Why Hire an Online Business Manager

Online Business ManagerThe role of an Online Business Manager is quite different from a Virtual Assistant and you can have both work in your business.  It is important to understand the differences between a Virtual Assistant and Online Business Manager. In Australia, most Virtual Assistants are Virtual Industry Professionals or Online Business Managers for the following reasons:

  • they are often proactive rather than reactive and accomplish tasks without you asking.
  • they develop an understanding of your business and keep the cogs turning
  • they understand the bigger picture of your business growth and development
  • they think outside the box
  • they give you ideas for growth and strategy in your business and quite often manage those ideas from start to finish

When You Hire an Online Business Manager You Get…

MORE TIME: Who doesn’t need more time?

The main goal of an online business manager is to free up your time so that you can work on the things that only you can do or the things that you enjoy most about your business. Now a virtual assistant can free up your time, however you may need to do some further checking and ensure that you have all of the processes in place first, some virtual assistants require an i’s dotted and t’s crossed approach.  It depends on the type of fit that you are after for your business and if you really do want to step away from the day-to-day operations and release yourself from having to oversee every piece of every project.

A TRUSTED PARTNER: Essential to the relationship

Online business managers truly care about their client’s businesses. They normally only work with 3-5 businesses to ensure that they develop the relationship with you as their client. They understand the overall business vision, are excited by the things to come, thrive on the day-to-day operations, they are comfortable with outsourcing and delegating and strive to make the business succeed. They treat the client’s business as if it were their own. In a sense, hiring a good Online Business Manager is like having a trusted partner invested in your business.

A DECISION MAKER: Making all the decisions is exhausting!

Operating a successful business requires a lot of day-to-day decisions and projects are often delayed because business owners don’t have time to handle them all. Fortunately, most decisions don’t have to be made by the business owner. A good online business manager will be willing to make decisions on their client’s behalf. This doesn’t mean they will be making all of the decisions; however, after establishing a guideline with the client, they can certainly handle many issues that arise throughout the day.

COMPLETED PROJECTS: A key component to bigger profits

Aside from the business owner, the Online Business Manager is the workhorse of the business. They spend most of their time planning, organising, and managing the tools, resources and staff within the business. Their focus is to ensure that things are running smoothly and efficiently; answering questions, dealing with unexpected issues in a timely manner, and keeping projects on track so that business goals are met. The seamless transition from one project to the next allows the business owner to stay focused and the business to grow.

Are you considering hiring an Online Business Manager?  Download the full Online Business Manager Guide and give us a call today!

 

Technology and your client

Technology and your client

Making a decision regarding the types of technology and software you will be using in your business is an important decision that much thought must go into. There are hundreds or thousands of different software programs out there and many aspects of each to consider based on what the software is, what you need it to do, and what features it has to offer.

I recently held a webinar for 1-2-1 Temps (Virtual Assistant network) discussing many types of technology that a Virtual Assistant can use to help a client in their business.  Here is a replay of the webinar and some of my favourite that I use and recommend to help build a virtual relationship with a client.

In this webinar, I take you through all the different types of technology including Skype, Dropbox, File sharing, basic computer maintenance and a few other technical tips and tricks.  If you are a client, looking at working with a VA (virtual assistant) these are the types of technology that you can use to build your team and work with a virtual assistant. They are also some of the technology that you can expect that a Virtual Assistant should know about and can use.  If you are working with an Online Business Manager, the OBM will be able to advise you on the types of technology as well as show you how to set some of these up, depending of course on their expertise.

The software discussed during the webinar normally has a fantastic help section, videos or you can find a host of tutorials on YouTube that discuss in depth how to use the specific technology.  We hope that you enjoy the webinar as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

 

 

Software Links and References from the video

If you would like to attend a future webinar, sign up here for further information

A Virtual Assistant vs an Online Business Manager

Virtual AssistantSo you have decided that you need help in your business but what sort of help do you really need?  Are you after basic administration assistance or do you need someone to assist running your whole business.

An Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant are very similar in nature.  Although, there are a few differences and understanding these differences will help determine who will be able to most assist your business.

  Online Business Manager Virtual Assistant
The Big Picture Understands the big picture and works with the business owner to outline & oversee the steps necessary to get there. Typically aren’t concerned about the big picture; instead they focus on doing the tasks.
Responsibility Responsible for ensuring the business runs smoothly, by creating operation manuals, training assistants, managing assignments, schedules and staff. Responsible for completing tasks assigned to them –  i.e. formatting ebooks, conducting research, sending newsletters, working in shopping carts.
Achieving Success Success is achieved when the business is operating efficiently & the entire team is happy. Success is achieved when the work is completed & delivered in a timely manner
Overall Goal To build long-term, trusting relationships with business owners who value the working relationship and compensate accordingly. To increase their work hours, thus income, for each client without having the added responsibility of managing others.
Why hire… OBMs are hired when business owners have grown beyond the startup phase. They simply cannot manage everything and still continue to grow; or perhaps, they’ve grown tired of managing the day-to-day operations. VAs are typically hired during the early stages of business. They help set up websites & shopping carts, create mailing lists, and so forth. Once the business is going, they continue to work on individual tasks.

So after looking at these differences, you might actually decide that you need to hire both an Online Business Manager as well as a Virtual Assistant to handle different tasks.  This is also a great way to build a virtual team.

If you would like to understand more, download our Free Guide ‘What an Online Business Manager Can do for your Business

5 Tips to Email Best Practice

Email Best PracticeEmail Best Practice Etiquette provides many unwritten rules for sending out emails, especially for business. As a business owner or employee, you should understand the email best practices that need to be followed.  It is also a good idea to set up your own standards and templates so that you have the basics ready to go:

Here are the basic email best practice rules that you should follow:

Include a Greeting and Signature

Include a proper greeting and sign it off professionally.  I recommend using an email signature and you can set one up in any of the programs that you use including Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail etc. Every email you send out should include a suitable greeting, and you should always close with your signature. It doesn’t have to be formal unless the situation calls for it – use your best judgement. I always like to be that slightly more formal though. When you see how the recipient responds you can certainly adjust your correspondence accordingly.

Check Grammar and Spelling

This should probably go without saying but you absolutely must make sure your grammar and spelling are impeccable if you want to be taken seriously. This is really important because if this is the first time that a client is hearing from you, then this is their first impression of you. Most email clients include a spellchecker these days – use it! If you don’t consider yourself a good writer, just keep it as simple as possible. If it’s a particularly important email ask someone to check it over before you send it.

Simple Formatting and Font

Try not to use hard to read fonts (scripts) or colours, backgrounds or anything that is going to take away from the message that you are trying to say. First of all, it can look quite unprofessional. Second, the recipient could come back to you saying that they can not read it as it may display differently in their email program that they are using. It’s best to stick to the basics!

Keep Attachments Small

Whenever you attach files to an email, make sure you’ve compressed or zipped them so they are as small as possible. Attachments should always be kept below 5 MB, as some email clients can reject them. If you include images in your email, the same rules apply, resize them to take as little space as possible, and don’t include too many of them in the same email.  The other option is to send multiple emails which can be annoying or you can direct the recipient to a file sharing folder or link such as Dropbox or Sugarsync.

Keep it brief!!

Finally, understand that most emails should be kept short or as brief as possible. We all spend way too much time reading emails so getting a 5,000 word novel isn’t helpful. This is especially true when you’re making a first email contact with someone. If you make it too long, chances are the person receiving it will only skim the email and won’t read it all so they could essentially be missing some vital information.

We have discussed here 5 really simple email best practice rules to keep your emails professional and simple.  Happy Emailing!

