Starting your own business can be challenging and demanding yet exciting and rewarding! As a CEO, it’s easy to believe you can handle everything independently. However, as time passes and your business grows, you will slowly realise there simply isn’t enough time to complete everything.
The reality is that successful businesses are built on collaboration and delegation. So, let’s chat about why it takes two to lead a successful and sustainable business and how a collaborative relationship between a CEO and COO or CEO and OBM is necessary for scaling.
As a CEO, you have a lot on your plate. You’re responsible not only for the overall direction of your business but also for making strategic, informed decisions, generating revenue, leading the team, networking and… well, we know the list goes on!
It’s essential to recognise early in your journey that you can’t do it all as a solopreneur. Eventually, you must learn to relinquish control of anything that isn’t your zone of genius or focus on driving business growth.
Day-to-day client operations, content creation, client delivery–the whole shebang–can become overwhelming if you try to wear all the hats in your business. It can quickly lead to burnout, which can significantly negatively impact the overall success of your business and your personal health. And without our health, there is no business. That’s why at OBM Associates®, we empower our clients to put themselves first and foremost while we handle the backend and daily operations of the business.
But the good news is, you can avoid overloading yourself and burning out quickly by hiring an Online Business Manager! An OBM is a strategic partner who can help you build and manage the day-to-day operations of your business, project and launch management and even social media strategy. Online Business Managers take on systems and team management, allowing you to stay in your zone of genius!
By delegating these tasks to an OBM, you can free up your time to focus on revenue-generating activities and tasks only YOU can do in your business.
While an OBM can take on many responsibilities, they can’t do it all either! An OBM is not a replacement for you as the CEO, and they can’t make calls on pivoting the direction of the business without you. That is your CEO role overall.
Online Business Managers need guidance and direction from the CEO to ensure they are taking aligned actions with the business’s overall goals and vision, set by you as the CEO.
This is why it is SO crucial for this dynamic duo to work closely as a team. The CEO can provide the OBM with strategic direction while the OBM can help execute the CEO’s vision. Think of your OBM as the how to your why.
Both roles can leverage each other’s strengths to help scale the business by working together. Your OBM will support you in staying in your wheelhouse by protecting your time and energy and acting as a filter between you and the team, but they’ll also need your support in staying in their role as OBM.
One of the essential roles of a CEO is staying in your zone of genius. This is where you excel and enjoy working the absolute most. Working in your wheelhouse makes you more productive, creative, and effective. It’s what they call a flow state. As a CEO, you need to be able to recognise your strengths and delegate tasks that fall outside of your zone of genius to others.
An OBM can help you stay in your zone of genius by taking on tasks that don’t fall under your strengths and either completing them themselves or delegating them to your team. This will allow you to focus on what you do best and tasks that only you can do–like revenue-generating activities, client delivery, building relationships, networking, market research, and staying above your competition–to achieve better results for your business.
Like the CEO, the OBM also has their own zone of genius that they operate best within. It’s essential to recognise their strengths so they can best serve you as the CEO and delegate tasks to other team members.
When hiring an OBM, you need to keep their zone of genius in mind to not overload them with tasks that would be better suited for the CEO. There is a fine balance within the collaborative relationship between the CEO and OBM, so both people’s wheelhouses must be considered!
One way to consider your OBM’s zone of genius is by hiring a strategic, lean team of specialised roles that will allow everyone to stay in their wheelhouse. This way, the OBM isn’t compensating for a team member or assistant tasks like inbox management or social media graphics. Remember: for every administrative or menial task that the OBM has to pick up, time is lost that could have been spent managing your projects and supporting you–the CEO.
Business success will come naturally with a successful and collaborative partnership between the CEO and OBM. However, communication and transparency are critical to a good CEO-OBM relationship. The CEO needs to set the vision and direction for the business so that the OBM can help execute. The CEO and OBM should work closely to ensure that their actions align with the business’s overall goals and visions.
When looking for your long-lost OBM, remember you don’t have to like all of the same things, but getting to know each other professionally AND personally can be a great way to ensure your professional relationship will thrive. So go out and grab drinks (in-person or virtually) with your new partner and get to know each other on a more personal level!
To get the best out of your OBM, it’s essential to communicate clearly and provide them with the resources and solid direction they need to succeed. Not only that, but you also need to ensure you’re keeping in touch with them consistently. Nothing will hold an OBM back from reaching its full potential in helping your business grow, like delayed response times from the CEO, so try not to be a bottleneck!
You also need to give them the freedom to make decisions for your business, and you need to be able to trust them to get the job done. Positive reinforcement is also always great–celebrate their successes and give them feedback and praise when necessary! Lastly, don’t expect to offload your entire business onto your OBM! They’re here to help you scale–not keep the business running while you run away to Hawaii for ten months. Your business needs you just as much as you need your OBM!
Your OBM can get the best out of you when you communicate clearly and set clear expectations. On the front end, your OBM should be getting to know your business inside and out. They should also be asking many questions to understand the fundamentals of the backend. Furthermore, they should provide you with any information you need to make strategic decisions and keep you informed on day-to-day operations within the business to make informed decisions.
Your OBM should challenge you to think outside the box. Hiring an OBM with different views and perspectives may result in a bit of friction, which is healthy for the growth of the business. So find an OBM that isn’t afraid to speak up and offer you their opinion–even if it conflicts with yours!
You know what they say about opposites attracting? Working with someone who is the complete opposite of you can have positive influences not only on the growth of the business but on your personal growth too. It will bring a fresh perspective to your business and help you see the gaps in the way you have been operating.
Finally, it’s essential to recognise that the CEO and OBM have different roles to play within the business! The CEO should focus on driving the business forward, while the OBM focuses on managing the business’s day-to-day operations. By working together, the CEO and OBM can succeed tremendously and reach the business’s full potential.
Leading a successful and sustainable business takes collaboration, delegation, and a great team. The CEO can’t do it all alone, nor can the OBM. By working together as a dynamic duo and staying in your respective zones of genius, the CEO and OBM will achieve tremendous success than either would be able to achieve alone.
If you’re a CEO looking for the perfect OBM for your business, check out my powerhouse of high-quality OBMs at OBM Associates and 1:1 services from getting Digitally Organised, and System Builds, and COO partnerships. I have something to support you at every step of your entrepreneurial journey. Get in touch for a coffee chat here!
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