Online Business Manager Overview

The Online Business Manager role is becoming increasingly popular, with many business owners seeking to capitalize on the potential this role offers. In fact, one of my most popular posts is an abbreviated version of this post where I review “What is an OBM?”

Usually, once an online service-based business owner gets wind that there is a magical unicorn role that can systemize their entire business, “fix” all their inefficiencies, manage their team and get them out of the day-to-day operations, they’re screaming from the rooftops, “Sign me up!”

Before committing to an OBM, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits AND potential pitfalls. Thoughtful consideration will ensure you make the best decision for your business going forward.

When the Online Business Manager role is executed correctly, it provides access to someone who will help you retain focus in the role you know best – as a leader and visionary, and get you out of decision-making and back into building your business.

But, if not implemented effectively, complications may arise leading both parties to feel frustrated and let down.

Online Business Manager

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Working with an Online Business Manager

Hiring an OBM without fitting the role into your overall strategy is like hiring a painter for your home renovation without giving them any color swatches or specifications. 

Even if given the best supplies and equipment, the painter simply wouldn’t be able to create their best work because of the lack of direction or vision from the homeowner.

Spending time and money on someone who isn’t adequately informed and empowered to do their job won’t give you the results you’re looking for.   

Just as a business owner wouldn’t get their desired outcome by hiring someone without a clear strategy in place. This often causes costly mistakes that could have been easily avoided had due diligence been shown in the beginning.

With over a decade of experience in both the corporate and small business worlds, I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with remarkable colleagues and clients. Together we were able to achieve our goals efficiently and effectively; creating some truly inspiring successes.

On the other hand, when relationships weren’t solidified by mutual understanding and autonomy to get the job done, things tended not to go so well, proving that clear communication and realistic expectations are key for any professional engagement.

So, let’s dive into all the ins and outs of the OBM role and how it can help your business.

What is an Online Business Manager?

An online business manager is a strategic and operational role that helps online service-based business owners free up their time, increase their productivity and ensure the smooth running of their online operations, often through the creation of SOPs.

By taking on the vital responsibilities of managing online systems, processes, and team members, an OBM helps businesses increase scalability and efficiency while limiting the possibility of costly mistakes.

OBMs are generally experts when it comes to online business management best practices and online tool utilization, as well as project management, team leadership, data analysis, and communication strategies.

Related Reading: ThriveCart Learn – the best LMS Platform for Your Business 

Some benefits of an Online Business Manager include:

Increased Scalability and Efficiency

As businesses grow, online business managers can help to scale operations and manage processes more efficiently. OBMs are also able to identify any inefficiencies or issues of the online systems, allowing for quick solutions that can help streamline the operational process.

Improved Communication

An online business manager can help to improve communication between team members, departments, and partners by setting up systems for collaboration and better organization. Additionally, an online business manager can act as a bridge between different departments to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page when it comes to projects and deadlines.

Streamlined Processes and Automation

OBMs are experts when it comes to online system implementation and tool utilization. By streamlining processes, improving communication, and automating certain tasks, online business managers can help businesses increase their productivity while also saving time.

Reduced Administrative Time

An online business manager can help to minimize administrative work by managing online tools and processes. This allows businesses to focus on their core operations instead of getting bogged down in paperwork or mundane online tasks.

Increased Productivity and Focus

By delegating your big-picture execution to an online business manager, you can focus on a more strategic and high-level vision. This allows for maximum productivity and improved results.

What skills does an OBM commonly have?

Having an online business manager with the right set of skills is key to helping your businesses free up your time and provide a successful operational strategy.

Online business managers should have a broad range of skills to be successful. These skills can include online system implementation, online tool utilization, project management, team leadership, data analysis, and communication strategies.

Let’s dive into each more  in-depth:

Online system implementation

OBMs play a vital role in driving organizational efficiencies by leveraging technology to create sophisticated, automated systems. From using CRM tools for enhanced customer relationships to project management software and online booking solutions, OBMs will be able to unlock the immense potential within their organizations.

Online tool utilization

Through specialized expertise and an understanding of the ‘bigger picture’, OBMs leverage a myriad of online tools to create comprehensive operational strategies that maximize efficiency.

Project management

OBMs should be able to successfully manage multiple projects and tasks, track progress, lead team members, and ensure deadlines are met.

Team leadership

Successful online business operations rely on effective team leaders with strong motivational skills. OBMs must be committed to fostering an environment of collaboration, setting achievable goals and creating two-way communication channels that enable staff members to contribute towards the company’s growth.

