Once your business gets to a certain space and is ready to scale, I know that you’re looking for an awesome operational wizard that can assist with that and allow you to step into your zone of genius.
I have hired many online business managers in my time, and I’ve found that very few of them really understand operations and what drives growth, and how to accelerate the growth of the business from 6 to 7 figures and beyond.
While they may be able to fill certain responsibilities, many aren’t skilled in important aspects, like developing team members, optimizing the strengths of the company, pinpointing where team members needed more training and support, or understanding the bigger pieces of the business.
The Cost of an Online Business Manager
We eventually stopped hiring online business managers because it was more like they were managing tasks and handling marketing than they were assisting with scaling. They couldn’t implement processes in the business to the standard needed.
So instead of hiring online business managers, we started hiring project managers that we developed ourselves for our company and client companies. We install them so we know they can accelerate the growth of our clients’ businesses.
Let’s talk about the cost of online business managers because it can be quite lofty:
- The average online business manager charges $85/hour. That means you’ll pay them $88k a year to work part-time at 20 hours a week
- The average COO (Chief Operations Officer) charges an average of $222/hour. That means you’ll pay them $230k a year to work part-time at 20 hours a week
This is a huge investment in your business, so you need to make sure you’re looking for the right things in this hire in whatever capacity you decide to bring them onboard.
Ensuring They’re Experienced in Scalability
I’ve found that even certified online business managers know very little about what drives scalability, how to truly scale your business, how to eliminate capacity blocks, how to see the pitfalls, how to be strategic about the growth, how to streamline processes and procedures, and building out systems that make things easier rather than just adding more complexity.
You have to determine if the online business manager you’re looking to hire has the experience of scaling small businesses in the past to reach 7-figures. They may have ways that they helped other companies, but you need to make sure they know how to scale. This is absolutely vital.
If they’ve been in a corporate environment and part of a team that helped grow a company, you need to understand their part in that. Ask them if they have ever been able to do this for others effectively, what the steps they took to do it were, and what case studies they have.
When an online business manager gives strategic support without having real-life experience
scaling, it’s just a flat-out opinion. That means they have no business making strategic calls in your business, simply because they don’t have the knowledge and experience to do so.
Sadly, they won’t make the right decisions for you and you’ll end up wasting time, money, and momentum. In fact, you could end up in a worse place than you’re currently in.
Here are some questions to ask potential candidates regarding what I’ve discussed here:
- How do they identify and eliminate capacity blocks?
- What things will they do to drive scalability?
- How are they going to focus on these?
- Will they be able to remove you as the bottleneck in your business?
- How will they remove you from the day-to-day?
- How will they ensure you are staying on budget in your business?
This hire needs to truly drive change in your business. For that reason, you need to ensure that your operations manager has a step-by-step process to drive growth.
Limitations of Online Business Managers to Be Aware Of
There are some limitations that come with online business managers that you need to know about to help inspire your hiring decision. First, online business managers are sometimes in different time zones. They may have strict boundaries around hours and when they’re available. That makes it hard to utilize them in an emergency or when support is needed. You want someone that will really allow you to be pulled out of the weeds, and this doesn’t always allow for that.
Furthermore, a lot of online business managers have a network they enjoy working with. While this could be good, is it the best use of your money? Is it the best fit for your business? This is concerning because there’s a lack of objectivity.
You need to find vendors and business contacts that are truly a good fit for your business needs. Beyond that, you need to ensure that your business manager is putting the vision as their top priority and ask, do they really really know the difference between best practices and an ideal fit for your business?
Must-Have Abilities of an Operations Manager or Business Manager
There are certain things that your operations manager or online business manager must know how to do. The first thing is that they need to be able to create, train on, and maintain a library of standard operating procedures (SOPs). This is a must-have business asset that you need to have, to ensure you don’t become dependent on any one employee.
This library of SOPs is your freedom as well as the largest asset of your business. Think about buying a franchise – you’re really buying their SOPs. This is the sellable asset of a business.
An ops manager also needs to know how to hire people. Ask if they’ve recruited before, what their hiring process is, and how they source candidates.
You really need someone with a big-picture mentality. Your operations manager needs to really build the structure of your business for where you are going, not where you are right now. If someone keeps the flow of the day-to-day flowing, that’s helpful, but that doesn’t mean they’ll help scale your business.
The Ability to Help You Scale: The Bottom Line
These are the reasons we end up hiring our own project managers, training and developing them and then installing them into our business or the business of our clients. That ensures that they’ll be able to encompass all the tasks you want in your business and have the ability to help you scale.
I hope this makes you look at the needs you have for this role and what it’s going to take to make a difference in your business.
I would love to get connected on Instagram or The 7-Figure Freedom Club Facebook Group so we can chat about your takeaways from this episode. If you’re interested in learning more schedule a call with me today or visit my website!
And if you want to take the next step, take the business assessment quiz to get started.
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