This guest blog is bought to us by Meredith Nowlan from The Regional OBM.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level and know that you need a hand to do it? Perhaps you’ve just signed up with a business coach or a virtual CFO and they’ve given you an action list that’s as overwhelming as it is invigorating. Well, I’ve got some great news for you. I’m going to dive into the wonderful world of Online Business Managers (OBMs) and how having one can positively impact your business. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s explore how an OBM can work wonders for your business.
Streamlined Operations and Processes
Picture this: you’re running your business and it’s gaining momentum. It’s freaking amazing, but sometimes the day-to-day operations can get a little stressful/time-consuming/all-encompassing (insert your own experience here!).
Enter the OBM, your wing woman in business. These magical beings specialise in optimising and streamlining your business operations and processes. From creating efficient workflows to implementing systems that make your life easier, an OBM will have your business running like a well-oiled machine.
Strategic Planning and Goal Setting
Remember the coach or new CFO I mentioned earlier? They’ve clued into the fact that you’ve got big dreams and even bigger goals. Sometimes, it can be challenging to turn those dreams into reality, even with the awesome assistance they’re giving you. That’s where an OBM comes in. Share your goals with her and every plan that she makes will help you navigate towards the desired end result. Your regular catch up’s will turn into brainstorming sessions on the best way forward – and she’ll love it just as much as you do.
Delegating and Managing Teams
As a small business owner, you wear many hats. And there are days where trying to juggle all the tasks can leave you feeling like a one-person circus act. So don’t let fear hold you back! An OBM is here to protect your sanity. They’re masters at delegating and managing teams. They’ll help you build a dream team of talented individuals and ensure everyone has the tools they need to work seamlessly. This particular OBM is not afraid to employ tech stacks where necessary – automagic is just a few key strokes away! With an OBM on your side, you can focus on what you love and let them handle the rest.
My tip – a project management system such as Trello, ClickUp and Asana can really make an impact on getting started with the first 3 topics!
Enhanced Customer Experience and Satisfaction
Having a kickass customer journey and customer service can be the difference between you and your competition. Happy customers mean repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, and that’s pure gold. This process should be a well-oil machine that cranks every single time – no matter which team member picks up the order or how many after-school activities you are actively ubering this week. An OBM can work with you to implement customer-centric strategies and processes that will leave your customers smiling from ear to ear.
Dubsado is the client relationship management system I utilise inside my own business and recommend most to my clients!
Time and Stress Management
I get it. Running a business can feel like a never-ending rollercoaster ride, especially when you throw in family and community responsibilities (or just trying to get to the pub for dinner on Friday night to remind friends you still live). It’s exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting. An OBM is like your personal time and stress management guru. They’ll help you reclaim your precious time and alleviate stress by handling operational tasks. So take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy a better work-life balance. You deserve it!
When an OBM is not for you
If you aren’t ready to implement change, hand over partial control of the reins or really don’t want suggestions on how to improve your systems, communication and automations… then what I’d suggest is looking into a Virtual Assistant (VA). VA’s are more than happy to follow a set checklist to help you manage the day-to-day. Whilst many of them are happy to think outside the box, they understand that it’s not what they’re here for and will gladly follow your lead. There’s nothing wrong with being at this stage – so long as you aren’t sitting stagnant out of fear of what could come next!
How to start with an OBM
If you are wondering how to start with an OBM, the first step is booking a discovery call! In this first session, we’ll chat about what’s going well in your business and where you are struggling with keeping up, maintaining control and what systems need a good tightening. Understanding what systems and software you’ve in place already gives me a great idea of where you need to head next to achieve the vision you have for your business.
An OBM is a game-changer, offering streamlined operations, strategic planning, team management, automation wizardry, enhanced customer experiences, and stress relief. So why wait? Embrace the benefits bringing on OBM onboard will bring – you won’t look back!
Meredith Nowlan is a Systems Strategist and Online Business Manager with extensive experience in the logistics, mining and transport industries. She’s worked in almost every role an office could have and considers herself the ultimate wing woman in the business world. From kickstarting your Dubsado setup to creating streamlined systems and automations across various apps, Meredith has your back when it comes to sprinkling auto-magic over your business. Based in FNQ, Meredith works remotely with business owners from all around Australia (some from their caravans!) to ensure their businesses run like a well-oiled, efficient machine that frees up your time and skyrockets your success.
Book a discovery call with Meredith Nowlan from The Regional OBM, or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Follow The Regional OBM on Instagram and Facebook for more helpful tips.
Strategic planning is pivotal in determining long-term success in the fast-paced and competitive business world. By setting clear goals and developing actionable strategies, businesses can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and drive growth.
The Power of Strategic Planning
Strategic planning defines a company’s vision, objectives, and actions to achieve them. It provides businesses with a roadmap, guiding their decisions and ensuring alignment with long-term goals. We believe strategic planning is crucial for the following:
Direction and Focus
A well-defined strategic plan sets the path for the business. It clarifies the company’s purpose, values, and desired outcomes, keeping everyone focused on a shared vision. With a clear direction, businesses can make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively.
