How to define your needs and communicate them to your Online Business Manager

Hiring the right OBM is vital to a strong, healthy working relationship. You simply cannot afford to pick the first person you meet and assume they’re the right person for the job. The first step in finding the right OBM is defining your needs. This includes: 

  • Hiring for where you’re headed, not where you currently are
  • Ensuring you have measures of success in place
  • Knowing what to outsource & what needs your personal attention
  • Knowing who to hire for each aspect of the business (tech, marketing, etc)
  • Setting & clearly communicating your expectations for your support team 

Let’s take a closer look…. 

Your Vision – Having a clear picture of where you want your business to be in 6 months, 1 year or even longer is vital to succeeding. Once you have your goals laid out, you and your OBM can discuss how to get there. At this point, you have measurable goals that your team can work towards and that you can monitor to ensure they’re being met. 

If you get stuck on your long-term goals, you might want to consider hiring a mentor or coach to help you over this hump before you proceed with hiring your OBM. While your OBM may be talented, they aren’t mind readers and they certainly should not be making these important decisions for you or your business. 

Measurable Goals – While one of your long-term goals may be to earn 6 figures by the end of next year, you’ll want to have smaller measures of success in place to ensure you’re staying on track. These smaller goals may be things like having a new shopping system fully functioning in 2 months, gaining 50 new affiliates by month 3, completing 5 guest blogging opportunities over the course of 6 months. 

By having these smaller goals in place, the overall goal doesn’t seem so daunting. In addition, it allows you to monitor and measure how things are going so you and your OBM to quickly address any problems that may arise and find a solution to keep you on the path of success. 

Now that you have your long-term and short-term goals defined, you will be able to see which projects you can outsource and which you will be responsible for. 

What to Outsource – As mentioned before, the projects you should be focused on are things that only you can do, such as; creating a better connection with your customers and subscribers, building strategic alliances within your industry, expanding your reach to get your brand to new markets and planning for future growth. While you are working these growth projects, your OBM and other staff can handle the rest.  

Your Team – At this point, it’s time to hire your team. If you have worked with contractors in the past, this may be pretty simple. If not, you might want to focus on hiring your OBM first, and let them handle locating & hiring the rest of the team. 

This doesn’t mean you have to have a full team on contracted standby at all times. Depending on your business needs your team may consist of your OBM, a virtual assistant and perhaps a writer or tech person. If you only need graphics occasionally, you can have the names of reliable designers on hand for when you need them. 

To get the best service possible, you need to hire the right people for the job. If you need book covers or website images created, hire a graphic designer. If you need scripts installed, hire a tech person. Your OBM or VA may be able to do these; however, oftentimes they aren’t as skilled as someone who specialises in a particular area. In addition, it may take them longer to do the work, essentially costing you as much or more than going to the right person the first time. 

Communication – To ensure work is completed in a timely manner and to your specifications, you must be a good communicator. Even if you just work with your OBM and they work directly with everyone else, you need to be able to explain exactly what you want. When they can clearly see your vision & what you want accomplished, they can quickly get to work. 

Work with your OBM to create an operation manual for your business. This manual would outline how to handle customer support questions, sales, discounts and refunds. It would explain when you want to be directly involved with the decision making and when your OBM can take care of things. 

It might outline what your preferred colors, design styles, website templates, writing styles, etc are so you don’t have to explain it more than once. It can even include a predetermined amount of money that your OBM has permission to spend on outsourcing or other things without needing your approval. Once you have this manual created, your OBM will have the tools and information necessary to hire and train your staff.

Next week we look at how to find an Online Business Manager.

For more information on how a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager can help you get in touch.

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