The number one question I get from business owners who reach out to me is “Do I need an OBM?”
Sometimes the answer is “God, yes! Why didn’t you hire one sooner?!” and other times it’s a very honest “nope, you could do amazing things with a good VA.”
And still other times it’s that you just need a high-level thinker to help you plan out your next steps so that you can pass it off to a VA for implementation.
So, how do you know which one you need and when you’re ready to up-level your team?
The difference between a VA and an OBM
Before we dive into whether you’re ready or not, let’s talk real quick about what the difference is between the two most common support professionals. OBMs are fairly new to the online world and, because of that, new to popularity. Most people don’t even know what an OBM does let alone whether they really need one or not.
An OBM (or Online Business Manager) is coming in to manage your business.
They take over the day-to-day operations and management of your calendar, your tech, your systems, your team, and the planning branch of your business so that you, the biz owner, can focus on working with clients or creating content for your next big launch.
You gas up the bus of your business with creativity and they drive it where it needs to go. They’re going to tell you what’s getting done.
A VA (or Virtual Assistant) is coming in to do the repetitive tasks you ask them to do.
They complete the low-level tasks you tell them to complete that are fairly repetitive. Managing your calendar, scheduling social media, creating graphics, answering questions in your Facebook group, responding to comments on your blog.
They take necessary stuff off your plate and they’re going to ask you what you need them to do.
So how do you know if you’re ready for the high-level thinking, planning, and managing that an OBM provides?
#1 You actually have a business to manage
This one is all about the cheddah.
If you’re only making $4,000 a month, you’re not ready for an Online Business Manager yet. Because, as frazzled as you might feel, you don’t have much of a business for someone else to manage at that stage. And you don’t have the budget to hire an OBM, either.
You’re still figuring it out and growing and coming into your own.
Most OBMs I know won’t work with someone making less than $10,000 a month and many bump that number up to $20,000 a month or more. If you’re making less than that but still tearing out your hair or working until the wee hours, then you should immediately hire a VA.
And if you already have one, then you need to consider a) if you’re really delegating all you can or b) if you are delegating well, whether the person you’ve hired actually helps or hurts you.
If you want some help with high-level planning or need to pick my OBM brain about an upcoming launch but aren’t ready for the long-term commitment of an OBM, then you can book a Quick & Dirty Strategy Session and we’ll dive into your business and flesh out some areas that are causing you grief + what to do about them.
#2 You’ve become the bottleneck in your business
I’ve said it before: teams are necessary for scaling a business and being able to do awesome shit like take a vacation.
But it’s really hard to scale when you’re trying to wear all the hats. Creative genius, content creator, team manager, liaison to the designer, podcast editor, branding specialist, FB ads team…you catch my drift.
There is a point at which you just start dropping balls because you cannot focus on all the things at once. I mean, in the crush of making sure everyone has what they need (the team AND the clients), how much time do you really have in your day to create? Or plan the next 90 days? Or remember to eat lunch?
In this situation, when you bring in an Online Business Manager, you’re bringing in someone whose only job is to manage all those moving pieces. To make sure the landing pages are being built, to meet with the VAs every week to make sure they have everything they need, to keep an eye on the business stats so you can track trends and create content around that, to create and keep the schedule for your business so nothing falls through the cracks.
#3 You’re clear on the vision for your business
This one is SO IMPORTANT. Fuck. Like beyond important. Like I said in #1 you are the one putting the creative gas in the bus. If you don’t have any creative gas (i.e., a vision for where your business is going), then you, the OBM, and the team are left stranded on the side of the road with nowhere to go.
An Online Business Manager is a strategist, a partner, a high-level thinker. They don’t provide the vision for the business—that’s all on the business owner—but they do take the vision, break it out into manageable steps, add due dates, and keep everything on track and on schedule.
If you don’t have a vision, there’s nothing to break into steps, add due dates to, or keep on track. On Online Business Manager will get you there, but they simply cannot if they don’t know where you’re going.
And if you don’t know where you’re going, you should probably hire a business coach first.
Really, most importantly, you have to ask yourself if you’re ready to partner with someone who is as emotionally invested in your business as you are. Because a good Online Business Manager will be emotionally invested in the success of your business. They’ll care about how strong it is, how much money you make, how happy your clients are. How happy YOU are!
I love my clients like family and without that connection, I can’t do my best work.
So let me ask you, are you ready to hire an OBM?