James: James Schramko here with Kat Jarman from youronlineteam.com. Hey Kat.
Kat: Hey, happy to be here.
James: Well, I’m happy to have you. You’ve been sharing some great tips. We’ve got a few other videos. If you like videos sharing good tips for business owners who are online, make sure you subscribe wherever you see this video, because Kat and I’ve been talking about a few different topics. And today, we’re going to talk about how to know if you actually need an online business manager.
And we’re going to firstly define what do we mean by the term online business manager because I’ve seen it named a few different things. And it potentially is a new role for someone if they’ve just started out by themselves or they got one or two virtual assistants, and they want to scale which hopefully is a great success sign that there is new business coming and the workload is increasing. So what do you look for when you’re briefing with a client who’s talking about having your online team come on and help them?
Kat: Okay, so when I was first starting and running my online business back in the early days, I would never would have dreamt of needing an online business manager or a operations manager or an integrator, that’s like the three terms that I hear the most for our project manager. So that’s kind of what we’re talking about here.
But when I talk to clients, they’ve hit the point where they’ve gone past being a beginner. They’ve gone past the point where they’ve started to hire a team. Maybe they’ve got three or four or five or six team members. And they get to the point where they don’t know it, but they’re actually acting as they are an operations manager, project manager, integrator, online business manager, and also much as the CEO.
James: And it often takes away from their ability to market and sell, which starts to slow the business down, right? It’s the classic, you are either going out there hunting for the food, or you’re back there, preparing it, to eat the meal but no one’s doing the hunting while that’s happening. So it’s like, you can only do one at any one time. So it’s time to start to add roles so that you can get more things covered in the business.
Kat: Yeah, and they start to get stressed out because maybe what they’re doing now, being the operations manager or the online business manager, they fell into that. That’s not their natural talent. Their natural talent is whatever it was that got the business to where it is in the first place. So they’re trying to manage a team. A lot of the time, things aren’t going that great, because teams can be hard work.
James: Let’s say it how it is. I’ve seen some absolutely shocking leadership from entrepreneurs who are brilliantly gifted at their thing. You’ll hear them say things like, my team doesn’t understand me, they can’t think for themselves, you know. These sort of things are warning signs, generally, that the team doesn’t have any grasp of what the vision is for the business. They haven’t been trained properly, they’re not selected for the right roles, they’re not getting led in any way, shape, or form. And they’re just left to fend for themselves.
And of course, they’re going to be nervous, any direction they move is going to be the wrong direction. So it’s setting them up for failure. And it’s a great crime. And it actually ranges right through to some who don’t even make payroll. They’re not thinking about the team member, to the point where they’re missing pay, and they’re not budgeting properly and they’re unaware if the team member needs a day off, those sort of things, just blind.
So sometimes it’s good to just say, Hey, you know what, this isn’t my gift, I’m not the perfect leader. I should just be focused on getting customers or fulfilling customers on the thing that I’ve sold, if it’s an expert-level type thing, if it’s an agency sort of thing. Or if you’re a content creator, you should probably be creating content, you know? If you’re a YouTube celebrity, or you make courses or you run a sales team or something like that, then all the back of house stuff, the stuff that we generally put in a box, somewhere out the back, needs to be handled by somebody to glue everything together.
And there are people out there, like you, Kat, who are exceptional at that and absolutely love — is it too far to say that you actually love rolling up the sleeves and just organizing things and, and systemizing stuff and getting the right people doing the right things and having the whole thing singing along beautifully?
Kat: Exactly, yeah. And what we see a lot is that clients or you know, even just entrepreneurs that I talked to, they do come to the realization eventually that they need help. And then they try and promote from within. And they might try and promote a really amazing virtual assistant into the role of an integrator or project manager. But what you need to remember is that you’re looking for those people who have the talent of really a good OBM, integrator, project manager, because you might make a really good VA but you might not make a very good project manager.
Project managers or OBMs, they have like an internal desire to get things done. And to see, like, the ticks on their to-do list. That is what gets them up in the morning, that is what makes their day and having one of those people on your team that is just driving things forward all the time without hassling you about it every five minutes, it’s one of the most magical things ever. And we love doing that for our clients.
James: Beautiful. And what sort of changes have you seen in some of your clients, when they go from a mess to fixed?
Kat: It just lets them be the creative person again. A lot of entrepreneurs, that’s what they are. They’re creatives. We do have some clients who are more, you know, logical-minded and they like getting in and doing the project management. And even then, if you like, it doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing as the CEO of your business. So it just lets people have the freedom to go and do their marketing, create their content and go big picture.
A lot of people are spending so much time working in their business that they can’t go big picture and think of new ideas or, you know, new places to network, or any of that sort of stuff that you should be doing as the CEO. So that just frees up time and less stress. I think they sleep better at night.
James: So some of the indicators or the test that someone could do would be, do they feel comfortable having a week off from their business? If they travel to an event on the other side of the country, will they come back and dread walking back into their business? Or will customers go unlooked after and does their publishing routine drop dead? So it’s how much of the business is still functioning when the owner steps away a bit might be one determinant as to what level you’re going to need that support.
Kat: Exactly. And if you ever said the words, I don’t know what my team is doing all day, that’s a pretty good indication that something needs to change. You know, I don’t know what I hired them for. I’m sure they’re doing something. I don’t know if they actually work all the hours that I pay them to work.
James: That’s a really common one. Everyone’s always asking what tool can you use to track their activities and stuff. I’m like, that’s a fundamental disconnect with what’s the pulse of the business. You can tell a lot about what’s going on if you have the right reporting in place, but also if you have the right team members who are getting looked after properly, and are really good at doing the things that you’ve hired them to do.
So if you’ve got a team and you’re watching this, but you’re not sure what they’re doing, or that your team can’t think for themselves, or you don’t have procedures or it’s all a little bit of a mess (sorry, Kat), then reach out to Kat at youronlineteam.com and ask for some help.
She can probably put one of her team members into your business to go and tidy it all up and to help you. And they’ll also tell you who’s doing what and who’s great at what they’re doing, where they need more support, what things you don’t need. I imagine this is all the sort of stuff that you’re doing there, Kat.
Kat: Yeah, we just like to optimize things. And if there was two of you, that’s how I like to see it. So in my business, I often wish there was two of me. And we like to go in and help the client kind of duplicate themselves a little bit. So the client goes and does all the things they’re amazing at and then we do all the operations and it’s kind of like cloning yourself.
James: Perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming and sharing. We’ll speak soon.
Kat: Thanks for having me.
James: There you go. Kat Jarman from youronlineteam.com. James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness. Of course, if you like this video, be sure to subscribe and we’ll send you more.