I’ve been working in the virtual support industry for over 10 years now, as an OBM for much of that time (of course) and also in coaching/supporting the business owners who are hiring their own virtual teams.
And there is one thing that can very easily go wrong when it comes to business owners hiring their virtual team members. In fact, i’ve seen this go wrong time and time again in working relationships.
What it comes down to is the answer to this question:
“Who is managing this show?”
Most business owners start their business because they have a vision of something big that they want to create – a passion, a service, a talent. They love what they do and want to give it to the world.
What they don’t love is managing the day-to-day activities of their business. They hate being bogged down in the ‘details’ of their business and quite honestly many business owners simply aren’t good at it.
But the fact of the matter is that someone needs to be in charge – there needs to be someone who is managing the day-to-day activities of your business.
And yet the traditional virtual support model doesn’t always accomodate this need. Most virtual support professionals (VAs, web designers, etc.) either aren’t interested in managing your business or don’t have the skills to do so.
So one of two things generally happens:
- The business owner assumes that the VA (or whomever) will fulfill this role and they become frustrated/annoyed when they don’t. I’ve seen MANY working relationships fall apart for this very reason.
- The business owner takes on the responsibility of managing the day-to-day activities of their business. Not only is this a drag for most business owners, it can also seriously stunt your business growth – if you are stuck in the day-to-day stuff who is growing the business?
It’s a fatal flaw in the model, and yet it is also the reality of how many of us are working today. And I know that many of you are sick and tired of it.
What to do? Hire an Online Business Manager.
The official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:
A virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses, including the day-to-day management of projects, operations, team members and metrics.
However I like to look at the role from a bit of a different angle – what is the purpose of an Online Business Manager beyond ‘what they do’?
The role of the OBM boils down to one simple thing:
To free up the business owner so that they can focus their time and energy on the things that only THEY can do in their business.
Did I just hear a sigh of relief? 😉
I just love this comment from Alicia, which I think illustrates this perfectly.
“After cycling through more virtual assistants than I’d like to admit, I was completely frustrated with the whole industry. And then this blessed little book ended up in my hands, and not by accident, I’m sure. What I learned was that yes, I did need and want virtual assistants to help me run my business (I knew I couldn’t do it without them, but the how to do it effectively had eluded me), but what I ALSO needed was an OBM. When that realization struck, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. My VAs were doing a fine job – it was ME who was unhappy managing them. The solution? An OBM! I’m indebted to you, Tina – thank you for writing this book so I can go back to enjoying my business again!”
– Alicia M Forest, ClientAbundance.com
If you are interested in hiring an Online Business Manager let me know.