do you need a va or an operations manager?

It almost always will feel like a stretch when you are hiring.
You can look at hiring in one of two ways: As an expense OR as an investment.

You know you need help, but you aren’t sure if you need the support of a VA (virtual assistant), or is it time to hire an Operations Manager?

First, let’s take a look at the key differences between a VA and an Operations Manager.

Doing vs. Managing

The role of a virtual assistant is to be a DOER in the business. Their tasks vary from person to person depending on their area of expertise – admin, customer service, tech, marketing, etc.

The role of an Operations Manager is to be a MANAGER in the business – to make sure the right things get done, in the right way, at the right time, and by the right person.


A VA is responsible for their OWN tasks and projects being completed and delivered in a timely fashion.

An Operations Manager focuses on what the entire team is doing. We ensure that EVERYONE is completing their tasks promptly and ensures progress towards the established business goals.


A VA needs to effectively plan their time and workload to ensure that their work is completed.

An Operations Manager plans for the business at large. We always look ahead to what is coming up and create plans & systems to ensure the company is running smoothly and effectively (vs. functioning in a constant state of reacting to ‘last minute’ requests and overwhelm that is so common when there isn’t a plan).

Working with the Team

A VA is very focused on their own work and will engage with fellow team members as needed to complete their own tasks.

An Operations Manager is the key point of contact for the entire team. We work closely with them (daily) to ensure that everyone is clear on their tasks & deadlines and has what they need to do their best work.

Simply put, a VA works independently with a focus on completing their own tasks and will often rely on the business owner (you!) telling them what needs to get done. Whereas an Operations Manager can plug into the big picture, layout plans, and works with the entire team to ensure that everyone is getting the right stuff done and progress is made to meet the business’s goals. 

So how do you know if you need to hire a VA or an OBM? A few things to consider:

  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. You are making at least 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. This is where an Operations Manager comes in, working with you to lay out the right plan, team, and structure to get you to the next level. 
  2. Who is currently managing the team? If you are like many of the business owners I speak with, you don’t realize how much time and energy it takes to manage your business’s day-to-day obligations. 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.) Until you have an Operations Manager in place, all of these tasks land on your shoulders and can be a massive 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 starts to get in the way. There is only so much time and energy to go around, and if you are the ‘hub’ of everything that happens in the business, you become the biggest bottleneck. An Operations Manager 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. 

There comes a time when your business becomes bigger than you as a solopreneur, where the hustle and the ‘do it all myself’ mentality is no longer effective when it starts to get in the way and stall your growth.

Let’s talk if you are ready to take things to the next level and get yourself freed up from the day-to-day.