It is a big step to hire an online business manager and a financial investment you want to maximize. I have the privilege of working with a lot of different coaches and therapists, and each one operates differently than the next. Part of the fun of having an OBM on your team is having a built-in business partner, without giving away equity in your business.
Entrepreneurship can be isolating, overwhelming, and exhilarating all at the same time! One of the things I love most about my client relationships is partnering with them on their journey. Whether it’s celebrating their successes or listening to their frustrations, it’s something I take seriously. I am invested in their business growth just as much as they are.
Taking the step from having a virtual assistant to working with an OBM requires a different approach. That being said, I have learned a few things from my clients about how to ensure success and benefit the most from your online business manager:
Make Sure You Are Ready for an OBM
Not every business owner is ready for an OBM, mentally, emotionally, or financially. It requires a different mindset to shift into a relationship with an OBM, a readiness to let go and trust another person with your business. Financially, it is a greater investment than a virtual assistant. Typically, a business that is hitting the 6-figure mark is able to hire and benefit from an OBM. Unless you are fully invested and willing to embrace the jump, don’t do it.
Understand the Nature of Your Relationship with Your OBM
Your OBM doesn’t work for you, she works with you. She is your business partner and manager. You can strategize together to make sure your business operations are running smoothly. Use your OBM to develop a marketing plan to grow your business. Let your OBM track your metrics and finances. Offload the management piece of your business to your OBM so you can do the work you love.
Have Regular Meetings with Your OBM
At a minimum, you should have a monthly meeting with your OBM to review the business and discuss goals and projects for the month. Depending on how fast your business is moving and growing, more meetings may be necessary. To make these meetings efficient and effective, have your agenda outlined. Be ready to go over your priorities and talk about what you’d like your OBM to accomplish. Sometimes I have working meetings with my clients and we get down to business in our calls.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Your OBM wants to know what is going on in your business. Be completely transparent and share where you’re at. Talk about what’s working well and what you’re struggling with. Let her into your world. When your OBM gets disconnected from your business, it can be difficult for her to effectively manage the day-to-day activities. When your OBM emails you with questions, respond as soon as you can. Most OBMs are movers and shakers, and a lack of communication can cause a delay in projects.
Stay in Your Lane
Your OBM is a manager and she owns her share of your business success. You are the visionary of your business and your job is to lead your OBM. By keeping her invested in your vision, she is motivated to act on your behalf. Don’t do things that should be handled by your OBM, unless there is clear communication about the role shift. This can cause confusion and a breakdown in operational efficiencies. From the beginning, make sure there are clear boundaries around role responsibilities. Then you can run in your lane while she runs alongside you.
Empower Your OBM to Act and Make Decisions
The more your OBM feels trusted by you, the more likely she will make decisions on your behalf. It can be time-consuming to run every business decision by the owner. It slows progress and leaves you in a position of constantly granting approval. Your OBM may push you to let go and trust. One time I processed payroll for my client without getting her approval. She had a momentary freakout. I gently reminded her that it is my responsibility to ensure payroll is accurate and on time, and any mistakes made also belong to me. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she could rely on me.
Let Your OBM be the Container
Most entrepreneurs tend to run in a million different directions. They have lots of ideas and an equal desire to implement all of them at the same time. As you know, this is not always possible. Your OBM is your container, the one that says, “Hold your horses, let’s stay focused.” She will help you prioritize and be your reality check when you lose focus. Listen to her and allow your OBM to keep you grounded.
Take Advantage of Your OBM’s Team Building Skills
Some OBMs have a built-in team of virtual assistants and other freelancers they work with. Finding and managing all the appropriate people for your team is time-consuming. Your OBM is there to either provide or recruit all the right people for your team. She then helps manage these individuals and makes sure projects are completed on time. One of my new clients recently came to me with a project, unsure if I could handle it, or if she needed to find someone to do it for her. As an OBM, I quickly assigned one of my virtual assistants to take it off her plate. Don’t spend your time managing and recruiting a team, let your OBM do it for you.
Respect and Love Your OBM
That’s what we all want, right? Your OBM will have an unshakeable commitment to you when she feels respected and appreciated. Don’t get so busy that you forget to say thank you. Tell her what you like just as easily as you give constructive criticism. Do little things to make her feel she is a valued member of your team. Trust her and tell all your fellow business owners how much you love her. Your OBM loves referrals, especially when they are people like you.
Adding an online business manager to your team will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. But unless you nurture your OBM relationship, you will never maximize the benefits she can bring. Follow these tips and you’ll have a partner in your success for years to come.
Looking for an online business manager to join your team? Amazing OBM is a full-service business management company serving the coaching and therapy markets. For the essential tools you need for business growth, download our free “Guide to Scaling Your Coaching Practice.”
The Keys to Maximizing Your Relationship with an Online Business Manager
October 18, 2018