Are You Ready for an OBM?

Most small business owners, especially in the early days, have to wear many hats. Nope, scratch that. They have to wear EVERY hat. It’s a one-person band, and all of the responsibilities are on YOU.

Eventually, once you’ve made it through the early days and brought your business to a healthy place, you’re going to realize that you need some more help. A lot of people think that means hiring a part- or full-time employee, but that’s not the only option. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable, flexible, and equally effective option, hire a Virtual Assistant. They can handle all of the tasks on your to-do list that are outside of your “pay grade” so that you can focus on the bigger picture of growing your business.

But what happens when what you need help with goes beyond general admin work? 

What if what you really need is someone to help manage your projects, your small-but-mighty team of sub-contractors, your business in general, and you?

Maybe what you really need is someone to step in at that management level to direct all the players in your business and make sure everyone and everything is working toward your big business goals at all times. 

If that’s you, it’s time to hire an Online Business Manager!

Ok, what is an Online Business Manager?

An OBM is essentially the management-equivalent of a Virtual Assistant. While they won’t be physically present in your office, they’ll remotely handle all of the management tasks that you can’t spend time on. We’re talking high-level oversight and ownership of the projects you need expertly handled. Sweet!

Do You Actually Need an OBM?

While an OBM is much more affordable than a full-time, in-person manager, you need to make sure that the investment will be worth it. Is now the right time? Do your projects really require that level of expertise?

I always suggest my clients ask themselves a few simple questions when they’re considering moving ahead with an OBM. Give these a whirl; how would you answer?

Are My Management Responsibilities Distracting Me from More Important Everyday Tasks?

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities that only you can take care of. I suspect that your to-do list is packed with non-negotiable items that must be accomplished on a daily basis. If you’re finding that you have trouble finishing everything on the list by the end of the day, then you might be in the market for some additional help.

Management responsibilities, like moving complicated projects forward, or checking in on your entire team to make sure they’re productive and on-task, are hugely time-consuming activities. By eliminating these tasks from your own workload, you’re going to be able to dedicate more of your time to actually running your business.

Can I Take a Vacation Without Everything At Work Falling Apart?

Despite making their own schedules, solopreneurs usually take fewer vacations than most people. Why? Because everything would fall apart without them! Sound familiar? 

You’re at the very heart of your business, and if you weren’t there, tasks wouldn’t get accomplished, clients would be ignored, and the company would collapse into a burning mound of fiery debris and shattered dreams. (Or at least that’s how it feels.)

If you find yourself in a place where you want to take a vacation without having to check email, direct your team, and put out fires while you’re lounging on the beach sipping margaritas, then hiring an OBM is for you. 

After they’re fully integrated into your business, they’ll be able to hold down the fort while you get some much needed time to relax and recuperate.

In this way, an OBM can significantly benefit your mental health and your work/life balance!

Has My Business Stalled? 

Something that many small business owners run into is that their business “stalls” after a few years of growth. It’s such a weird phenomenon! 

It seems like everything is going great, with new clients coming in and raising revenue, and then all of a sudden, everything levels off.

If you’re running into this problem, it’s possible that your business has reached capacity in terms of what it can handle with your current team and system of operations. If you want to get it growing again, you’re going to need time and expertise to help push your enterprise to the next level.

By hiring an experienced OBM with strategic planning, management, and execution skills, you’ll have someone on your team who can review your current systems and team structure and optimize them, which alone can often work to stimulate growth.

They’ll also free you up to get out there and make more connections, outline new goals, and flesh out new ideas and plans for the next stage of your business. 

Would an employee make more sense?

Hiring an OBM is a fabulous way to grow your team without having to spend a ton of money if you don’t need someone on in a full-time capacity.

For most small businesses a full-time manager is overkill, and by hiring an OBM you don’t have to worry about paying for:

  • training, 
  • vacations, 
  • sick days, 
  • equipment, and 
  • other employee necessities (like payroll taxes and benefits). 

The commitment level is also lower. If you hire an employee there’s typically a bunch of rigamarole you have to go through to get rid of them if they don’t work out. But with an OBM, like any sub-contractor, it’s as easy as giving whatever notice was outlined in the terms of your contract.

Is now the time for you to get an OBM?

If you’ve worked through the questions above and are nodding along thinking “yes, this is exactly what I need. Now what?” 

Get in touch. I’d be thrilled to explore how we can work together to find your perfect OBM match.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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