 

How to Get Customers to Sign up for your Mailing Lists

mail-96870_1280If you have a blog or email marketing newsletter, then having a marketing or mailing list is a very significant part of your approach and can go a long way towards assisting to turn your blog or website visitors into raving fans – and better yet, customers.

If you ever wanted to sell an ebook, how much more likely is somebody to be interested in in purchasing the ebook if they have previously given you their email address in order to sign up to your mailing list?

Mailing lists are very important, but if you have simply popped your generic sign-up form on the right hand side of your page with the hope that people will enter their names and e-mails and create a massive email list, then you’re likely to be disappointed.

Instead, try these tips…

Guarantee Trust Through Great Content

The first thing to confirm is that you are updating your site frequently with great value content. Your objective is to

  • Give your potential customers a snippet of the kind of content they’ll get if they sign up.
  • Get them to trust you and to respect what you have to say.
  • Show them what an expert you are by providing a special offer or a product that they can download.

Giving out an email address is quite a personal thing and many customers/clients safeguard their email address because they receive too many emails each day. If your website seems spammy they will not enter their email address. Instead, show that you know what you’re speaking about and highlight your expert content so that it speaks for itself.

Talk About Your List

Many bloggers are a little cautious to be asking for email addresses and so they avoid mentioning their list directly. Don’t make this mistake though, as actually talking about your mailing list can lead to more customers being aware of it and interested in it. Ask people directly to sign up, talk about your objectives and explain the stimulating subjects that will only be coming to your newsletters. Get customers excited about your newsletters as though it were a product you were selling directly.

Show Snippets

A great strategy you can use to boost more customers to sign up to your list is to actually share bits and pieces of content from your newsletters. This can be done by hosting a blog on your website. This way you can give people a taste and if it’s good and what they are wanting to read, they will want more!

If you would like some further information about Lead Generation and List Building, download our mini report.

Download our Mini Report

9 Surprising Things You Can Learn From Your Virtual Assistant

Having a virtual assistant can have a tremendous impact on not only your business, but also you. There are many things that you can unexpectedly learn from a virtual assistant that is assisting your business to complete important business tasks.

1  You Need a Break

Once you reap the benefits of having a virtual assistant by your side to free up some of your time, you will never want to go back. Every business owner needs a balance between work and family. With the help of a virtual assistant, you will quickly learn why having a life outside of the office is so important.

2  You Can Maintain Control

You probably think that the only way to maintain control is by doing everything on your own, but a virtual assistant does exactly what you ask in the way that you prefer. This means that you get the same results and the only difference is that you don’t have to dedicate your own time but instead delegate the tasks to free up your time!

3  Productivity Matters Most

It won’t take long to see how much your productivity can be improved by simply hiring a virtual assistant. Profits will go up in no time at all and you will be able to focus on your business.

4  Virtual Assistants Have Experience

Many business owners are uneducated about the experience levels that virtual assistants have. You will be pleasantly surprised when you witness up-close the skill level that they possess.  In Australia, Virtual Assistants are normally business owners and understand the ins and outs of small business.  They normally come from an extremely high-level background and specialise in these skills or train to become specialists in certain areas.

5  Training is Key

As small business owners, virtual assistants understand that technology changes and they believe that it is important for them to keep up with their skill level and constantly improve themselves by learning and training  in these areas.  This means that they have the highest skill level and knowledge at all times.

6  You Need Help

You might think that you are getting by just fine, but the instant that you see how much more efficiently and productive you can be with the help of a virtual assistant, you will realise the benefit of having help on your side.

7  It is Possible to be Organised

Trying to keep your business organised might seem like an impossible task, but a virtual assistant will allow you to finally get your business operations on track.

8  It Pays Off

You can actually save money in the long run by hiring a virtual assistant as you can focus on your high level paid tasks while the Virtual Assistant concentrates on their high level tasks for your business.

9  Virtual Assistants Care

Your virtual assistant will quickly show you how dedicated they are to their craft. This is their livelihood and your business is now important to them, which makes them the ideal assistant by your side.