The official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:
A virtual-based professional who manages online businesses – including the ongoing management of projects, operations, team members and metrics.
However, the real value and purpose of an OBM goes beyond simply what we ‘do’. An OBM’s real role (read: secret mission) is to:
(1) Free up the business owner (that’s you!) to fully step into a CEO role and focus on the things only you can do
(2) Take a stand for solid business practices and implement them so the business runs like a well-oiled machine
(3) Proactively lead the team towards the exciting milestones and compelling vision you’ve laid out
In essence, an OBM is your sounding board, trusted confidante, COO and experienced expert in doing business efficiently online. They make sure the right THINGS get done at the right TIME in the right WAY and by the right PEOPLE.
And whilst we absolutely do manage and deliver all business-building activities with your team (like marketing, sales, customer service, product development, launches, strategic alliances, team mentoring etc), we also work closely with you to define the big picture and strategise the best way to achieve our goals.
As one of my favourite clients likes to say:
“It’s like cloning myself… only you’re more organised!”.
Most business owners look to hire an OBM when they simply cannot grow their business anymore being the only one in charge. You’ve reached the point where you have a solid business plan, revenue is flowing in and your team is growing – but you’ve found that you’re now the bottleneck and are getting tired of being the one who has to “take care of everything.”
In order to take your business to the next level, you need to pull yourself out of day-to-day management activities and focus on growth. An OBM is the key to doing that safely and efficiently.
I love a good metaphor (is it just me?!), and was pondering an apt one to illustrate exactly how an OBM delivers value in a business. Hopefully the following gives you a flavour!
Imagine now that you and I are entering a car race. It’s one of those really exciting 1,000 mile adventure races, in an exotic location, and we are the hot favourites win! There’s lots of energy around this race, and we’ve been preparing for months.
Now, in this scenario, you, as the business owner, are of course going to be the Driver.
You’re going to take control of the steering wheel and the vehicle, decide broadly how we’re going to get to the finish line, how fast we’ll drive, and the strategy for staying out ahead of the pack.
The control of the car is yours; you’re confident and you know what you want and how you’re going to get there.
And in the car, sitting beside you, is me. I’m the Navigator. I’m going to be by your side during the whole race, getting super excited, totally committed to this amazing adventure we’re about to emark on.
I’ve brought a tonne of stuff with me for the journey. For us.
The first thing is a detailed map of the race route. And on that route, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and preparing for the race itself; I’ve marked all the blind bends and the pot holes on the route. The sections we can go fast are marked in green, and the sections where we have to be careful are marked in amber.
And I’ve packed up the car with all the supplies we’ll need – snacks and water, safety equipment, spare tires, contact numbers for the rest of our team… we know exactly when and where the checkpoints are, who’ll we’ll need to link up with during the race, and what speed we’ll need to consistently achieve to reach our goals.
There’s a lot of work that’s gone into getting ready. As the Navigator, I’ve driven these kind of roads before and there’s a few tips and hacks up my sleeve that I’m excited to bring out at just at the right moment to help us clinch victory.
Now, these preparations aren’t what you’d likely find exciting. You, as the Driver, are more focussed on the thrill of standing on that winner’s podium, the incredible sights we’ll see along the way, and all that other good stuff.
But what we (the Driver and the Navigator) know deep down is: to complete this race safely and successfully – we need each other.
Even though the Driver might consider a lot of what the Navigator does as boring or repetitive, imagine what would happen if she decided to drive off without her.
What would happen if she got lost? Injured? The car broke down?
How would she know which direction to drive in without a map? How would she know where that mudslide on the road is, or where the fuel stops are?
Setting off without a Navigator might even mean driving round and round in circles, not really making any progress and getting frustrated because the finish line seems like an impossible dream. Perhaps you can relate?
Now, imagine that, before you depart, I, the Navigator, jump into the passenger seat.
How awesome does it feel to have someone experienced that you trust and like right by your side, getting excited with you about your mutual goal and sharing the burden of all the stuff you have to do to make it happen?
This time, as you set off on the race, everything feels so much easier. It’s like the perfect combination of both our superpowers, making the race smooth and fun.
We effortlessly avoid that giant mudslide, and the wrong turn our map directed us away from.
We stop at exactly the right pitstops to refuel, and you feel energised and nourished from the snacks and water I’ve brought along for us.
It feels like everything is coming together, everything has been taken care of. You crank up the radio and we sing along to our favourite songs, enjoying the journey both metaphorically and literally.
And as we cross that finish line in pole position, you take stock and realise: it could only have happened because we worked together. We needed to BOTH be in the car.
We listened to, collaborated with and respected each other.
And now you’re there, receiving that giant trophy, your Navigator (hi there!) is applauding harder than anyone else… whistling and cheering, and completely stoked for you. We couldn’t have done it without each other.
This partnership is the missing key that’s needed in a business to scale and grow it with ease and grace.
Experienced, complementary professionals working seamlessly together towards a common goal, leading powerfully and kindly, and working together to reach that finish line.
When there’s a true balance between creative energy and putting the rubber to the road (geddit?!), magic can – and does – happen.
On a regular basis.
If that’s something you’d like to welcome into your business, let’s chat.