Received this question from a business owner just the other day:
As a business owner, how do I find a good business manager? I am a veteran of finding all sorts of VAs, coders, copywriters and contractors, but the one hump I haven’t gotten over is how to find that person who can actually drive projects and be a decision maker. And paradoxically, if I do find that person, wouldn’t he/she be building their own business rather than build mine?
To answer your first question, it can be tough to find a good business manager… especially for an online or virtually based business. We (Andrea Lee and I) are asked all the time ‘how can I find someone who does what you do’ and have very few people to refer them to. The business managers that we know are already super busy and not able to take on more clients. There is a shortage of these professionals out there (which is why I’m writing a book to help inspire and train new online business managers… we need more!)
What I generally recommend to people is that they look to ‘grow a business manager’ from within their current team if possible. If you have a VA or other team member who has great potential in this area you may want to work with them or hire an OBM mentor to help them build their project management skills. And once they know your business and have a good level of experience under their belts they should be capable and confident in making decisions as well. This isn’t necessarily the answer to ‘I need someone now!’ but it has been a solution for many business owners that I know.
Regarding your second question – a good business manager doesn’t necessarily want to build their own business. I like to look at business as the marriage of vision (passion) + implementation. A business manager is driven by the ‘implementation’ side of things – they like to take an idea and bring it to life, they aren’t necessarily the ones who like to come up with the ideas/vision themselves.
Whereas most business owners are really strong on the ideas/vision side of things but need help with the implementation/management side. I like to joke with a client of mine that I’m too busy ‘getting stuff done’ to try and come up with ideas of my own! And I like it that way, as I find it very fulfilling to help my clients bring their own ideas/vision to life.