November 25

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Online Business Manager – Why Is An OBM Role Key In Business?

By Hanson Cheng

November 25, 2021


An online business manager is a key role that helps many businesses find success. With the right person on your team, you can save money and time while increasing productivity.

Online business managers (OBM) are more than just virtual assistants or customer service representatives; OBMs have experience running a business. This means they know how to handle any situation that may arise in your company, allowing the business owner to work on their business, rather than in their business. 

In this article, I'll go over the crucial points involved in selecting the right individual for this vital business role. You'll learn what an online business manager does, why you need one in your business, and how to find the best person for the job.

Let's get right into it.

What Is An Online Business Manager?

An online business manager is a company representative who will liaison between your business and your customers. They'll handle many of the day-to-day tasks you may need help with to ensure that your business keeps running smoothly. 

Most importantly, an online business manager will help to streamline your business processes to cut costs and increase productivity. These two factors are critical for any successful business and an OBM ensures that they run smoothly.

What Are The Benefits Of Having An Online Business Manager Within Your Company?

There are many benefits to hiring an online business manager. Here are a few of the most important ones.

An Online Business Manager Will Free Up Your Time.

This is crucial because time is one of the most precious resources in the running of a business. Being able to focus on the critical tasks, while also helping your company run more smoothly, the business owner will be able to look at both the bigger picture and the minor details that make all the difference.

An Online Business Manager Will Save You Money.

Through the help of an online business manager, you will be able to cut unnecessary spending and as a result, improve your bottom line.

This also allows you to use such monetary resources better to grow your company. A streamlined approach may even allow you to expand further than you ever thought possible.

An Online Business Manager Will Keep You And Your Company Safe.

Many businesses find themselves in sticky situations when they don't have the watchful eye of an online business manager. Having someone in the OBM position will ensure that all of your bases are covered, ascertaining the safety and security of your business and customers at all times.

You'll never be left wondering what to do in a particular situation or if you’ve looked at a problem from all angles. The right online business manager will be able to react before a problem arises and takes its toll on a business.

What Does An Online Business Manager Really Do?

One key point to remember is that an online business manager is in charge of very specific tasks. 

While an online business manager might have various responsibilities in their day-to-day life, there are three primary duties they'll typically take care of. These are:

  • developing processes
  • reviewing procedures
  • providing constructive feedback

These three tasks are essential to keep everything running smoothly in an organization.

Developing processes is one of the most critical parts of an OBM’s job because it ensures that all employees know what they need to be doing at any given moment. Whether responding to emails or communicating with customers, each team member needs to know precisely how to do their job.

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Reviewing procedures ensures that everything is up-to-date and that your company complies with specific standards or laws, all according to set best practices. It's also a good idea to review these procedures regularly because this will also help improve overall performance and allow a forum for all stakeholders to share their opinions.

Finally, providing constructive feedback is crucial in any online business managerial role. An online business manager will communicate with the different teams working within your company and lets them know what they did well and what they could do better in the future. 

This allows for continuous improvement and makes sure nothing goes unnoticed, or even worse, hidden under the rug only to surface back later.

All of the above OBM responsibilities come together to make your business run like a well-oiled machine. There may always be minor hiccups here and there, but with the right inputs from the right online business manager, you'll be able to deal with them as they arise.

What Type Of Company Needs An Online Business Manager?

Any company that deals with different types of processes, uses project management software, or has an operations aspect, would benefit from having an online business manager on its books. Such a role can streamline project management tasks as well as manage operations. 

Online business managers start with a thorough review of your business model and help up any needed processes. 

They will also be able to build your company's infrastructure, improve customer service, develop new strategies for improvement, and much more.

An online business manager may even notice that extra resources are required in specific areas and as a result, ends up helping the business owner hire the perfect person for the team.

In addition to the above, companies that deal with business strategies might also benefit from having an online business manager. When it comes to business in the corporate world and even non-corporate ones, long-term strategy is one thing that many businesses fail to think about until it’s too late. 

A business strategy is a direct path to success and helps your business reach new heights, no matter how big (or even complicated) things get. If you own a company or are in charge of ensuring goals are met, having an online business manager on your team might be crucial. 

