A number of business owners see an Online Business Manager and a Virtual Assistant as positions that holds the same responsibilities. And while the two are similar in some ways, the most notable differences are what make room for both of these support roles in a company – depending on where you’re at with company growth.
What is an Online Business Manager (OBM)?
An OBM, in traditional office terms, is the office manager – the right hand partner to the business owner. The OBM develops ways to help the company as a whole operate more efficiently. From bookkeeping to social media, the OBM ensures employees have the tools and training they need to keep the company running at full steam.
A virtual assistant would equate to a traditional administrative assistant. This person plays a vital role in setting appointments, planning business trips, ensuring the business owner and management team are abreast of all communications coming into the office. This person is key in keeping the owner informed and on-track with their business schedule.
When to hire an OBM?
As startups begin to flourish, many business owners don’t realize the growth they’re experiencing (a great problem to have – but one that requires help). As you get more clients, create more products and launch your brand in new markets, you begin to lose track of the day-to-day tasks you were once handling.
When you reach the point that you are in constant communication with your web designer, sales manager, marketing director and bookkeeper – it’s time to bring in an OBM. The OBM will bring in automated systems, productivity programs and digital project management tools that make the efforts of everyone in the company more cohesive (yes, this is when you exhale and relax!). Business is booming! Stop trying to handle the minute details of the day and work strategically to build your brand.
Still not sure if it’s time to bring in an awesome leader to streamline your company’s efforts? Here are the signs you need an Online Business Manager:
- Realization you need better tracking / management systems but no time to implement them
- Unsure who is assigned which tasks and if your company is meeting project deadlines
- Checking in daily with more than two employees to ensure business is on track
- Unsure of what platforms are available to make your team’s efforts more in sync
- Often find hours or even days lost because you’re completing or leading projects to ensure they stay on task
Where do you fall with the list above? Are you constantly looking for more time in the day to build the future of your company rather than manage the present?
What does an Online Business Manager do?
An OBM serves as the go-between for you and your team. This (incredibly organized) person has the ability to take a step back from the business, evaluate where more structure is needed and use tools available to create a better work flow.
In short, your OBM helps you achieve the big picture goal by making each project and goal more streamlined and obtainable.
Why hire an OBM?
Your time should be focused on growing your business, not micro-managing it and bringing on an OBM allows you to do just that. Your OBM will be in charge of:
- Project Management – Implementing a new online portal – like Asana or ClickUp – so team members can communicate without meetings and give progress updates all on the same platform.
- Operations Management – Works with your team leaders to make sure the website runs smoothly, clients are happy and the marketing strategy is being implemented.
- Metrics Management – From sales to web traffic, an OBM monitors the metrics of the company to suggest change when needed.
- People Management – Managing daily tasks of team members so you don’t have to.
With the support of an OBM, you know your business strategy is in play and you achieve your big picture goals – creating more revenue, a cohesive team and brand strength.
Have you worked with an OBM before? If not, do you think it’s time to bring in an awesome leader to streamline your company’s efforts?