Lately, the term OBM (online business manager) has started to make its way further down under to Australia. I work with loads of international clients, mainly in the USA, so this term for them is pretty standard, and what I often do for businesses is coined by the term OBM or Business Systems Expert (BSE).
Now for all of my lovely fellow Aussies, the term OBM sometimes gets put into the same category as a VA. This is not uncommon at all, but there are quite some significant differences which we will get into later. For now, let me explain what an OBM actually is.
What is an Online Business Manager (OBM)?
An OBM, in traditional office terms, is the office manager the right hand to the business owner. With the world turning more to the online digital space, OBM’s have grown (even if the term hasn’t quite taken yet). The OBM is in charge of developing ways to help the company as a whole operate more efficiently. An OBM takes the day-to-day tasks off the owner’s plate and streamlines not only processes but how the business operates to ensure its full steam ahead at all times. OBM tasks can range from managing bookkeeping to social media and implementing the systems to run it all.
To compare to the position of a VA, I would say that a VA does more task-orientated work. Like the traditional administration staff, the actual doing of admin tasks such as scheduling appointments, planning business trips, office communications, etc. A VA would be more task-focused, whereas an OBM is more outcome-focused.
When to hire an OBM or business systems expert?
As business begins to boom and you have more client potential and less time to service them, you need to look to employ an OMB or at least a VIP day to sort out your digital world. Many business owners don’t realise the growth they’re experiencing until they are turning away clients and still working a 70 hour week! (an awesome problem to have – but one that requires help).
When you are at the point of constantly being on the phone or emailing your web designer, sales manager, marketing director and bookkeeper – it’s time to bring in an OBM. The OMB or business systems expert, as I like to call them, will look closely at creating automated systems and introducing project management tools. This helps to align the staff (even if it’s just you as a solopreneur) to ensure the business runs more cohesive (yes, this is when you exhale and relax!).
The main aim here is for the business owner to stop trying to handle the minute details of the day to day busy work and instead work strategically to build your brand and raise your income ceiling.
There are a few telltale signs that it might be time to hire an OBM or arrange a systems VIP day:
- The realisation you need better systems but no time to implement them.
- You aren’t tech-savvy, and your current tech stack is held together with sticky tape and pieces of your sanity!
- You feel that you are half in with all the jobs you need to be doing.
- You constantly send emails back and forth to clients or suppliers.
- You don’t have any SOP’s in place, so you cant hire that VA.
- Checking in daily with more than two employees to ensure the business is on track
- You feel you are working those long hours, but you aren’t getting anything done at the end of the day.
What does an Online Business Manager do?
An OBM serves as the go-between for you and your team. This (incredibly organised) 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 workflow. It’s like taking all the tasks that can be automated and actually automating them, so your business runs without you in it.
Why hire an OBM or business systems expert?
First and foremost, to save your sanity! I kid you not, most of my clients say that the freedom that they feel in their business again is the most significant relief next to having more time. You didn’t start out in business to do long hours with underachieving results. You started out to fulfil your entrepreneurial need – let’s get that feeling back.
An OBM can help to get your business streamlined and scaled. Earning money is the main goal in any business, no matter the size.
When you start out in business, most of us do it to escape the rat race of the 9-5 or to have more freedom in our lifestyle.
Running the business that you once thought would offer these things only to realise you do ALL the things.
When you cant even hire help because your systems are such as mess, is a pretty good sign you need some help. Whilst a VA might do the job without having processes and systems in place first, you are only paying someone to do the busy work for you. Their efforts could be spent organising your social media or doing those tasks that make money, but you hate doing them.
With the support of an OBM, you know your business systems are working at their optimum, and your business goals and strategy is on the way to being ticked off. We all need to reach our goals to stay vibrant in biz! An OBM can help you to achieve this and give you the freedom to love your business, and let you work in that zone of genius you have.
Not ready to hire a business systems expert?
If you arent ready to hire or you just don’t have the ongoing funds to support an OBM, then I have two options for you:
Check out my VIP systems days or
Check out my signature course that walks you through setting all your systems up while I hold your hand (virtually, of course!)