An OBM or Online Business Manager is a manager who supports online businesses by focusing on day-to-day management, ensuring that all tasks and deadlines are met efficiently. Also known as Integrators, they are the bridge between you and your team with an overriding purpose to execute your vision. This beginners guide to the world of OBMs will help you decide if an OBM is right for your business, and what they’re all about.
The Role of an Online Business Manager
An OBM manages responsibilities in order to help free up your time by taking control of daily operations and working as a go-between for you and your teams. Their goal is for you to spend more time in your zone of genius.
Their core responsibilities are:
- Project Management: OBMs work on managing projects from their planning stage, ensuring that all tasks meet desired outcomes. This can involve product launches, creating new revenue streams, updating websites and setting up management programs like membership portals for easy team communication on project updates.
- Operations Management: OBMs work on implementing processes for daily business operations to be simplified. They are responsible for managing the continual improvement of your core systems.
- Metrics Management: OBMs work on tracking statistics to assess what is and isn’t working across your business. From a weekly leadership scorecard through to reviewing data to track key projects.
- People Management: OBMs work on onboarding, managing teams and clients, and nurturing relationships important to you and your business.
Basically, an OBM works as your right-hand-man, a liaison between you and the rest of your team, in a way that is similar to an Operations Manager or COO. They make sure everybody is equipped with the best tools and training to help the business grow.
The Difference Between an OBM and a VA
It can be confusing differentiating an Online Business Manager and a Virtual Assistant, particularly when you have a senior VA who’s much more than a task ticker. There are important differences.
VAs are implementers, more like an admin assistant in that their main responsibilities involve the ‘doing’ side of the business, while OBMs focus on management. VAs are team members who work on a task basis, ensuring that business owners stay informed and on schedule, but they don’t have the control over workflow or priorities that an OBM does.
Are You Ready for an Online Business Manager?
Now comes the question of when do you know whether to hire an OBM. OBMs are immensely helpful with managing daily business operations, bringing in tools to boost productivity, making work efforts more cohesive and pointing out where value could be added. Therefore, they allow you to prioritise what you channel your energy into.
We suggest starting with an OBM, they’ll then manage your team and hires for you … making sure you have the right people in the right seats in your business.
9 Signs You Need an OBM Now:
- You find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day needs of your business
- You don’t have enough time to focus on working towards your larger goals
- You lose track of time spending energy leading teams to ensure tasks are completed
- You are frustrated with how you are spending your time
- Your business is growing but you can’t keep up with managing everything
- You need better systems in place to track your progress but you don’t have the time or knowledge to implement them
- You don’t know what tools or platforms are available to make your business more in sync
- You are constantly having to check in with team members because you are unsure who is assigned which tasks and what deadlines are being met
- You need a partner you can discuss your ideas with, knowing they’ll be able to turn these ideas into an achievable reality.
OBMs can effectively step back and assess where more structure and tools are needed to add value. They are not a yes-man so their recommendations will be to improve your business, not to inflate your ego. By streamlining smaller time-consuming tasks, it gives you as a business owner the opportunity to maximise your time and energy to achieve your long-term goals.
How to Find the Right OBM for You
Once you’ve decided an OBM is the right option for you, how do you go about hiring one? Finding the right OBM can easily be shelved in the too-hard-basket, as we’ve already established, you’re short on time. You need to be looking out for specific qualities to secure the best OBM to help you. OBMs come from all different types of backgrounds which is a great thing, you can find an OBM with experience tailored to your business needs. But there are a range of skills that determine a great OBM, and you need to keep a keen eye out for them during the selection process.
Key Traits of a Great OBM
- Shows Intuitive: a naturally proactive OBM is important, you expect them to take initiative
- A Big-Picture Thinker: just as important as having an attention to detail when managing day-to-day operations, your OBM needs to see the big picture
- Systematic: your OBM needs to be organised 100% of the time to manage their wide range of responsibilities
- A Problem-Solver: a good OBM is one who is naturally gifted in sorting out chaos and thinking on their feet when resolving issues that arise on a daily basis
- A People-Person: one of their main roles is people management, so when it comes to both clients and team members they need to be able to delegate, communicate and lead
- Tech Savvy: part of their job is working with technology in managing metrics and installing programs to optimise your business, so a strong knowledge of technology is a must.
Online Business Managers are an investment in your business’s future, not to mention saving your own sanity and work-life balance. Remember to find an OBM that is above all, trustworthy, as you are expecting them to take care of a huge portion of your business responsibilities. Above all, this person should be someone you can build a relationship with. Someone you like and respect.
- Ultimately, finding the perfect OBM will be an enormous weight off your shoulders, and help your business grow beyond what you could achieve on your own. Having found the right one you’ll have more time to spend in your zone of genius, so you can shine doing what you do best … while having sourced a second set of skills to compliment your own.
- Don’t forget to check out our trilogy of free OBM guides here on our resources page, where we also cover the signs that you’re ready to hire an OBM and the benefits of working with one.