Just recently, a business owner who had a thriving online business reached out to me on LinkedIn. She had read my profile and felt my services were a great match for what she needed in her business. Up until that day, she had been managing her business on her own with a team of six virtual freelancers from all over the world.
During our consultation, she explained that her business was rapidly growing and her publisher had advised her to get all her ducks in a row. Knowing this was good advice from an invested party, I asked her if she had all of her standard operating procedures in place. It was obvious from her response that this was a new concept for her. The answer was no. In fact, she didn’t have any and wasn’t quite sure why she needed them.
Without getting into a conversation about why a business that is scaling needs SOPs, to her credit, this business owner knew she needed a business manager. An online business manager to be more specific. After having a conversation that I thought went well, she asked me to send her a proposal.
This is where the potential of working together went south.
As a certified online business manager, I knew exactly what needed to be done in her business to prepare her for the next level of growth. And I was confident my team and I would get the job done. So I eagerly prepared her proposal and sent it off. Within 10 minutes, she emailed me and said, “No way! I don’t pay anyone on my team more than $50/hour.”
This happens all the time in our industry. A business owner gets accustomed to hiring freelancers and virtual assistants to do the busywork, while he/she manages the team, the projects, and everything else it takes to run the business. Then when they reach a plateau, or simply can’t handle the chaos anymore, they realize they need someone different.
Many business owners don’t understand what an online business manager is, nor do they understand the return on their investment.
When an online business manager finally comes into the business, the business owner gets to truly step into being the CEO of her/his business. There are three primary benefits the CEO will receive once their OBM is fully onboard.
One of the first returns a business owner will notice is in his/her time. The OBM will come in and immediately start taking things off the business owner’s plate. This is one of the first questions I ask a new client. What’s on your plate right now that you want and need to get rid of? How can I lighten your load? At first, it may not be obvious to a business owner because she may be used to running her biz like a boss! But here is what happens.
As she begins to let go of managing the team, offloading projects and putting someone else in charge of important decisions, it becomes apparent how much she was doing. Once the business owner has trust that the OBM is managing the business as if it’s her own, more responsibilities are released to the OBM. The mind begins to open up to all the possibilities and ways the OBM can save time. Now the business owner is free to be the visionary of the business and focus on her zone of genius – generating revenue and serving her clients.
Have you ever lost sleep at night, worrying about all the decisions that need to be made in your business? Or the hundreds of balls in the air that might get dropped? It takes a lot of energy to run a business. When it’s all on your shoulders, it can be exhausting mentally, emotionally, and physically. A business owner, in the beginning stages, is working long hours and vacations normally include a laptop. Before hiring an OBM, everything falls on you.
When your OBM takes over, suddenly you have a right-hand woman to take care of your business. Your OBM becomes a sounding board when strategy discussions are needed. You get to share your ideas and your OBM creates the plan as to how your goals will be achieved. You are no longer bogged down by team questions. Overseeing all the day-to-day operations is a thing of the past. Even decisions you once made in your business are now non-existent or made easier by your OBM.
Imagine the stress that is lifted from your shoulders. When your mind is freed up, you now have the energy to focus on what lights your fire. You get to concentrate on your zone of genius and that in itself is energizing. True vacations with opportunities to relax and unwind are now made possible with your OBM in charge.
Let’s circle back to the proposal I gave to the business owner who truly needed an OBM. Your first thought might be, how am I saving money if I have to pay higher rates to an OBM? That is certainly a fair question. Let me explain to you how it works.
Before bringing on an OBM, you were the manager of your business. Every minute you spend managing your team, your projects, and your day-to-day operations is a minute taken away from you generating more revenue for the business. If you normally charge your clients $300/hour for instance, and you work 40 hours a week, you have the potential to make $12,000 in a week. However, if you have to spend 20 of those hours managing your business, now you can only make $6,000.
Let’s assume you can hire an OBM for $80/hour for those 20 hours, it will cost you $1,600 for the week. While she is managing your business, you can focus your energies on making $300/hour. So instead of making $6,000 without an OBM, you can now make $10,400 with an OBM. You’ve just earned a profit of $4,400. Now, this may be an oversimplified way of crunching the numbers, but it makes the point that your job is to be the CEO, and the OBM should be managing your business.
Another way money plays a big role in your business is that without an OBM, you simply will not be able to scale your business. If you have been able to generate $100-$200k without an OBM, you will eventually reach a plateau. Now if you want to remain a solopreneur, then this is a non-issue. But if you want to build a business that includes a team and gives you the freedom to step away from your business at times, you will need an OBM. To give you an example of what’s possible, a year and a half ago, my client hired me as her OBM. Her gross sales were around $700k. Today, she is set to gross $1.3m in sales by year-end. I can promise you, she has not paid me anywhere near $600k. :0)
To summarize, your ROI for hiring an OBM is in the form of time, energy, and money. Think about it for a moment. What are those things worth to you?
For me, they are priceless.
Lori Young is a certified OBM and founder of Amazing OBM. Her mission is to work with heart-centered entrepreneurs to help them scale their business, with less stress and more time. Lori’s desire is to partner with the business owner to create transformation in the world.
The ROI for an OBM: Three Ways a Business Owner Saves
October 8, 2019