Data analysis

Effective online business managers rely on in-depth analysis of data to pinpoint opportunities for improvement and the ability to make adjustments accordingly.

Communication strategies

As an OBM, it is essential to be able to effectively communicate both internally and externally. This means having the ability to navigate conversations with stakeholders, customers, partners and colleagues alike in a professional manner.

Online Business Manager

Why do you need an OBM?

An Online Business Manager can be a game-changer for any service-based business. Through their expertise in online systems, tools and project management – as well as data analysis, team leadership and communication strategies – OBMs deliver invaluable support to ensure businesses reach the highest possible level of success.

Not only do they streamline processes to reduce unnecessary admin duties; but also help increase productivity & focus with efficient working environments tailored towards achieving goals quickly & efficiently.

Some reasons you may want to consider an OBM include:

You’re feeling overwhelmed with administrative tasks such as data entry, customer support, etc.

When running a business, it can be difficult to manage the many administrative tasks that come with it. From data entry and customer support to online marketing, online business managers can help lighten the load through streamlined processes and automation.

You’re noticing a lack of strategic focus on critical objectives due to a lack of project management skills

An online business manager can help to ensure that strategic objectives are met by creating a project management system that helps teams focus on the most important tasks. Through effective use of online tools and systems, online business managers can help develop a more efficient working environment that helps businesses reach their goals quicker.

Poor leadership/management is preventing your team from achieving their full potential

Perfection is a myth, and no one should feel obligated to be an expert in all areas of business. To reach maximum potential, business owners must capitalize on their strengths while relying on others for skills that are not as strong – like leadership and management roles. An online business manager can help create a culture where team members have clear objectives, work together with mutual respect, and stay motivated toward success.

When should I hire an Online Business Manager?

When running a service-based business, it can be difficult to manage the numerous administrative tasks that come with it.

Hiring an online business manager could help create a culture where team members have clear objectives, work together with mutual respect, and stay motivated toward success.  All while ensuring your company reaches its full potential quickly and efficiently.

“When” should you hire an online business manager is a loaded question. Many variables play into it.

When it comes to hiring an online business manager, you must consider cost first. Keep in mind that they’ll serve as an extension of you and carry significant responsibility.  Expect a good OBM to come with a premium price.

The good news is, often times OBM’s offer packages to fit the needs of your business. It’s unlikely that you will need them full-time (or anywhere near full-time).  Starting at 10-30 hours per month is common and typically reasonable.

When to NOT hire an Online Business Manager

When I speak to online service providers about the incredible advantages of having an OBM on their team, it’s not uncommon for them to be eager and enthusiastic to hire them RIGHT NOW.

However, a role like this isn’t always the right fit. Sometimes careful consideration is required before taking that next step forward.

Here are some indicators that you/your business is not ready for an OBM role:

You’re unclear on how to use this role in your business

If you’re unclear on what this role can do for your business specifically, it’s unlikely that you or a potential OBM will be able to make use of the role.

You don’t have a clear vision for what success looks like

Without clearly defined objectives and the necessary resources to reach them, an online business manager will be unable to help your business reach its full potential. You must have clear goals and understand what success looks like.

You have unrealistic expectations that they will “save” your business

Just like any team member that enters your business, an online business manager provides an important service, but they are not a miracle worker. They cannot magically make all of your problems go away and you must understand that their work is not a substitute for strategic and creative decision-making.

You’re not prepared to provide the necessary support

A successful business is built on more than just one person’s efforts. An online manager can be an invaluable addition to a company, but only if they have everything needed for success – from the right tools and resources to necessary systems and support.

You just want someone to come in and “fix” everything

Online business managers can provide a lot of value to your business, but they cannot fix everything. You must understand that their role is to help you succeed, not to do everything for you. 

You have a hard time letting go of control and/or have a hard time giving direction

Working with numerous digital enterprises as their OBM has been an immensely positive experience.

Problems can arise, however; when business owners do not provide adequate direction and expect perfection without allowing the OBM autonomy to complete tasks on their terms (particularly if they are contracted as a team member and not an employee).

Without clear instructions, disappointment is likely inevitable.  Success depends upon providing sufficient guidance while permitting creative freedom within established boundaries.

Recommending Book – Make the Noise Go Away: The Power of an Effective Second-In-Command 

Is Online Business Manager the same as Virtual Assistant?

An Online Business Manager (OBM) and Virtual Assistant (VA) are often mistaken as the same thing, but they are not.

While both roles involve providing support to online businesses, their responsibilities and capabilities differ greatly.

OBMs have a much greater level of expertise than VAs and provide higher-level strategic services such as project management, process optimization, marketing strategy development, and team leadership.

