Original posting November 3, 2015
Why is being proactive an important aspect of being an online business manager (OBM)?
Simply put: proactivity = survival
Without a proactive approach to business development, the OBM, business and team will find themselves in a continuous cycle of chaos.
First, proactivity is a decision to be made, then a habit to be embraced. As an OBM, we use proactivity as a tool to keep all the moving pieces going forward and ensure balls do not get dropped and initiatives are followed up.
If I am being honest, proactivity has not been a ‘natural’ tool for me. Having started my business as a Virtual Assistant (VA), I developed an ‘as requested’ workflow. Meaning, I did things as they were requested by my clients. Unfortunately, this left me running around, putting out fires. Tasks and expectations would land in my inbox daily that I had no idea were coming and I would have to drop everything and put out the fires. This made for absolute chaos in my day, even if my clients never experienced that feeling (which I worked really hard to ensure they didn’t).
When I began to work as an OBM, I was juggling many more of the moving parts for each of my clients. Not only was I responsible for the tasks I had to perform, but I was responsible for the tasks the client was performing as well as the tasks the VA’s were performing. This made for an entirely different experience when it came to ensuring all the expectations where being met.
I think initially I made the decision to take a proactive approach because it was the expectation of the role; I am a bit of an overachiever so that expectation thing always gets me going.
Secondly, I realized I did not want to give my team the same experience that I had as a VA, with all the tasks falling in my inbox and me not having any control over what was coming or when. Essentially I didn’t want to create chaos for my team. This was a huge motivator for me when it came to establishing proactivity.
Lastly, I love business… that is always at the root of what I do. Because of this, I want to see business running in its most optimal form of productivity. For this to happen, we have to be precise and purposeful in all operations and efforts.
If you are thinking as an OBM, you need to work on your proactivity muscle. Here are three things you can implement every day that will help you establish this habit in your efforts:
- Decide being proactive is the highest value of service you can offer yourself and your clients. Without this level of decision, it will be very difficult to stick to the commitment to establishing a proactive culture in a reactive business.
- Communicate the expectation to shift to a proactive business approach with both your clients and your team. You may have to push back a bit on the constant firestorm if you or your clients are ‘addicted’ to the fires.
- Create a proactivity plan. This is the plan you need to establish when you are going to plan 😉 It’s a plan for your plan, if you will!
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