Online Business Management

It’s Time to Make Changes to Your Business Practices When… 

Your business rules your life.

If your clients are calling, texting, or emailing at all hours of the day, expecting you to answer, your business is ruling your life. Boundaries are important to your wellbeing and clients should know upfront that you are not on call 24/7. You are a business owners and entrepreneur, not a first responder. Even first responders get time off! Set your boundaries (aka business hours) from the start or implement them now.

You feel burned out.

Business burn out comes when you are solely responsible for completing every task. Or when you don’t set boundaries. Or when work infringes on your family time. The ultimate result is you end up physically sick and/or you want to throw in the towel and quit. Your brain and body need down time to relax and regroup, which is why a good night’s sleep is so important to physical health. Constantly thinking about business without a break is a natural case for burn out. Outsource your admin tasks, social media, and/or marketing tasks. Leave work at the office, even if it’s your home office.

You don’t have any free time with family or friends.

Your friends and family will certainly complain if you fall off the face of the earth working your business but these complaints may one day turn to resentment. A spouse may resent being the sole caregiver while you work all hours of the day. Your kids may feel you love the business more than them. Your friends may get tired of issuing invitations if they think your business takes top priority. Without a strong support structure, your efforts to build a legacy may leave you alone in the world.

You spend more time on administrative tasks than with clients.

If your primary purpose of starting a business is to help others, then why are you spending more time on administrative tasks than clients and customers? Yes, you need to market yourself to obtain new clients but implementing your marketing strategy can certainly be done while you are with your clients. Hiring a marketing strategist can help you stay focused on your clients instead of worrying so much about where to find your next client.

Change isn’t easy, especially when you’re talking about changing things about your established business. But the right changes can breathe new life into your business.

Are You Ready for Change but Not Sure Where to Start?

Imagine what it would be like to go from doing all. the. things…to mastering your time, your projects, and the CEO role. As an Strategic Consultant and Operations Manager, my goal is to offer you solutions. Planning, processes, and Analyzing are my Superpowers! I can help you analyze what needs to be changed and how to implement those changes. Some changes are easy, others are more difficult, but they will all be worthwhile if they streamline your business so you can bring in more profits. As business owners, we tend to overthink the process or even the solution that might be in front of you. Let’s connect for a quick coffee chat. GO HERE TO SCHEDULE THAT COFFEE CHAT! If you would like to know more about how me and my service, CLICK HERE.

5 Reasons Why You May Need to Hire an Online Business Manager

Wondering if you should hire an Online Business Manager? Here are 5 tell-tale signs that it may be time for you to add an OBM to your team.

1. Your business is growing while your own free-time is shrinking.

I’m betting you started your business to create more freedom in your life yes? Freedom of time, money and choice. Let me ask you – as your business grows are you actually working more or less time?

If you are on the ‘working more’ side of things you certainly aren’t alone… I can’t count how many times I’ve talked to business owners who have shared how they are actually working more hours in their own business than they ever did in their ‘old job’! Ugh. However it doesn’t have to be this way… as a business owner you have the freedom to be able to make changes in your business, including hiring the right help to get stuff off your plate.

This is exactly what an Online Business Manager does – their focus is to free up the business owner (YOU!) so that they can focus their time and energy on the things that only THEY can do in their business.

2. You are having to turn away opportunities because you are so busy!

This is a sad by-product of the first point. Are you so busy that you can’t take advantage of the opportunities that are coming your way? Do you ever find yourself saying “I would love to do X and know it would be a great new offer… but I simply don’t have the time for it right now.”

Not only can an Online Business Manager help free up your time to be able to explore these opportunities, they can also work on bringing some of these opportunities to life for you! An Online Business Manager helps turn your vision into reality, and can manage the process of creating new offers in your business from concept to launch.

3. You are still doing the same things you were doing when you started your business.

Remember when you first started your business and had to wear many hats? You were the cook, hostess, waitress and busboy (so to speak, hehe.) Now that your business is growing, are you still doing the same things as you were in the beginning? Are you still updating your own website? Are you still sending out broadcasts? Are you still answering all your customer service emails?

As your business grows your role will (and should!) change. An Online Business Manager can lovingly ‘slap your wrist’ when it comes to you doing some of these things… helping you delegate the ‘old’ stuff that is taking up your time and getting in the way of you growing your business.

4. You have a great team, but find yourself frustrated by them always ‘bugging’ you.

This is a common complaint from business owners – they have a great team of VAs, techies and such. And yet they are constantly frustrated by how much their team needs from them. They feel like someone is always tapping them on the shoulder with a question or request.

The thing is, your team does need someone to manage them. They need someone who they can turn to with questions, to get what they need to complete their projects quickly and on time. And if there is not an Online Business Manager on the team who do they turn to? You – the business owner.

As a colleague of mine so eloquently shared:

“My VAs were doing a fine job – it was ME who was unhappy managing them.”

