OBM vs. VA: Understanding the Differences and Choosing Your Path in Online Business

online business manager Mar 29, 2023

Should You Be a VA or an OBM?

If you're interested in becoming a virtual assistant (VA) or online business manager (OBM), you may be wondering what the differences are between the two roles. In this post, we'll explore what an OBM is and how it differs from a VA. We'll also provide some guidance on how to decide which role might be right for you.

What Is an OBM?

An OBM is an online business manager who takes over the daily operations of a business to free up the business owner. The goal is to allow the owner to focus on their zone of genius and step back into a visionary role. OBMs make sure the right things get done at the right time by the right people in the right way.

An OBM typically works in operations management, project management, metrics management, and team management. They're responsible for coming up with the strategy for how to get things done and then delegating tasks to their team. OBMs are team leaders who work with the business owner to discuss strategy and priorities.

What Are the Benefits of Being an OBM?

  • No two days are the same, and you're constantly learning and adapting.
  • You can work from anywhere in the world and set your own hours.
  • You don't get paid by the hour.
  • You have the opportunity to work with a few select clients and be compensated on a retainer or retainer+incentive basis.

How Do You Know If You're a Good Fit for the OBM Role?

If you align with the following characteristics, you may be a good fit for the OBM role:

  • When you hear a great idea, you naturally start thinking about the steps it will take to make it happen.
  • You love working with systems and procedures to get things done in the most efficient and consistent way.
  • You're great at jumping into the "online biz" chaos and getting it sorted out.
  • You know how to "manage" clients to keep them happy while sticking to your own boundaries.
  • You're capable of delegating, communicating with, and taking responsibility for a virtual team.
  • You have a manager or entrepreneur mindset.
  • You're savvy with online software/platforms.

What Is a VA?

A VA is a virtual assistant who carries out tasks with detailed instructions. They're responsible for completing their work on time and to a professional standard, but they have a safety net of higher-level guidance to catch them when they fall. VAs are team members who usually report to an OBM or business owner.

What Are the Benefits of Being a VA?

  • You can work on a task basis.
  • You can work for an hourly fee and have multiple clients to fill your schedule and earn a good living.

How Do You Know If You're a Good Fit for the VA Role?

If you align with the following characteristics, you may be a good fit for the VA role:

  • You're great at following detailed instructions.
  • You're able to work independently.
  • You're comfortable reporting to a higher-level team member.
  • You're able to complete your work on time and to a professional standard.

Which Role Is Right for You?

Deciding whether to become a VA or an OBM depends on your skills, interests, and goals. Here are some factors to consider:

  • If you love systems, procedures, and team management, you may be a good fit for the OBM role.
  • If you prefer to work on a task basis and enjoy following detailed instructions, you may be a good fit for the VA role.
  • If you're not sure which role to pursue, consider trying both to see


If you're still unsure whether to pursue a career as a Virtual Assistant or an Online Business Manager, or you're looking to enhance your skills in either role, then consider enrolling in our Tactical Admin Training courses. Our courses will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in either role and will help you take your career to the next level. Sign up today to learn from experienced professionals and gain the confidence to succeed in the world of online business management!

Unlock peak performance. Enroll in the Tactical Admin Academy, where mastery unleashes efficiency, collaboration, & career growth!


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