Making the transition from a VA to an online business manager can be an exciting but also concerning time. On the one hand we are evolving and moving into a new role within our business, but on the other hand we are concerned about letting go and relying on others to help us service our clients to the same standards and quality that we have set to get the business to the point where it’s at.
What is going to set you apart and make the transition a success is the way you handle it and the measures and procedures you put in place to ensure things go smoothly, but what things really make an extraordinary online business manager, and how can you use these in your own business?
#1, Never Take You Eye Off The Ball
It’s vital that you know what’s going on with your team and clients, I am not saying you have to watch every little detail, but you should be able to get a birds-eye view of all the clients, projects and assignments from one place and check on those every day. You should still be aware of everything going on in the business.
#2, Stay In Consistent Contact With Your Clients
It’s really important to note, when you are an Online Business Manager, you are still the primary VA in the business, and you should not lose contact with your clients, and wherever possible respond to their enquiries just letting them know that you have seen their request and it’s in hand, explain you have someone on the task who is the best person for the job, and that progress updates will be issued periodically by that person. It’s also important to let the client know that if they ever have any questions or concerns they can still contact you directly. It’s important the client knows that despite the fact you are not the one processing the work, you are overseeing it, you know exactly what’s going on at all times, and you are keeping in contact with them directly.
#3, Consider Your Sub-Contractors As Equals
If you’re a VA and you hire independent sub-contractors, partner with other VA’s or have team members, it’s important to respect them as entrepreneurs and business owners. They have a skill or many skills that they do superbly, and you need their skills to operate and expand your practise and your sub-contractors/partners/team members are an essential part of the bigger picture. Respect them as entrepreneurs and business owners, who are providing you with a service, so you can continue to provide your services to clients and expand your business. You don’t employ them, so the relationship with them is no different to the relationship that your clients have with you.
#4, Quality Control & Spot Checking
No matter what kind of VA business you have, you are the one responsible for it, and nobody else in your business is responsible for the final product, and the end result, other than you. You should always be doing quality control with every client and checking daily or weekly depending on the services provided, on the progress and results of the work. In many cases I will often make sure that some of the work passes through me before going back to the client, it doesn’t take long just to double check and make sure everything is spot on, I also hire team members who take more of a senior role, and they also quality control, so I am able to make sure that the work is always to an exceptional standard.
#5, Troubleshoot & Document
The role of an online business manager should literally be to manage, however when problems or issues arise that you need to sort out as a manager, you should be troubleshooting them yourself, so you can see exactly what occurred and how to fix it, then be documenting each and every point, so next time it can be dealt with efficiently and perhaps even by the person initially who is responsible for the assignment so it doesn’t end up escalating as far as you the second time around. By doing this you can refine your business processes to such and extent that problems or issues occur very rarely. Also don’t be too despondent when problems occur or if issues arise, it can happen in any business, the important part is that you deal with any issues quickly and resolve them effectively and then put preventative measures in place for the future.
I thoroughly love being a virtual assistant and an online business manager, and this is why I went into self-employment, so I could do what I loved, and earn money from it. But it’s also very important to respect the role, which doesn’t mean detaching yourself from the business, it means improving the business by focusing your time an energy into perfecting the service, building closer relationships with your clients, and passing on your knowledge and experience to others in order to grow and develop as opposed to trying to stay on top of, and do everything yourself all of the time. Also, it’s important to know that as a new online business manager, you will also be entering into a new and exciting learning curve yourself!