Who Do You Need to Hire in Your Online Business? A breakdown of the differences between a Project Manager, Online Business Manager, and Virtual Assistant

Recently, I was honored to be a guest on 2 different podcasts (All Up in Your Lady Business and BizChix) to talk about the process of building a team and hiring in your business. I shared about my role as a Project Manager and how that differs from various other roles in the same space, such as an Online Business Manager or a Virtual Assistant.

Then the next day the topic arose in a popular Facebook group I’m in.

The day after that, someone asked me privately, how my role could assist them as opposed to another.

After all of these discussions, I thought to myself, “No one knows what I do.” Of course, they know I DO BIG THINGS… in BIG WAYS. But they don’t actually know what I DO. Or what an OBM does–or even what the role of a VA is, in the most clear cut of terms.

And most importantly, that means that they don’t know whether they should hire a project manager, online business manager, or virtual assistant–or any combination of the above!

Well, that ends today!

Understanding the various roles of people who are in place to make your life easier and your business run smoother is fundamental. Without that insight, you run the risk of putting off projects or wasting time trying to sort through the best fit for your team.

My hope is that after reading my personal breakdown of the various positions, you will have a concise grasp on who you need to hire, what their duties should be and how they will benefit your business, as a whole.

What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?

A VA is someone who specializes in tasks and typically with a particular skill set, such as social media, administrative work or technology. However, that is not to say that there will not be VAs who are hired on as “generalists.”

A VA (or two) is normally the first role you’ll onboard for your team, as this person is there to take tasks off of your plate and free up your time. This will allow you to either focus on bigger, business-related tasks or recover some of your hard-earned, personal time.

What is an Online Business Manager (OBM)?

An OBM is a specialist in multiple tasks at one time and someone who will have a larger role in the actual strategy of your business. Typically, an OBM will know your business quite intimately, whereas a VA will only understand their specific role in your business.

However, it is important to remember that an OBM is strictly in a virtual capacity, thus the name “Online” Business Manager. With an OBM on your team, you will have someone who is capable of processing–and integrating–information, providing direction for a multi-faceted business.

What is a Project Manager (PM)?

Finally, my role as a Project Manager is to be a leader–in both thought and strategy–for your business. PMs will have specific training and expertise in how to develop tactics, and in turn, break them down into understandable and actionable tasks for the team.

While an OBM will usually oversee multiple projects at once, the differentiating element is that a PM will be overseeing, implementing and managing both projects AND the people tasked with them.

A PM may be hired to manage a one-time project, such as a launch, OR on an ongoing basis. Since many online business owners are running many different launches or projects throughout the year, it makes sense for them to have a Project Manager in a “Chief of Staff” role.

Working as a Team

At the end of the day, all of these positions share the same core values and qualities, such as: organization, attention to detail and the creation of structure. Though different job duties and roles, the person behind each position still tends to be a type-A individual that is resourceful, supportive and leans towards companionship in both life and business.

Hiring a project manager, online business manager, or virtual assistant will be beneficial to your business.

Of course, a successful Project Manager will work hand-in-hand with both the OBM and VAs, to direct them through launches, projects, events and more, unifying the team to help your business grow exponentially faster.

How I Work as a Project Manager

Taking my 15-plus years of corporate and leadership experience, I work exclusively with female entrepreneurs to manage your people, processes and projects, so that you can get back to managing your vision.

With my exclusive project-based training in the corporate space, I now create that same experience for every business CEO who needs a partner to have a continuous and fluid framework for the projects at hand.

With the understanding that many online entrepreneurs are limited in terms of their team members, I utilize effective planning and design every task as a project, with smaller, supporting tasks. For this reason alone, I rely on the many talents and skill sets of VAs and OBMs that help to make a team so valuable.

When hiring a team to help streamline and grow your business, the people you choose can either make or break your processes and development. But by understanding each individual role and how it pertains to your business, you will be able to fill the responsibilities needed skillfully–and successfully.

Is it time to hire a project manager, online business manager, or virtual assistant for your online business?

If you’re not sure, feel free to book a Strategy Session where I can help assess your business needs.


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