The OBM or Online Business Manager is the latest accessory you need for your Small Business, which comes from the office professional industry. Many of you have heard of a VA which has now become one of the fastest-growing industries in the Online/Virtual world and now everyone and their dog wants to be a VA – why? Because it’s a great role for office assistants who want to work from home or coffee shops or anywhere in the world. It opens up a ton of flexibility for working Mums and Dads and provides business owners with reliable, knowledgeable administrative staff for great rates.

What is a VA?

For those of you who don’t know what a VA is – The Virtual Assistant (VA) was born from the remote office worker role. Those companies who took the leap ( did I mention that I used to be the Team Leader for one of the first call centres in Calgary to offer a remote team?) with work-life balance and allowed their administration and call center teams to work from home to help cut down on sick leave, commuting issues, child care dilemmas and various other “getting to the office” headaches that cost employers thousands of dollar a year in lost hours –

With the ability to now house most files and paperwork digitally (even CRA accepts digital copies of receipts) the need for a worker to be physically available in the office has become non-existent if they are support staff that don’t need to be present for customers. This means that book-keeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, HR, marketing, sales and many other operational functions can now be done out of the office – and if you hire subcontractors to do the work, your costs are significantly lowered – no CPP and EI to worry about, no benefit packages, in some cases even offices are no longer required, leaving you rent free too.

VA’s are the office ninja’s your business is praying for and the workhorse you need! So what, pray tell, is an OBM?

What is an OBM?

An OBM is an Online Business Manager – but don’t get confused by the online part this means virtual like a VA rather than just applicable to Online Businesses. If a VA is your office assistant, then an OBM would be the equivalent of the Office Manager, but subcontracted so now you only use an OBM when you need one!

The goal of the OBM is to take over the daily operations of a business to free up the business owner so they can lead the company and concentrate on those important money making activities. Typically an OBM works across 5 areas –

  • Project Management – managing a launch, setting up a new online program or membership portal, establishing a website from start to finish and any other one-off projects that you may need to move your business forward.
  • Operations Management – making sure there are systems in place for billing, client relationships, workflow, communications, and ensuring that those systems all talk to each other effectively to cut down on duplicate tasks and save you time and money! Process and Policy implementation also come under operations management.
  • Metrics Management – tracking stats so that you know exactly what’s working in your business and what isn’t, managing the numbers and making sure things are effective – after all, what gets measured gets done!
  • People Management – outsourcing, managing, and tracking the completion of the day-to-day tasks of your team, hiring, employee management and Payroll.
  • Resources Management – The resources you use within your business are valuable and essential for its success. Sometimes these need to be procured or researched – OBM’s can help with this.

Wearing many hats!

The Online Business Manager covers the roles of project managers, office managers, human resources managers, accounts managers, operations managers and online experts. You get exactly what you need when you need it!

This is not about handing over your business, but rather hiring an experienced and skilled professional to manage the areas of your business that take up more time and bandwidth than you have available. Sometimes as a business owner, you are great at the core money making activities but either doesn’t know how or doesn’t have the time to run the office environment.

Online business management is different from the general administration provided by a VA. An OBM is more invested in your business operations and it’s the ability to run smoothly. An OBM understands your business model and takes steps to ensure they fully understand your business needs. It’s like having an Operations Manager working alongside you.

We understand your struggles, being a business ourselves. We manage the same things that you manage within your business, We understand the frustrations and challenges that come along with running a business.

Once a business has gotten to a stage where managing the day to day takes more time than growing the business it’s time hire an OBM. At Diligent Assistant we specialize in helping you connect your people, processes and systems for a streamlined operations environment, that allows you to work smarter not harder, creating efficiencies and saving you money whilst maximizing your growth. Get in touch today to start a conversation on how we can help you or sign up for our “Smarten Up” biz checklist and see where the gaps in your business are.