Differences between a Virtual Assistant and an Online Business Manager

Differences Between VA and OBM

As the business world is swiftly moving in the online direction, two job positions are becoming increasingly popular. These two job positions are oftentimes confused with one another, but they are actually pretty different. The two positions are that of an Online Business Manager (OBM) and a Virtual Assistant (VA). The two are very similar, but some of the differences are the hierarchy position of the job, the scope of the work, and the amount of work they do/clients they have. 

OBM: Creates high-level strategy and plans out the details.

VA: thrive in the implementation of ALL the details.

OBM: Delegates tasks that need to be completed.

VA: Completes tasks assigned

OBM: Creates systems with the business

VA: Works within the systems

OBM: Responsible for oversight of entire project(s)

VA: Only responsible for their own tasks as assigned by OBM

Differences between a VA and an OBM
Generally, the OBM does more managerial type jobs for the CEO whereas the VA does more task and project based jobs. (Langord) Most of the time, a VA has a speciality they provide–such as organization, editing, communications, planning, etc– Some of the things an OBM can do includes team management, project management, marketing, and more. They are in charge of running a group of people whereas the VA might be a person in that group of people that the OBM is running.
Another difference between an OBM and a VA is the number of things they are involved with. An OBM plays a bigger role in the scope of the business, so they are usually only involved with a couple, maybe even one, business at a time. An OBM usually focuses on a few jobs because of their level of responsibility. A VA, however, usually has 5-8, maybe even up to 10 clients at a time. VA’s are task or project driven, so they have shorter jobs and can do more at a time than an OBM. A VA does a lot of small tasks whereas an OMB does a few big tasks. (What is a Certified Online Business Manager?)

Are you in a place in your business where you may need a Certified Online Business Manager? Let’s chat. 


“What Is a Certified Online Business Manager?” OnlineBusinessManager.com, 4 July 2019, onlinebusinessmanager.com/what-is-a-certified-obm
 Langord, Pam. “What Is an OBM and How Is It Different from a VA?” Ridgetop Virtual Solutions, 1 Mar. 2014, www.ridgetopvirtualsolutions.com/what-is-an-obm-and-how-is-it-different-from-a-va/