Manager. Let’s compare traditional businesses with online-based business:
You can see by the chart above that the OBM is positioned differently to the VA.
A VA is responsible for their own tasks whereas the OBM is responsible for making sure everyone’s tasks are getting done, effectively and efficiently, while maintaining motivation and high performance. An OBM is not restricted to managing people but can manage processes and projects too.
Let’s look at the services I provide as an OBM.
Project Management – I lay out plans and manage projects through to completion, including launches, managing programs, creation of new revenue streams, updating websites, etc.
Operations Management – I do this through automating systems and creating processes for all day-to-day activities in the business to streamline and simplify how things are run
Metrics Management – by tracking stats for key business activities to see what is working and what is not working I can provide recommendations so decisions can be made for ongoing growth
People Management – outsourcing, managing, and leading the efforts of the team to meet business goals
Another difference between that of a VA and an OBM is their client count. A VA may work with 10 or more clients a once, however, due to the much higher level of responsibility, an OBM may only work with 2 or 3 clients.
Why do business owners hire OBMs?
Business owners, no matter how successful, will come to a point where the business simply cannot grow anymore with just one person at the helm and they need to tap out of the managing role into the real CEO role. We find that around the mid-6 figure annual turnover amount, the OBM is called to help get the business over the 7-figure mark and beyond, and in the words of Sugarista, Stephanie King, an OBM can revolutionise your business!