Strategic planning enables businesses to anticipate and adapt to changes in the market, technology, and consumer behaviour. Businesses can identify potential threats and capitalise on emerging opportunities by conducting thorough market research and analysing industry and business trends.
Effective strategic planning helps businesses optimise their resources. By aligning objectives with available resources, companies can allocate funds, personnel, and time more efficiently. This ensures that resources are utilised in the areas that provide the greatest value and support achieving strategic goals.
Strategic planning involves assessing potential risks and developing contingency plans. By identifying vulnerabilities and implementing risk mitigation strategies, businesses can proactively address challenges and minimise their impact on operations and profitability.
The Role of 3-Way Budgeting in Strategic Planning
An essential component of strategic planning is 3-way budgeting. We believe that 3-way budgets underpin strategic plans:
3-way budgeting provides a comprehensive view of a business’s financial health. Businesses gain insights into their financial performance by integrating revenue projections, expense forecasts, and cash flow estimates. This visibility enables informed decision-making and facilitates allocating resources to support strategic objectives.
3-way budgeting ensures financial goals align with strategic objectives. By integrating financial targets into the planning process, businesses can evaluate the economic feasibility of their strategies. It helps identify the financial impact of various initiatives, such as product development, market expansion, or cost optimisation.
3-way budgeting allows businesses to monitor and evaluate their financial performance against established targets. By regularly comparing actual results with budgeted figures, businesses can identify areas of improvement, adjust their strategies, and make informed decisions to stay on track towards their goals.
Failing to plan is planning to fail
These wise words from Benjamin Franklin are a powerful reminder of the significance of planning in achieving success. By taking the time to strategise, set goals, and create actionable plans, businesses can position themselves for growth and overcome obstacles.
Strategic planning is integral to building a successful business in the Australian market. It provides direction, anticipates change, optimises resources, and mitigates risks. Additionally, 3-way budgeting underpins strategic plans by offering financial visibility, aligning goals, and evaluating performance. So, remember the wise words of Franklin and prioritise strategic planning to unlock your business’s full potential and thrive in today’s competitive landscape.
Book a discovery call today if you need help with your strategic plan and/or 3-way budgets.
You can also read more bout setting goals here.
Setting goals is essential in life and business as they provide you with direction. Several people lately have said that they struggle with setting goals, so we have put together a list of our top tips and methods for setting goals.
Method 1 – SMART Goals
The SMART criteria has been around since the early 1980s and is the optimal way to set goals.
Specific – A specific goal should answer questions like what needs to be accomplished? Who is responsible for it?
Measurable – Quantifying your goal, it allows you to track your progress and give you a measure of success.
Achievable – Is your goal achievable? Goals should be a challenge or a stretch from where you currently are but they also should be attainable.
Realistic – Is your goal realistic? Having unrealistic goals can create unwanted stress and frustration.
Timely – In what time period are you going to achieve your goal?
An example of a weak goal is “I want to increase my monthly customer retention rates”. However this can be made into a SMART goal “I want to increase my monthly customer retention rate by 10% in the 6 months from February”.
Method 2 – PACT goals
PACT goals focus more on the output. Some people have found that PACT goals allow them to track progress towards achieving a goal and creating new habits. The PACT technique works especially well for long-term, ambitious goals because they are focused on continuous growth.
Purpose – A purposeful intent speaks to your values and vision for the future.
Actionable – Your goals should have outcomes that you can focus on now. Actionable steps allow you to be present and not just planning to do in the future.
Continuous – This is where you can focus on continuous growth and improvement towards your goals. By using repeatable and straightforward routines, it helps you to avoid analysis paralysis and build healthy habits.
Trackable – This is more of a “yes” or “no” approach – tracking whether or not you’ve completed the actions you needed in order to achieve your goal.
An example of a PACT goal is “I am going to email 15 and call 5 existing customers each week for 6 months with the specials to increase the monthly customer retention rate by at least 10% from February.
Tip 1 – Write your goals down
Writing your goal down helps you clarify them, particularly if you are following one of the methods above. A US study showed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.
But don’t write them in a notebook that you’ll never look at again. Keep them handy and refer to them regularly. Your goals should influence your decision-making.
Tip 2 – Break down the steps
If you have used the SMART methodology, you may need to break your goal down into steps or even subgoals to allow you to achieve it. For example, if you want to run a marathon you don’t just go out and run one. You need to break down the steps first. The steps could be hiring a running coach, buying new shoes, eating a particular diet, running 5 days a week, and competing in a 10K race. All of these are steps that are going to allow you to run a marathon.
Business goals are exactly the same. Your goal could be that you want to achieve a million dollars in sales for the year. Some of the steps you may need to complete could include preparing a budget (read why every business should have a budget here) and a marketing plan, reviewing your manufacturing processes, hiring a new team member etc.
These steps can be both internally focused as well as customer or externally focused, but they all should be helping you to achieve your overall goal.
If you need some help with your business goals, book a discovery call with us.