It makes life infinitely easier for everyone involved and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

Finally, a business owner that is not 100% confident in his numbers would benefit from the help of an online business manager. Metrics measurement and management are two crucial factors that can turn a business from a struggling one to a thriving business that is constantly moving towards success.

An OBM can help when it comes to tracking the right metrics and helps a business strive towards getting better results.

The Crucial Skills Of An Online Business Manager

Understanding what you need from an online business manager is essential before beginning the hiring process. Your needs are unique to your company, so no general requirements or skills can be applied to every role.

However, there are some specific skills that every online business manager should have in order to successfully help a business move forward. The following is a list of skills that you should look out for when choosing an OBM.

Communication Skills

This career requires a great deal of communication because online business managers regularly talk with you, other employees, and customers. This means they must know how to communicate with all types of people effectively.

Data Analysis

Data analysis will be critical in the process to truly know where your online business stands at any given time. An online business manager needs to use this information to develop a plan of action that can help you achieve your goals.

Moreover, being able to interpret the cause and effect of specific actions through data is a skill that is developed over time. Sometimes, results cannot be taken at face value and a great online business manager will be able to really dig deep and understand what caused something specific to happen.

Flexibility

An online business manager's workday is full of many different tasks and responsibilities, which will require a lot of time and energy. Good planning and organizational skills can help online business managers manage their workload more effectively and ensure that nothing is left incomplete.

Being flexible when things arise is a great skill to have since there are many last-minute items that can pop up in the day-to-day running of a business.

Problem-Solving Skills

When it comes to taking on specific projects or responsibilities, problems will arise – despite your best efforts to plan everything out ahead of time. An online business manager must solve even the most complicated issues with ease because anything holding back your company's progress is detrimental.

The more experienced a business manager is, the better they will be able to solve complex problems as they arise.

Creative spirit

Creativity is always needed to help envision different ways to improve your company’s processes and operations. If your company offers consulting skills, an online business manager can provide fresh perspectives on things that make pinpointing issues more precise and easier to solve.

Top-Notch Understanding When It Comes To Creating Processes

In addition to understanding how you operate and do things, an online business manager will need to understand processes and procedures. They must know how your company functions to take on tasks and improve them in a way that benefits you the most.

When doing this, an online business manager must ensure that no major problems occur when transitioning from one project or task to another. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong before fixing it, the OBM creates systems that help prevent issues from happening in the future.

Any roadblocks that are keeping a project from moving forward are addressed and manual processes that can be automated should also be considered.

A Vast Network Of Connections

A great online business manager will be able to tap into their existing networks when looking for new opportunities or ways to improve your business's current state. With their skills, experience, and knowledge about different companies and people, they should identify new opportunities that can help you grow.

A Keen Eye For Any Mistakes Made

An excellent online business manager ensures that everything is running efficiently and without problems. They must be able to identify any errors made or issues in progress before they get out of hand. Failure to do so can mean a loss in money, resources, opportunities, and even the reputation of your company.

How Does One Find And Hire A Certified Online Business Manager?

If you're trying to find an online business manager for your company, then check out the International Association of Online Business Managers. This international association has a directory that will help you connect with qualified professionals in this field.

Going for a certified professional is definitely something you should consider since you don't want to waste your time or money on someone who isn't well-educated or experienced enough to do the job correctly.

You should make sure that whoever you hire has prior experience working in your type of industry. Whether you’re just starting an online business, are part of a small business, or even own a business that employs several hundred people, the right OBM should be able to bring new innovative ideas and strategies into the fold so that your business can keep growing. 

If applicable, the right OBM should keep the business in line with industry standards while helping you meet your goals.

Finding an online business manager that fits in with other team members, especially as a business scales, is important. Online-based companies are becoming much more prevalent in today's world, especially since they allow businesses to scale with little overhead costs. 

The right online business manager is one that understands your company and its needs in relation to achieving the goals that have been set.

What's The Difference Between An Online Business Manager And A Virtual Assistant?

Online entrepreneurs that run their own business quite often realize that they are running around from one thing to another, without being able to focus on one single task for a set amount of time. At that point, they start realizing that they might need the help of virtual assistants to help ease their workload.

