Hiring an Online Business Manager is a power move. One I highly recommend you make — at the right time for you and your business.
If you’ve noticed an increase in your or your team’s level of overwhelm, the right time for you might be now. In this blog, I want to address what happens to most of my clients before they realize it’s time to hire — The Bottleneck Effect — and what to do before you hire.
When your business’s growth is stunted because you and/or your team can’t possibly handle more; you’ve got a bottleneck on your hands!
When I was first starting out as an Online Business Manager (OBM) after years as a Virtual Assistant (VA), The Bottleneck Effect was a brick wall I ran straight into.
I was on a team of eight that was running a big, busy business. In my previous roles as a VA, I had gotten used to having a massive list of tasks to plow through and was super quick about picking up the day-to-day things that fell through the cracks.
It was easy for me to fall into the same rhythm in my new position.
I handled the overflow from other team members who didn’t have time for everything and juggled it all with no problem. Well, until there was, in fact, a problem!
A massive opportunity came up for my client’s business that was going to blow up our visibility. We were expecting an influx of sales as a result.
As I considered what needed to be in place for us to handle said influx, I saw the brick wall I was about to run into.
Systems needed to be put in place. Changes needed to be made. If they weren’t, this sudden growth was going to break us.
The worst part was that I had no time or brain space to devote to the bigger picture of the business. I had become a part of the team to remove bottlenecks…but I had become one instead!
This is The Bottleneck Effect in action.
When you don’t have a proactive, well-thought-out, and strategic plan for the operations side of your business, bottlenecks just keep popping up like a good old game of whack-a-mole.
If you’re experiencing The Bottleneck Effect in your business, I bet you’ve noticed one of these three signs that it’s time to hire an OBM.
Okay, this one might be from the ‘duh files,’ but it’s worth addressing. If you find yourself thinking over and over again about hiring someone to take things off your plate, then chances are you were ready to do it yesterday!
There are distinct differences between the role of an OBM and the role of a VA.
A VA is probably a suitable hire if you’re just looking for essential admin support and only need help 5-10 hours a week. If you hire an OBM, you’ll get help setting up the most efficient systems for your team’s workflows and help hiring the right VA. Having an ops expert on board can be a considerable time and stress saver!
There’s a point in every business owner’s journey where they can no longer catch everything falling through the cracks. Sometimes that point comes when it’s just you, the solopreneur, doing it all. Other times business owners realize they’ve become the default catch-all on their team because they know every aspect of the business. After all, they’ve built it from the ground up.
If you’re living in constant overwhelm, chances are you’re the bottleneck in your business, and it’s time to get help.
In the story I shared earlier, this was our exact problem. We were missing someone for strategic ops management. Given how my OBM role and VA responsibilities were blurred together and rather chaotic, I can see in hindsight that we also lacked a clearly defined and strategic role for a VA on the team.
When no one has designated time for the big picture, daily needs that pop up will always take over. Then, you miss out on opportunities to improve workflows, build sustainable systems, and keep your machine well-oiled. I’ve written about back-end performance reviews in a previous blog, a perfect example of a big-picture project an OBM would regularly do for you that would drastically impact and improve your business.
Hiring an OBM doesn’t mean you get to take your very full plate and just dump it onto theirs. If you’re the bottleneck, passing on all your responsibilities will only pass the bottleneck baton on to them.
Let me be clear: an OBM is perfectly positioned to help you get everything off your plate, but they shouldn’t be the only ones taking it all on.
I help many of my clients hire VAs, marketing experts, copywriters, ad managers, and other professional team members so that everything is taken care of by people in the right roles. I’m all for cross-training team members and being willing to help each other out, but that’s a team value to cultivate, not a sustainable long-term strategy for success.
I’ve got time for you!
Ready to have a chat about how my OBM services would jive with your business?
I’d love to hear more about the awesome work you’re doing in the world and see how I can help get your biz back-end in shape. Click here to send me a little info and myself or someone on my team will get in touch with you ASAP!
September 13, 2022