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What is an Online Business Manager OBM and do I need one for my business? Blog

Do I need an Online Business Manager for my business?

In This Blog

Nowadays, many people are starting their own businesses, and most of them are online-based businesses.
Why? Because it’s relatively easier than starting a brick-and-mortar-based business.
I cautiously say “relatively” because I DO NOT mean it’s easy.

Having your own business certainly has its rewards. Still, it can also be challenging, especially if you’re starting and running everything yourself, which is the case for most online entrepreneurs.

For a while, entrepreneurs will run their businesses by themselves. Then once the demand or their offers expand, they start (or should start) looking for help – a.k.a. their first hire.
The first hire is usually a general virtual assistant (general VA), task-based support. More on that in a future blog post.
As the business grows, more VAs are hired with more specific departments.
As the team and company evidently grow, business owners will be more efficient with an OBM in their team.

black flat screen computer monitor on brown wooden desk

Imagine this:
You’re an online entrepreneur that provides products (guides, books, LUTs, etc.) or services (consulting, coaching, social media management, photography, video editing, etc.).
You started your business all by yourself and have since grown to (at least) a 3-person team. You, your social media VA, and your tech VA.

Because you’re getting more clients, more positive testimonials and more online exposure, you are receiving more inquiries for your product or service.
You also envision expanding your business to get more revenue streams. You may be thinking of doing an online course and group coaching – which needs more hands on deck, like a Customer Service VA, Community Manager or Coach.

Your team is growing. Your offers are evolving. Your clientele is increasing. Your platform (could be) expanding. But, to have time for yourself, your family and to keep your sanity intact, you’ll want to have an Online Business Manager by your side.

So, what IS an Online Business Manager and what do they do?

Being your own business manager is not a viable long-term option for most online business owners. However, Online Business Managers provide a lot of support for entrepreneur clients.

OBMs make sure that the right tasks are done, at the right time, in the correct order or way, by a qualified team.
They take the “back-end” of the business from the business owner – a.k.a. anything that isn’t client work or isn’t your “zone of genius” – and makes sure that it runs smoothly. In return, this gives you (the owner) more time to focus on your zone of genius, take more clients, and do more income-generating activities.
So, they work alongside you, not replace you.

To name a few, OBMs come in many different titles in the online world:

  • Digital Business Manager or DBM
  • Chief Operating Officer or COO
  • Integrator
  • Office Manager
  • Biz Bestie
  • Right-Hand Person
  • Second-in-Command
  • Operations Manager*
  • Team Manager*
  • Program Manager*
  • Project Manager**
  • Launch Manager**
  • Systems Manager*/**

*These focus on specific business areas, whereas an OBM focuses on the entire company.
**These are project-based, and the contract ends once the “project” is completed.

macbook pro beside green plant on table

Why do I need an Online Business Manager? What are the benefits of having an OBM?

Simply because your time is precious, and you have a business to run.
You are the expert in your field, not us.
Even if you can handle everything yourself, you don’t want to run your business by yourself. If you are busy managing every aspect of your company, you’ll never have time for strategic planning or growth. You may also miss out on opportunities that could give you more income or clients.

Some of the tasks that OBMs take care of:

  • Hire and train employees.
  • Handle employee and contractor matters.
  • Handle customer service issues.
  • Plan, delegate and manage project tasks.
  • Develop marketing campaigns.
  • Manage budgets and finances.
  • Systems creation and implementation.
  • Monitoring metrics and analysis.
  • Marketing development and upkeep.
  • Understand the market by analyzing competitors.
  • Research new technologies that could be used in the company’s products or services.

The list is definitely not exhaustive as they can do much more, and some do a more focused area of the business.

Are OBMs my employee?

Typically, OBMs are not an employee but more an extension of the company itself. It depends on what you want for your business. For example, will you provide the OBM with benefits, taxes, etc.?

Do you need/want them to concentrate just on your business, or is it ok if they have other clients at the same time?

OBMs are typically independent contractors or part of an agency – so they are not your employees. They have freedom on what days and times they work (unless you specified your needs in your job description), and they usually have more than one client.

How are Online Business Managers paid? Are they hourly-based?

Because OBMs usually have more than one client, OBMs may present their number of hours per month as a package deal, but they don’t strictly work hourly.
They can be on retainers (exactly what a lawyer retainer is) or project-based like the ones with the * beside them on the titles list above.

The typical hours are between 20 – 60 hours per month and is paid monthly. However, when a client goes over the agreed number of hours for various reasons, like the OBM had to go on a meeting on behalf or with the client or had to do an extra task, to name a couple, OBMs may charge an hourly rate to cover those hours worked.

person in blue jacket sitting on brown wooden chair near brown wooden table during daytime

When should I hire an Online Business Manager?

Businesses should think about hiring an OBM when they’re hitting revenues that are 5-figures and up and have 2+ people in their team (either employees or contractors). Your OBM is your buffer between you, your team and your contractors. Sometimes, even between you and your clients.
They’re your second brain in the business, so letting them in on your goals will definitely help them get clear on your business and how they can better work with you.

Aside from the apparent online search, you can find Online Business Managers mostly on Facebook Groups, Instagram, and some on Pinterest and TikTok.

What now?

If you have a business that is growing quickly and requires support, an Online Business Manager can be a great resource.

An OBM will help you take your business to the next level by helping you execute on your strategic vision, manage your time and tasks more effectively, and free up your time to focus on what matters most.

So, tell me, are you ready to start growing your business?

Christine Damian Blog - Online Business Management + Systems Specialist

Ready to take the next step?
Book your Discovery Call with me today!

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