If your business is to scale up, you will almost certainly need to hire or outsource some of the repetitive administrative tasks and managerial tasks. This will allow you to focus entirely on the growth of your business and bringing in the money. Once you have made the decision to outsource some of your workload virtually, then the biggest question is whether to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) or a Virtual Business Manager (VBM).
If you are not sure what the difference is between a Virtual Business Manager and a Virtual Assistant, I have outlined below the top 7 comparisons to help you determine which would be best for your business:
Virtual Business Manager vs Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants are assigned work or projects by the client, and they work remotely to complete the project within the agreed timelines.
Virtual Business Manager assists with the day-to-day operation of the business. They take over the managerial role of the business owner in performing the assigned roles and act in their place. This can, therefore, involve: –
- Management of the entire workforce including virtual assistants,
- Overseeing all projects,
- Tracking progress,
- Analysing reports,
- Contacting clients, and
- Organizing deals, among others.
Virtual Assistants handle specific administrative work, which may form part of a wider project or strategy. Examples of typical tasks include:-
- Personal assistance,
- Content creation,
- Email management,
- Calendar management
- Social media management,
- Customer service,
Typically, VA’s only manage themselves, however some VAs do have associates that they can call when necessary.
Virtual Business Managers handle various managerial duties. For instance, their responsibilities can include:
Virtual Business Managers can organize and plan projects, create budgets & schedules, monitor the projects against the baselines, generate analytical reports, and make managerial decisions.
The Virtual Business Managers typically has prior managerial experience. Hence, can be tasked with supporting you during the whole employee cycle. From recruiting your team, outsourcing to experts, orientate new members, track the team members’ progress & outputs, organize team meetings with the business owner, among others.
Virtual Business Managers can review and automate business systems & processes, outline new systems and procedures of operations, manage financial expenditures and income, handle tax, licenses, and insurance issues.
Virtual Business Managers can oversee the organization of virtual business events and product launches. This includes creating plans, sales and landing pages for the launch, and mobilizing the responsible teams.
Management of Public Relations:
The Virtual Business Managers can oversee the public relations for the business, such as coordination with event organizers, preparing press releases & bios, highlighting new networking opportunities for the client, creating itineraries, and any required materials.
Creating alternative efficient systems to save time, implementing lean operations, and preparing schedules to maximize productivity
Management of Income Streams:
They manage and create new opportunities & systems for multiple income streams such as memberships, loyalty programs, and autopayments, among others.
Website & Social Media Management:
They oversee, review, and analyze data on your social media platforms for consistency, relevance, and performance. They also oversee updates on your blogposts & websites, as well as search engine optimization.
Marketing & Customer Relationship Management:
The Virtual Business Managers can handle the creation & automation of newsletters, email marketing campaigns, implementation of the marketing strategy on all platforms, and identify new marketing opportunities.
3. Work Approach:
The approaches to work between a Virtual Assistants and a Virtual Business Managers are certainly different.
A virtual assistant work is reactive. They follow instructions provided by client in order to complete the assigned project. Over time, they may understand the client’s needs in their specific area and hence make suggestions for improvement in that area. However, these suggestions are limited to the scope of their work.
Virtual Business Manager’s approach is proactive. Actively providing suggestions of directions and solutions to the client based on the business’ vision and goals. The VBM identifies new opportunities for the business in the various aspects they oversee, as opposed to the VA who only delivers on the client to assign the work or project.
4. Area of Focus:
Virtual Assistant’s area of focus is in the completion of the tasks or project assigned to them in time. Their scope only lies within the duties assigned to them.
Virtual Business Manager’s focused on a wider scope of work within the business. VBMs are usually multi-skilled and hence can carry out the work themselves, if required, however, there true value comes from their prior management experience. Hence are able to also plan, strategize, organize, coordinate and monitor all aspects of your business. Ensuring your goals are met within time, budget and to the required standards. VBMs are overseers, as well as doers, and thus focus primarily the management and strategy as well
5. Level of Responsibility:
A Virtual Assistant only takes responsibility for the work assigned to them.
The Virtual Business Manager is a right-hand person to the business owners. The actions and decisions of the VBM impact the entire business and its operations.
6. Measure of Performance
Performance is based on quality and timely completion of the assigned tasks.
The success is measured based on the performance, efficiency and general success of the business.
7. Maximum Number of Active Clients
Virtual Assistants have a lower level of responsibility and work on projects of a lower complexity. As such, they are usually free to work with around 10-12 clients at a time. However, this would depend on the tasks and projects allocated, as well as their speed of delivery required.
As a result of the wider scope and level of responsibility borne by the Virtual Business Manager, they usually have to limit themselves to a maximum of 3 clients or businesses at a time. Dedicating themselves to a smaller number of clients enables a VBM to understand the intricasies of the business and bring valuable suggestion to drive the business forward to the owner.
Virtual Business Manager or Virtual Assistant….The Verdict
In conclusion, the decision to hire a Virtual Assistant or a Virtual Business Manager depends on the structure of your business, the kind of responsibilities you wish to outsource and the level of input you want to dedicate to the outsourcing.
If you are looking to simply outsource a few tasks to be completed remotely by an independent contractor with specialised skills, then hire a Virtual Assistant.
However, if you are looking for a strategic partner to oversee your business operations, manage your all your projects, proactively move your business form and potentially manage your staff or VAs then hire a Virtual Business Manager.
Either way, the decision lies with you, you know your business best and what resource you need to move you forward.