The big difference between an online business manager and a virtual assistant is that an online business manager deals directly with helping you manage your business. In contrast, a virtual assistant deals more specifically with tasks that you assign them to complete. This may include working on creating social media buzz, editing articles, or even helping you improve your business with content writing services.

A virtual assistant is a person that's going to help the business owner get everything done on a day-to-day basis, without having much input in the running of the business. Virtual assistants are not responsible for coming up with strategies or setting out action plans; they are there to pick up any work that needs doing.

An online business manager would be able to help develop the initial action plans and keep track of all of the critical data in the running of a business. 

While finding virtual assistants might be easier than finding the right online business manager, none of these positions should be taken lightly. Both of these roles are crucial when scaling a business and with the right people in place, everything becomes that much simpler for everyone involved.

Online Business Manager - FAQ

How Do I Hire An Online Business Manager?

There are many online websites that can help with hiring an online business manager. The first thing that you should consider is putting out a job posting on websites like Upwork. There is also the Online Business Manager directory previously mentioned. Both of these places will allow you to source candidates from anywhere in the world.

The second thing you can do is use your network. Ask around at conferences and events if anyone has the skills needed to be the right online business manager for your company. Even if people don’t have the skills themselves or aren’t looking for such a position at that time, they might still know someone who would be perfect for the job. 

It's always better when you find people this way because the power of having the right introductions is a very powerful thing in business (and life).

What Kind Of Qualities Should I Look For When Searching For An Online Business Manager?

There are several different qualities that you should consider when hiring an online business manager; after all, as a business owner, they're going to be your right-hand man or woman in helping you grow your company. First off, always look at their previous experience in management roles; this is usually achieved by looking at their resume, portfolio, and testimonials.

You can also ask people they’ve worked with before for testimonials and examples of work that the person in question has accomplished.

Secondly, you should consider how available they are for work; this is important if they live in another country or even in a different timezone. You don't want to wait several days or even weeks for them to complete a project that has a tight deadline. 

Thirdly, ask yourself whether the person has the necessary skills to replace you (if needed) when it comes to the way you do things. The answer to this question will be the key in deciding if a person is a right fit for your business.

What Will An Online Business Manager Do On A Daily Basis?

An online business manager would take care of planning strategies and setting up action plans while also analyzing the numbers in your business. As a self-sufficient person, you should be able to give them a list of tasks or projects you want to complete, and they'll take care of the rest.

They’ll also be there to help other team members as needed and improve the processes that your company relies on to get results.

How Much Will I Have To Pay For An Online Business Manager?

The amount of money that an online business manager will ask for will depend on how big your company is and the kind of work you would like done. As a rule, if their role includes more management-based responsibilities, it's more likely that you will have to pay a higher fee.

Deciding on a price can be difficult, especially since some managers charge by the hour instead of a monthly rate. If this is the case, it would be more beneficial for you to have them work on a single project in order to test them out and identify the value they bring to your company.

How Do I Know If An Online Business Manager Is Working Effectively?

When it comes time to review work done by your online business manager, there are several things that you should look at; firstly, whether they've met their deadlines. Secondly, ensuring that the work done is of the highest quality and value is important.

It can be difficult to assess your managers' performance, especially at the beginning stages, but simply having a conversation with them will go a long way in helping you figure out what's working, what isn't, and how the business manager can improve what they’re doing.

Don't forget to use your KPI software to set targets that the OBM needs to hit - such KPIs should be dependent on factors that are relevant to your business.

Being honest about how well they're doing, and what items you’d like them to perform better in is crucial. Knowing exactly where everyone stands and being direct about it leads to better long-term results.

Conclusion

An online business manager should be able to relieve a business owner from many of the daily tasks that take up way too much time and resources. 

When going through the hiring process, remember to keep in mind all of the qualities listed earlier; this way, you'll find someone who's not only reliable but also has the necessary skills and connections necessary to get the job done.

The right online business manager should have a solid history of delivering excellent results to other companies so you can be sure that they'll do a fantastic job for you too. 

Taking the time to find the right online business manager can be a process that’s worth its weight in gold. Finding the right person for this role ensures that your business moves forward and hits its goals time after time.

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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