What's the difference between an OBM and VA, anyways?

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Something I often see discussed online (and get asked about often) is the difference between an OBM and a VA.

So often, there is great confusion about these roles and how to know when to hire one for your business.

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But don’t worry…we will uncover ALL of the details and help you see the differences between the two, so you know who to hire and when.

First, let’s discuss what an OBM is.

I want you to imagine that an OBM is like your virtual office manager. She will be like a right-hand manger and will be able to help you in the following areas:

  • Team management

  • Standard Operating Procedures

  • Operations management

  • Systems and tech setup and/or management

  • Hiring team members or subcontractors

  • Business strategy

  • Project or Launch Management

  • Implementing and managing communication with client/owner and the team

  • Holding the client/owner accountable to SOP’s

However, a virtual assistant will be more of a “worker bee.” Many VA’s are niched down, and provide a specific service to which they will work and setup or manage that service area for you as a one-time or continual basis.

VA’s can help you in the following areas (these are just a few examples):

  • Administrative and files management

  • Email management

  • Social media management

  • Pinterest management

  • Podcast management

  • Systems and/or tech management

Knowing who to hire for your business can be incredibly frustrating and confusing, too!

I suggest starting with a VA if you’re newer to outsourcing. As your business grows, there will be an area where you need to work but do not have the time or desire to do so. Find a VA you trust and outsource that to them. For me, I would outsource social media or pinterest because I do NOT have time to learn and do these tasks! Pricing can vary amongst VA’s, but remember: you get what you pay for. Look for quality work and great referrals from other clients of this VA before you sign a contract.

You’ll know you’re ready for an OBM when you’re scaling towards a six figure-seven figure business, and you’re probably working with a small team already (or have a VA of your own). Hiring and OBM is a greater expense than a VA, so you need to be financially prepared for this! Also understand (see above) that the role of an OBM is NOT the same as a VA. When you’re looking to hire an OBM, look for past client testimonials or referrals to give you insight.

If you’re looking to outsource, in addition to testimonials or referrals, consider using the following information to help you find the right person to partner with your business:

  • Personality tests like the enneagram, DISC, or Kolbe-A

  • Look at their social media to see what their business day-to-day is like

  • Examine their website or LinkedIn page, to see if you like their vibe

  • Craft an intake form with detailed questions that can help you better understand them and the way they work and think!

Outsourcing can be intimidating, especially when you’re not certain the right type of person to outsource to! Remember, OBM’s and VA’s are there to support you, and help you move your business forward. In turn, you’re helping them move their business forward, too!

If you’re curious about working with an OBM and would like to chat with me personally about partnering together, I’d love to talk with you about this. Click the link below to schedule a call with me!