What is an Online Business Manager? Everything You Need to Know 

online business manager job description

Online business management is one of the fast-growing fields in terms of occupations and open positions. With the rise of startups and digital businesses, most location independent business owners need support to manage and monitor operational tasks and team management. 

Online business manager services are among the best positions to get a – well-paid – work-from-home job. If you are looking for a new job, online business management is a smart move – especially planning options for future remote careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6% increase in employment opportunities for managerial roles between 2019 and 2029.

Online remote management offers remote work opportunities to grow your skills and learn new things. What are you waiting for? In short, here is everything you need to know about online business managers: 

What is an Online Business Manager (OBM)?

An online business manager supports the business’ growth, reaches the company goals, and ensures the well-being of team members. 

OBMs direct daily operations on behalf of the business owner. The role is virtual support to manage daily tasks; deliveries; projects; and collaborations among team members. They are also responsible for team performance. Finally, they set goals and indicators to measure the team’s progress and adjust strategies to deliver the best possible outcome. 

In short, the goal of the role is to implement the company’s strategies while being a point of contact between the team, clients, and the owner. 

What are Online Business Manager’s Responsibilities?

What an online business manager does daily depends on the company’s demand and team. As a managerial position, there are four core responsibilities related to the role: 

  • Project management: OBMs manage the launch, implementation, and monitoring of virtual projects, including website upgrades; subscriptions; and marketing campaigns.
  • Monitor operations: OBMs monitor basic operations and maintain relationships with clients.
  • Tracking performance: OBMs identify the right KPIs for the project and monitor the team’s performance to improve and adjust strategies. 
  • Time tracking: OBMs control delivery outcomes and ensure punctuality on deadlines. 

Must-have Skillset for Online Business Managers

Most managers started as virtual assistants or with administrative roles to grow in the company. An online business manager oversees and manages different aspects of the project. And what is essential for the role are what people call ‘soft skills’ – besides technical expertise related to your company! 

1. Strategic thinking

As we mentioned, one of the core responsibilities of this role is to implement the company’s strategies and processes to achieve set goals. Your job is to develop a strategic plan to realize the owner’s ideas and objectives.

2. Time management

An online business manager is responsible for on-time deliveries and deadline. 

3. Communication

A key skill for this role is communication. You will be the point of contact between clients, team members, and senior positions. Even in a remote job, it’s essential to have a direct and clear way of giving feedback; reporting; and explaining further steps. Communication also means motivating your team members. And listening to their needs to plan efficient strategies. 

4. Organizational skills

No manager can get away without organizational skills. An online business manager doesn’t only coordinate and organize team members’ tasks. They also organize documentation. And select the best tools to share documentation and feedback remotely. Being able to predict the best strategy – finding the right set of tools and resources – is a necessary skill to manage distributed teams. 

5. Technology skills

Technical skills are crucial in any virtual job. You need confidence with project management and communication software applications. These tools will support organizing other people’s tasks and projects. How can you achieve the best possible results if you don’t know how to get the best potential out of your tools first?

6. Manage remote teams 

Finally, you need management skills. It might sound obvious for an online business manager. However, running a distributed team is different from an on-site office. For example, you need to coordinate tasks with different time zones. Or, you must find ways to make visible anyone’s work from distance. Being an online business manager means predicting and organizing all these things to ensure the best performance for your remote team.

Are There Online Business Manager Requirements?

You don’t necessarily need a degree to be an online business manager. As we said, you can start as a virtual assistant and grow in the company by learning skills in the field. However, if you are applying for a new position, here are some requirements to keep in mind:

  • Educations: Generally speaking, it’s preferable to have a background in business communication, management, marketing, or human resources. However, you can improve your skillset even with other qualifications like writing, history or maths. 
  • Work experience: For this type of role, people tend to value work experience more than qualifications. As a managerial role, it’s important to show that you know how to work with others and that you have already dealt with similar responsibilities. 
  • Certificates: IT and language certificates always help you stand out from other candidates. For remote roles, it’s essential to show proficiency with tech tools. And if you know how to speak more than one language is a plus – especially for distributed and international teams! 

Last Questions About Online Business Management  

Which is the average salary of an online business manager?

According to PayScale, the average online business manager’s salary is $75972/year, falling between $46 – 112k per year. Glassdoor indicates $80,635/year and ZipRecruiter $60344. 

However, online business managers’ salaries and job outlook depend on multiple things. First, you could receive an offer based on your education level, work experience, and skillset. Second, you need to consider your local cost of living and the company’s size.

Different things are important to think about when considering salary and benefits. For example, you got a job for a small but growing company. You will have a relatively low salary but the opportunity to learn and finalize your skills with a growing team. In this case, it’s a good idea to consider a lower salary to improve your skillset and work experience. 

Difference between Virtual Assistants and Online Business Managers?

Often people confuse the role of an online business manager (ONM) and virtual assistant (VA). Besides salary, the two roles have different responsibilities. These are the core differences:

Virtual Assistant Responsibilities

  • VAs implement the team’s work taking care of specific tasks following detailed instructions. They complete their tasks without control over the workflow or project’s priorities. 
  • The role usually works on a task basis and an hourly fee – often working for different clients simultaneously. 
  • VAs are team members and need to report to the business owner or OBM.

Online Business Manager Responsibilities  

  • As project managers, OBMs plan and are responsible for daily operations. 
  • OBMs are a point of contact with the owner. And they lead the team coordinating the work of  VAs, web designers, content writers, and social media.
  • The role requires more responsibilities and less flexibility in the work schedule – usually they handle fewer clients focussing or projects.

Where can I find a job as an online business manager?

Besides Facebook pages for digital nomads, you can look at a myriad of apps and web platforms to look for remote jobs. Here are the ones we recommend the most: 

  • Nomad Habitat
  • We Work Remotely
  • Remote.OK
  • Remotive 
  • Europe Remotely 

If you need a few tips to improve your resume for remote jobs, here you go! 

Wrapping Up 

An online business manager position is a great option to grow professionally and improve your skills in a remote work environment. You will have the opportunity to understand better how to deal with people while finding strategies to grow a project with new ideas and initiatives. 

And, who knows? Maybe one day, you will use this experience for your own business and teach your online business manager! 


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