Busting OBM Myths


To round out this mini-series on working with an online business manager, I wanted to share my thoughts on some myths about OBMs. You’d be amazed by some myths that surround the industry. Interestingly, some of these misunderstandings have eased since COVID and the “new normal” of businesses adopting hybrid and fully work-from-home business models. Unfortunately, though, some persist!

Myth 1: Only certain businesses can use an OBM


Partnering with an OBM can be beneficial to all businesses. This is irrespective of business size, type, location, number of staff, turnover, industry or any other factor. This is because part of OBM’s tasks is to assess the individual needs of an organisation and tailor their solution as needed. Flexibility and “out of the box” thinking make having an OBM so powerful.

As an example; because an OBM can work remotely, location doesn’t need to be a factor in selecting the best person for your business. Your local geographic area doesn’t limit you.

Did you know that The Administration Agency, we are located in regional Australia, our team works throughout New South Wales and our clients are from all around Australia!

Myth 2: Miscommunication is a given 


This leads us to our second myth. Because the OBM works remotely, that miscommunication is a given. I can see how this would make sense, especially to those unfamiliar with remote working.

But, miscommunication happens in every workplace. It’s simply a reality of working with different people and personalities. Communication issues aren’t a reflection of a poorly organised organisation – it’s all in their approach and response to it! Whether the workplace is fully remote or a hybrid setup, how leaders respond to communication issues makes all the difference.

One change that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic was a greater reliance on remote working. Businesses that previously would never have considered this an option suddenly found themselves adapting to the new demands of staff working from home. In response to this new demand, numerous new communication tools became available, making communicating with a remote or hybrid team easier and smoother. Read more about the importance of communicating here

Myth 3: Onshore assistance is too expensive


It can be daunting to reach out for help in your business. Even more so when you’ll need to be making a financial investment. Fears around risk and return are usually intensified because the rewards around partnering with an OBM can seem so abstract.

Now when discussing cost, it might be easy to advise people “Well, you get what you pay for”, which although true isn’t terribly helpful! The three points I like to explain to businesses hesitant to engage with an OBM are;

  1. Simply asking for the “hourly rate” can sometimes be misleading. For instance; two people could be doing the same work with different hourly rates, but what matters is the task being completed. If one person can do it more efficiently (therefore faster) then depending on the difference in the hourly rate, your overall investment could be substantially different. Instead, think of your investment around the completion of tasks, this makes comparing OBM rates more reflective of the work that will be done
  2. Ask yourself what your time is worth. Sometimes it feels extravagant to pay for someone to do something you can do yourself. BUT… this thinking usually neglects to take into account what your own time is worth. If you have a large word processing task to get through, sure, you could tackle it yourself, but if you aren’t an expert in completing the task and have to learn as you go, it could end up taking you 2 or 3 times as long as someone experienced, well trained and familiar with the task. The compounding issue with this is, what profit-making, business-building, passion pursuing tasks got sacrificed while you spent time completing something that could have been outsourced?
  3. Reframe the idea that engaging an OBM is simply a cost to your business. A business cost is different to a business investment. Partnering with an OBM as an investment is a far more accurate description of possible returns and rewards. Once you have clearly defined and worked through your goals, these become the return on your investment.

It’s important to note that while some misunderstandings have been dispelled by adapting to remote work during the pandemic, others still linger. Owning an online business management business means I know the value of collaborating with an OBM for your brand and business. Don’t let these myths stop you and your business from achieving their highest potential.

Contact us today to learn more about how our experienced Virtual Assistants can help you streamline your operations and free up countless hours for you to focus on what you’re passionate about the most. Let’s work together to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality and take your business and brand to the NEXT level.

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