All About Online Business Management

One of the biggest questions I’m asked as an Online Business Manager (OBM) is, “What exactly it is you do?” There are many Virtual Assistants (VA) out there that are now classing themselves as an OBM however the truth is, it takes more than your generalist Virtual Assistant to be an Online Business Manager. By all means, up until 6 months ago, I too classed myself as a VA, however after years of not being able to quite put my finger on what it was I actually did and specialised in as a VA, a client called me their “Lighthouse”, when I asked what this actually meant, I was told that I am the lighthouse that directs his “ships” back into shore, the pillar of strength behind his business, with the light to guide everyone and the person who coordinates the team and projects to ensure safety in the business. I was his most trusted and therefore the Business Manager. Given that I work in an offsite capacity, born was the Online Business Manager. The Official definition of an Online Business Manager is: A virtually based support professional who manages online base businesses, including the day to day management of projects, operations, team members and metrics. From my own perspective, an OBM is the person who creates time for the business owner, who handles the day to day running of the business, projects and teams. They are the ones who manage the tasks and the teams to ensure projects are completed on time. They are not the ones who do the actual work but the ones who oversee and manage the day to day works to ensure deadlines are met. As a business owner, when do you need an OBM? We recommend hiring an Online Business Manager when you become the bottleneck in your business. Put simply, when you have built your business and can no longer grow as you simply can’t be in all places at once. You need support at a top level by someone who will treat your business as their own. The beauty of an Online Business Manager is that they don’t need to be hired fulltime, you can hire for as little or as much as you need. In fact, most OBMs prefer to have up to 3 clients at a time for variety and growth.
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Safety vs. Stability – what do they mean in business?

Do you feel safe in business and your life in general? By safe, I don’t mean having a body guard to protect you from life’s dangers; I mean do you have stability?

This week, I had a client tell me that the trust he and I have built, over the past 6 years together, has earned me an ongoing contract between our two businesses. This got me thinking, is it only the trust he values or does it go much deeper than that? So, I asked the question; “What makes you feel safe in our business partnership”?

He responded by saying that, together, we have been able to form trust and been able to grow our businesses.  He also loves the honesty in my approach and values my commitment to his business and staff. He said the one word to describe what it means to be partnering with me is….stability!

This got me thinking – do I feel stable in my own business? Do I feel stable with my business practices and do I feel I have an edge over other Virtual Assistant companies…absolutely!  I offer excellent services and aim to build profound business relationships with my clients. The services I offer and the partnerships I create with my clients give me stability not only in my business but also in the marketplace against my competitors. Unfortunately, these practices don’t necessarily make me financially stable nor do they make me safe from losing clients and losing income.

Knowing this, while I continue to grow my business I continually work on key areas to reach financial stability and feel intense safety.  Here are a few tips:


  1. Track your current spending and income information down to the fine details. Keep this information in an accounting software package or even something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet. Continually analyse your spending vs. income – if your spending is greater than your actual income you need to look at changing this straight away.


  1. Be sure to create a budget, whether weekly or monthly.  Ensure you stick to your budget and determine where costs can be cut, if necessary. For example, you may be able to cuts costs by outsourcing parts of your work, downgrading online software you are using, changing suppliers or even something as simple as changing the quality of paper that’s used in the office.


  1. Ensure all bills are paid on time. These days, the majority of suppliers charge a late fee if invoices are not paid on time.


  1. Determine if you can use new suppliers to not only cut your own costs but to also forward some of those savings to your customers. This is a win-win; you save money on services/products and your customers get a more cost effective deal, which they will love you for.


  1. Offer referral discounts. I do these two ways. I always offer a referral finders’ fee to anyone who refers clients to me and I also offer the potential new client a discount as a referred client. This not only means that the referrer keeps referrals coming my way, it also helps potential clients make the decision to employ me as, straight up, I offer them a discount that my competitors, more than likely, will not offer.

The above are just some ways I like to ensure my business in on the right path to financial stability. I would love to hear what you think is important to create stability in your business.