Project Manager vs. Virtual Assistant: Which One Makes Sense for You?

project manager vs. virtual assistant

There’s never enough time in the day and you’re sick of swimming in tasks pulling you away from what you really want to be working on. You know what needs to get done, but you can’t figure out how to make it happen.

It’s time to agree that you need help.

But what kind of contractor should you bring on to tackle the mountain of work in front of you? Would a project manager be the right fit or is a virtual assistant more appropriate?

Project Manager vs. Virtual Assistant: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between a virtual assistant and project manager has to do with who dictates what and for how long.

A virtual assistant joins your team to take specific tasks off your plate. You decide what they work on and you manage their work through whichever recurring check-in process you choose.

A project manager is brought on to, no surprise, manage a project. Which means that they work closely with you to develop a project timeline, deliverables, and a task list. Then, they complete the oversight of the project, completing or delegating tasks as necessary. Which, so you know, means they will be giving you assignments as well.

So which kind of contractor do you need? Below are a couple of factors you should consider before hiring.

Who Do You Really Need?

It might come across as an obvious question, but consider what kind of help would make the most impact based on what you’re struggling with at the moment.

If your day is bogged down by recurring tasks, things like social media posts, email blasts, schedule management and blogging, a virtual assistant is perfectly primed to take care of those things to give you more time for your unique skill set.

If you’ve got a giant undertaking in front of you: launching a new product or service, starting a podcast, re-branding, etc. and you can’t imagine tackling something like that while managing your business, you might be in the market for a project manager.

Be honest with yourself about whether you like to be in control or whether you prefer to have someone else managing the bigger picture of a project.

Start With a Test Run… For Both of You.

Hiring the wrong person for either of these roles will certainly ruin the point of getting help in the first place. You also run the risk of assuming that the idea to hire a contractor was a mistake and that you should continue managing everything because no one else is as good as you.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!

In order to prevent personality and work-style clashes, have your contractor start with a smaller project that allows you both to experiment with this relationship.

Make it a short, pressure-free set of deliverables; you’ll know fairly quickly whether the fit is going to work long term. If it’s clear that this one won’t, you don’t want their work stretching out for weeks before you can part ways.

Now that we’ve clarified the key points to deciding which type of contractor is right for you and your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us about project managers and virtual assistants. We’ve got both!

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