You’ve known for a while that you need to hire a new team member.
But you’re not entirely sure who’ll really move the needle and improve the way your business runs. After all – teams are expensive and maybe you’ve been burnt before by hiring someone who really didn’t work out. So..
Is a VA what you need right now, or
is it time to work with an OBM?
Read on for a full clarification of the differences between the roles – plus how to determine which one is right for you at this stage in your business.
Although both a VA and an OBM have a ‘get it done’ mindset, and are focused on supporting you to build and run your business, there are some key differences in the roles:
- FOCUSED ON: ‘Doing’ – performing and delivering specific tasks and projects such as customer service, website maintenance or setting up a new members area etc
- RESPONSIBLE FOR: understanding and delivering their own tasks in a timely and efficient manner as a team member
- PLANS: their own time and workload effectively to ensure that their own work is being completed and delivered in line with expectations
- UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS: is limited, as they are simply involved in the areas of the business that their taskload touches
- WORKS WITH: 4-10 clients simultaneously
- RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BUSINESS OWNER: is one of direct management, relying on the business owner (you!) to spell out what and how things need to be done
- RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM: is relatively independent – focusing on their personal workstream and engaging with fellow team members only as needed to complete their specific tasks
- USUALLY HIRED BECAUSE: the business owner is frequently overwhelmed by the amount of day-to-day tasks and projects needed to keep the business running and requires assistance with getting them done
- BRINGS: administrative skill, high attention to detail, specialist expertise in certain tools, technologies or platforms and a task-focused mindset
OBMOnline Business Manager
- FOCUSED ON: ‘Managing’ – maintaining the big picture whilst managing all the moving parts to make it happen -projects, team members, operations, expenses etc.
- RESPONSIBLE FOR: ensuring everyone’s tasks are being completed, the team is happy, and systems are running efficiently
- PLANS: for the business at large – always looking ahead and creating plans & systems to ensure the business can run smoothly
- UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS: is deep and wide, as they manage and streamline every aspect – from top level planning to podcast schedules
- WORKS WITH: 2-3 select clients at a time
- RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BUSINESS OWNER: is one of trusted partner, proactively strategising and implementing improvements to the business to reach goals more efficiently
- RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM: is as a key point of contact – working closely with them on a daily basis to ensure everyone is clear on tasks & deadlines and has what they need to do their best work
- USUALLY HIRED BECAUSE: the business owner has grown the business as far as they can being the ‘only one in charge’ and now needs someone to step in to manage operations so they can focus on growth
- BRINGS: expertise in the online space, a dedication to solid business practices, management skills and a strategic growth mindset
So how do you know if you need to hire a VA or an OBM?
A few questions to help you decide…
(1) What stage of growth is your business at?
You’ve worked hard to establish your offer, find clients and get the money coming in the door… now it’s time to focus on building a foundation for growth.
If you are making a consistent $15-$20k/month, have big plans for where you want to go next, and you know you can’t get there on your own, then this is the right time to bring in an OBM. They will work with you to lay out the right plan, team and structure to get you to the next level.
If your current revenue is less than this but your growth is strong, you can work with an OBM on a project or consultancy basis to build a strong and streamlined foundation to grow your business sustainably
(2) Who is currently managing the team?
If you are like many of the business owners I speak with, you don’t realise how much time and energy it takes to manage the day-to-day of your business.
Creating plans. Making sure you have the right people and resources in place to get stuff done. Checking in with the team to ensure they are on track (and working together when things are off track.)
If you need help with a specific area of the business or a new tool, then a VA will help. But until you have an OBM in place, all the day-to-day management of the business and team lands on your shoulders, which can be a huge drain of time and energy
(3) Where are the bottlenecks?
In the early days your own hustle is enough to carry you through – you work hard and get it done. But when you reach the early 6-figure mark the hustle actually starts to get in the way.
There is only so much of your time and energy to go around – and if you are the ‘hub’ of everything that happens in the business… well, you become the biggest bottleneck.
Recruiting a new VA may remove some tasks from your to-do list, but an OBM will work with you to get ‘all the things’ off your plate, so that you can get back to growing the business and doing what you love
Ultimately, there comes a point when your business becomes bigger than you working as a lone ranger.
Where what you did in the early days – the hustle and the ‘do it all yourself’ mentality – is no longer effective… it actually starts to get in the way and stall your growth.
So if you are ready to take things to the next level and get yourself freed up from the day-to-day, let’s talk!
And for more information on the OBM role, check out What is An OBM? and Ways an OBM Can Help Your Business.