You've likely seen at least one of these acronyms in your travels through the online space. For our purposes, I'm going to assume you don't have the first clue what either of these are, nor how they can help you in your business. Here's the breakdown: virtual assistants (VAs) and online business managers (OBMs) work independently and together to help business owners. So, now that we have that straight, what do these fine people do?
Virtual Assistant (VA) Ah, the virtual assistant is the backbone to any online (or even brick and mortar) business. They are the people that you hand a task to and can rest assured that it's being handled efficiently. VAs even have subsets of specialties - social media management, email management, and various other supportive roles. You'll often see them referred to as the "workhorses" of businesses. I like to call them the quintessentially noble steeds of business - they're doing the work you definitely don't want to do or don't have the time to do.
Online Business Manager (OBM) These fantastic human beings help entrepreneurs with gaining insight into where they need to operate more efficiently. They are especially helpful to solopreneurs who don't have a team to bounce ideas off of. OBMs can serve as the intermediary between your team and you. They can manage projects, hire staff and brainstorm strategies with you. If VAs are noble steeds, think of OBMs as the unicorns. Magically they keep everyone in check and your business becomes more profitable and efficient.
Which is for me? It boils down to what you're looking for. If you have effective, tried and true systems in place that have been working but you just need to assign some tasks, that screams VA. If your current situation is haphazard and chaotic with missed deadlines and disappointed clients, you're in desperate need of an OBM.
A word of caution. There is a mentality that if you hire a large team of VAs you'll be all set. On paper it looks fantastic; you have a person for each job you don't want to do. Here's why those business owners often end up frustrated: they are both leader and the manager. Those are two HUGE hats to wear - like double 10-gallon hat madness!
Bottom line is both VAs and OBMs are an integral part to any business, but especially any online business. Be sure you're clear on what you're in need of before you start searching. Here at 9 to 5 Office, we offer a free assessment of your business to know exactly what you need. Whether it's noble steeds or unicorns, we've got you covered!