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What does an Online Business Manager do?
Many people who want to start their own business have great ideas but have never run a business before. Even if you can get your business up and running, there will come a time when you won’t be able to run it on your own. If you want your startup to grow into a small business, you should become the CEO and hire an online business manager.
What is an Online Business Manager (OBM)?
A business manager who works online is a fairly new idea, but it’s already taking off. This person helps your business from a distance by taking care of operations and managing workflows. This gives you the chance to run your business, help it grow, and make choices that will affect its future.
In terms of their position on your team, an online business manager is right below you, the business owner, and above everyone else.
What Does an Online Business Manager Do?
In a traditional business, there is someone in charge of the office. The only difference is that online business managers do everything online instead of in person. Among these are:
Keeping an eye on projects from the beginning to the end.
Planning, helping with the launch, and putting together plans for what will happen after the launch.
Organizing your business’s tasks to improve quality and output.
Using key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to give you advice.
Keeping your team on track and organized.
Some online business managers can also help with your business strategy, like building your brand or getting more customers.
Online Business Manager Rates
How much you pay for an OBM will depend on the person’s experience and skills. Getting certified as an online business manager can be done at a number of schools. Most of the time, professionals need to do real projects for clients to a high standard before they can get a certification.
Most of the time, you pay an OBM a retainer instead of paying by the hour. This is different from most other virtual jobs. You’ll buy a package for a certain number of hours for a month and then work with the online business manager to decide how to use these hours. The good thing about this system is that it lets companies with different budgets work with an OBM.
Online business managers can charge as little as $10 an hour, but the average rate is $29, and the most expensive ones can charge as much as $55. On top of that, many people work for extra pay. Which means you pay more if the work the OBM does for you helps your business do well.
Differences Between an Online Business Manager vs a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is not the same as a virtual business manager. In fact, many online business managers start out as virtual assistants and then move on to become OBMs. Others have worked in project management or as personal assistants in the past.
Both OBMs and VAs work remotely and do things for you that you don’t have the time or skills to do yourself. But that’s where the similarities end.
Management vs Administration
As we’ve seen, online business managers mostly worry about how your business works. A general virtual assistant, on the other hand, handles things like scheduling, making travel plans, and sending and receiving mail.
But remember that a general virtual assistant is just one kind of VA. There are also virtual assistants with specific skills who can help you with tasks like customer service and pay-per-click ads.
Need for Guidance
Virtual assistants will work best if you give them clear tasks to do. They may also want to know how you want these tasks done, which is great if you have a certain way of doing things and don’t want to change.
Online business managers require no guidance. They just need to know how your business works, and then they can run it for you. Even problems you don’t know about will be found and fixed by an OBM.
Number of Clients
Since most online business managers have a base rate of at least 20 hours a month, they can only work with a small number of clients at once. On the other hand, you decide how many hours you want a virtual assistant to work for you. Some people may ask for set hours, but there will still be some room for change. If you only need a virtual assistant to work a few hours a week or even a few hours a month, your VA will have time to work with other clients.
Because of this, OBMs tend to care a lot more about their clients than VAs. Most likely, they’ll be there when you need them. A virtual assistant, on the other hand, is less likely to be able to help you right away.
We already know what the OBM rates are. How does the cost of hiring a virtual assistant compare to this? Again, it depends.
If you hire a VA from another country, you might only have to pay $3 an hour, but you’ll probably only be able to find inexperienced VAs at this price. In North America, you can expect to pay at least $15 an hour for a virtual assistant. The price goes up depending on how hard the job is, and it can go as high as $75, though most people don’t charge more than $60.
When you consider that OBMs usually need at least 20 hours of work per month, virtual assistants can be much cheaper than online business managers.
Tasks vs Goals
Virtual assistants work to finish certain tasks, while an online business manager does whatever it takes to help you reach your goals. If your virtual assistants are having trouble with any part of a task, they will come to you for help or more information. Online business managers, on the other hand, have to figure out how to deal with problems on their own.
Most of the time, you’ll tell your virtual assistants when you want certain tasks done. VAs work the hours they want (at least to some extent) and fit tasks into their schedules as they see fit, but they don’t have any other say in how work gets done. Online business managers, on the other hand, decide what they want to focus on. They decide what needs to be done in order to reach their goals.
Online Business Manager vs Virtual Assistant: Which Is Right for You?
Both a manager for your online business and virtual assistants can be helpful to your team. Whether you need one or the other depends on things like how big your business is, what you need, and what you want to achieve. Ask yourself these questions to help you decide which is best for you.
Do You Feel Like There Are Not Enough Hours in the Day?
In reality, almost everyone feels this way. Look at your schedule and figure out what kinds of things take up most of your time to decide whether you need an OBM or a VA.
Are You Spending Too Much Time Communicating with Team Members?
If you spend a lot of your workdays trying to get everyone on your team to work together, you may need an online business manager.
Do You Want Help Managing Your Business?
In the same way, if you feel too busy to manage your business and would rather focus on the details, an OBM is the answer. But if the problem is with certain tasks, especially repetitive ones, a VA is a better choice.
Do You Want to Maintain Control?
Many business owners don’t feel ready to give someone else a big part of their business. As long as it’s feasible to continue managing everything yourself, this is fine. You might want to wait a while before hiring an online business manager, but a virtual assistant could give you the help you need in the meantime.
Are You Familiar with the Latest Tech?
You need to know how to use project management, video conferencing, time tracking, and bookkeeping software in order to run your business well. You may also need to tell your team what tools to use for web design, graphic design, and keyword research. Either you have to know this already or do a lot of research.
You could also hire a manager for your online business. An experienced OBM will know exactly what tools and software are needed to keep everyone on track and get good work done.
What Can You Afford?
You might not have enough money right now to pay for an online business manager. If you don’t need an OBM for your business right now, you might want to spend your money on a virtual assistant instead.
For now, you might just want to hire a virtual assistant, but it’s likely that you’ll need an online business manager in the future. In fact, if you don’t want to hire anyone at all, you could put together a team of an online business manager and a few virtual assistants to do the work. As your business grows, you might hire some people to work for you, but it’s more likely that you’ll always need to outsource some tasks.
VA FLIX lets you find a virtual assistant for the number of hours you need. Our plans range from 15 to 90 hours per month, or you can pay as you go. You’ll have a virtual assistant who works only for you, plus an extra assistant you can use whenever you need one. Set up a consultation and you’ll get 10% off.