Executive Assistant vs Business Manager: Which One is Right for You?

Executive Assistant vs Business Manager

Chances are you’ve come across both these titles, “Executive Assistant” and “Business Manager” during your research about outsourcing, or while you were looking to hire someone – but what the heck is the difference?

Well, even though they’re pretty similar, there’s actually some key differences between them, and understanding what those differences are will help you determine which person is right for your business.

Here’s a break-down:

Client Load

Business Manager: Typically has no more than 3 clients at any one time because they are responsible for keeping their client’s entire business running smoothly.

Executive Assistant: Generally have anywhere from 5 to 8 clients that they juggle work for on a regular basis.

The Big Picture

Business Manager: Understands the big picture and works with the business owner to outline & oversee the steps necessary to get there.

Executive Assistant: Typically aren’t concerned about the big picture; instead they focus on doing the tasks.


Business Manager: Responsible for ensuring the business runs smoothly, by creating operation manuals, training assistants, managing assignments, schedules and staff.

Executive Assistant: Responsible for completing tasks assigned to them – i.e. formatting ebooks, conducting research, sending newsletters, working in shopping carts.

Achieving Success

Business Manager: Success is achieved when the business is operating efficiently & the entire team is happy.

Executive Assistant: Success is achieved when the work is completed & delivered in a timely manner.

Overall Goals

Business Manager: To build long-term, trusting relationships with business owners who value the working relationship and compensate accordingly.

Executive Assistant: To increase their work hours, thus income, for each client without having the added responsibility of managing others.

Why Are They Hired?

Business Manager: Are hired when business owners have grown beyond the startup phase, and  they simply cannot manage everything and still continue to grow; or perhaps, they’ve grown tired of managing the day-to-day operations.

Executive Assistant: Are hired during the early stages of business. They help set up websites & shopping carts, create mailing lists, schedule client calls, answer emails, and so forth. Once the business is going, they continue to work on individual tasks.

As you can see, the role of a Business Manager is much different than an Executive Assistant and yet, you can benefit from hiring both

But there’s there is one thing I want to mention…

You can pretty much hire an executive assistant at any time, no matter what level your business is at – however, you have to make sure you and your business are ready before you go out and hire a business manager.

Here are 7 signs that now may be the right time to hire a business manager:

  1. You have difficulty organizing + streamlining your behind-the-scenes operations.
  2. Your income has plateaued and you need help so you can get to the next level.
  3. You have a good team in place, but managing them and their schedule is exhausting.
  4. You want to be the visionary CEO of your business, and not a manager working in your biz.
  5. You’re sitting on a lot of incomplete projects that could be making you a lot of money.
  6. You’re so busy with the day-to-day tasks that you’re forced to decline amazing opportunities.
  7. You’re tired of being “in charge” of assigning work to your team, balancing their schedules, etc.

Those are just a few things that signal that it’s time for you to up-level your team, and change your role within your company.

And just a few final thoughts…

  • Hire for where you’re headed, not where you currently are.
  • Ensure you have measures of success in place.
  • Know what you want to outsource & what needs your personal attention.
  • Know who to hire for each aspect of the business (tech, marketing, sales, etc).
  • Set and clearly communicate your expectations for your support team.

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