On the other hand, VAs are proficient in more administrative tasks such as social media posting, customer service inquiries or blog writing.  This assumes they have the proper training and strategic direction from you/your OBM to complete these tasks.

For those familiar with a common corporate world hierarchy, it’s easy to see how each layer of management is essential in its own right.

District and Regional Managers often have Executive Assistants who are fundamental to ensuring daily tasks run smoothly. 

However, that doesn’t mean those same Executives should be responsible for overseeing vision or managing staff members – this duty falls on the Regional/District Manager alone.

It might help to think of your OBM as a District Manager and yourself as the Regional Manager, with VA’s primary role being to support tasks laid out by the DM/RM.

Having team members in roles that mismatch their skill sets can turn out to be an expensive and time-consuming gamble. 

Frustration for all involved can easily arise when the wrong people are placed into positions they aren’t prepared for, creating a situation with little chance of success.

How to find the right OBM for your business

Choosing the right online business manager for your company involves a lot of factors, from experience and qualifications to availability and cost.

While these are important aspects to consider, at the end of the day it’s equally essential that you make sure there is chemistry between yourself and any potential OBMs to ensure success down the line.

Consider their website design, and social media presence – do they invigorate or exhaust? Researching all these qualities thoroughly will help guarantee an optimal match for both parties involved!

Common challenges faced by OBMs and how to overcome them

OBMs are online professionals who are responsible for coordinating and overseeing online projects. This can be a difficult task as there is often a lot of pressure to deliver results on time, in the budget, and with exceptional quality.

It’s not uncommon for OBMs to face some common challenges as they work online businesses. To name a few:

  • Communication issues between team members resulting in delays or misunderstandings
  • Working within tight deadlines without compromising the quality of your output
  • Dealing with unrealistic expectations from clients
  • Learning how to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize effectively
  • Keeping up with new technology trends
  • Establishing trust and credibility with business owners

Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome with the right strategies and tools. Your unwavering support in providing your OBM with whatever they need to succeed will also be a great help to ensure your company’s success. 

To start, work on developing strong communication skills to ensure each team member is clear about their tasks and roles. 

Establish a routine for tracking progress, so that you can keep up with deadlines and make sure everyone is on the same page with project timelines.

Invest in online learning opportunities such as online courses or webinars to stay ahead of industry trends.

And finally, focus on building relationships with clients by providing exceptional service and results every time!

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Online Business Manager Conclusion

An online business manager is an invaluable asset for any online business. They are responsible for coordinating and overseeing online projects.

When hiring one, it’s important to consider their experience and qualifications. As well as make sure there is chemistry between you both.

OBMs can face common challenges such as communication issues or unrealistic expectations from clients. This can be overcome with the right strategies and tools.

As with any team member, you must provide online business managers with the support and resources they need to succeed.  By doing this, online businesses can ensure a successful online presence and achieve their desired outcomes.

Online Business Manager FAQ

Q: What is an online business manager?

A: An online business manager (OBM) is a professional responsible for coordinating and overseeing online projects. They are often responsible for tech setup and management, project and team management, and ensuring operational efficiency within your business.

Q: What skills do online business managers need?

A: Online Business Managers possess strong organizational, communication and digital marketing tactics skills. They must also be self-motivated and able to work independently. Additionally, they should have excellent problem-solving abilities to effectively manage any challenges that may arise.

Q: When should I hire an OBM?

A: You should consider hiring an online business manager when your online business has grown to a point where you can no longer handle the day-to-day operations and/or team management. An OBM can help free up your time and ensure that all online tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.

Q: What are some common challenges faced by OBMs?

A: Common challenges OBMs may face include communication issues between team members, keeping up with online trends, and unrealistic expectations from clients. Fortunately, these challenges can be overcome with the right strategies and tools, as well as unwavering support from you as the business owner.

Q: How do I find the right online business manager for my company?

A: When looking for an online business manager, it’s important to consider their experience and qualifications. Additionally, make sure there is chemistry between you both so that you can work together effectively. You should also look for someone who is reliable and has a strong knowledge of operational efficiency.

Q: What strategies are key to online business manager success?

A: To be successful as an online business manager, you should focus on building relationships with clients and providing exceptional service every time. Additionally, staying up-to-date with online trends and investing in online learning opportunities can also help you stay ahead of the curve. Finally, having strong organizational and communication skills is essential for managing online projects efficiently.

XO, Krista 

PS – Are you a female online business owner looking to scale through efficient teams, systems and automations? Check out the ways we can work together


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Online Business Manager

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