Most business owners really don’t enjoying being managers, and I’m guessing this may be the same for you. An Online Business Manager becomes the key point of contact for your team – all questions, requests and check-ins go to the OBM instead of you.

5. You are stuck at $X revenue and can’t seem to get past that point!

When you find yourself stuck at a certain point in revenue there is usually one thing getting in the way – you! This is often referred to as the quarter million dollar speedbump – where you get stuck in early 6-figures – and a big part of the solution usually requires you removing yourself from the day-to-day of your business.

Start to ask yourself as you go about your day – do I need to be the person to do X? (with X being the many things you spend your time on each day.)

Chances are many things on your to-do list could be passed along to someone else on your team. And an Online Business Manager can help with that process by delegating and managing those tasks on your behalf.

Curious if you’re ready for an Online Business Manager? Click HERE to review my offerings.

Ready to get started? Book a discovery call via this LINK.

Stay tuned next week as I provide 5 Reasons Why You Should Work with an Online Business Consultant.

Are Your Clients Happy?

If you don’t hear any complaints from your clients, you might assume that they are satisfied with your service or product. But are they really satisfied or are they just non-confrontational and looking for another coach behind your back?

The easiest way to attain client feedback is with a survey. You can set these up with a service like SurveyMonkey and ask just a few simple questions. They can be scheduled at the end of your service package, the end of your class, or semi-annually to your current clients.

One common complaint is that clients don’t take the time to look at the survey or answer the questions. If you want to avoid this scenario, offer a free gift for taking the survey, such as a coupon code for an upcoming product or a free checklist or other tool they will find useful. Sometimes gifts like these provide just enough incentive to get the answers you need.

To make your survey even easier, simply ask for a customer satisfaction score, such as 5 stars. This can be done via SurveyMonkey, email, or even a Facebook Messenger chatbot. If anyone gives a low score, you can follow up with a personal phone call or email to get clarification of what happened.

If you want to avoid the whole survey process altogether, simply ask your client at the end of their session package or class if they are satisfied with the results. Ask if there was anything missing that would have helped them during the process. If they are happy, always ask for referrals.

What If My Client Blasts Me with Negative Feedback?

It’s bound to happen at some point that you and a particular client just don’t mesh for any number of reasons. When you ask for feedback – which can be a simple question of “Why don’t you want to continue your sessions?” – you probably won’t like what they have to say. However, it’s important to listen objectively and not take the negative feedback personally. Think back to your interactions objectively; is there any validity to their complaints? If so, make note of those complaints and work immediately to resolve those with other clients.

If your unhappy client turns to social media to blast you, remain calm when crafting your response. Yes, you should respond to unhappy clients so it shows anyone who’s reading that you’re receptive to resolving the issue. But take the high road and don’t resort to name calling or throwing insults, no matter how tempting. Showing a calm demeanor online can build up your professional image and credibility.

Monitoring your social media should be a daily practice so you can catch any kind of negative talk right away. Your virtual assistant can monitor your profiles and can set up Google Alerts, Mention, or Social Mentions so you’ll know when people are talking about you online. Lots of positive shout outs occur on social media so keep an eye out for those mentions, too. Don’t be afraid to share the positive feedback you receive either on social media or as testimonials on your website.

Avoid Negative Feedback by Creating a Plan

One way to prevent poor client satisfaction results is to create a plan of action. A personalized client satisfaction plan spells out all the steps you’ll take (or your client care specialist) to assist the client and make their experience easy and worry free. Never heard of a client satisfaction plan? Why not schedule a free discover call/coffee chat with me to discuss further? Click HERE on my link to get started. Want to know more about what I do, go HERE to see how I can help you and your business grow!

Keep Your Business Organized with a CRM Program

Keep your business organized with a CRM Program. Staying organized is paramount if you want to run a successful business, especially if you have multiple clients. Investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program is one such way to stay organized while building your client relationships.

In its simplest form, a CRM program is like an online address book, or an old fashioned Rolodex (remember those?!) that keeps your client’s information all in one place. Basic info such as address, email, phone number, and birthday can be collected when they sign up for your services. Then, as you get to know them better, you can also ask for various personal or business information that can help you know your clients in a deeper way.

Many CRM programs have spaces for notes and next steps, such as follow up phone calls or sessions, so at the beginning of each day your CRM will provide an automated to-do list based on those next steps. Have you tried to keep all these details in your head or logged into your phone calendar? You will know that sometimes items get missed or forgotten, which can damage your credibility. Automating the to-do list process saves you time, money, and embarrassment.

Adding a Personal Touch to Your Client Relationships

Building a client relationship also means building a friendship with that person. Yes, YOU are the owner and the one with the expertise but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly outside of business. Learn about their business or their life; ask about their family; wish them a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary; ask questions about their latest vacation. Any little tidbit of personal information that comes up in your sessions, emails, or other conversations can be noted in your CRM and added to your to-do list. A simple email with, “Welcome back from vacation! Let’s get your next session booked,” adds a personal touch to your relationship.

Have you ever considered sending birthday cards to your clients? If you gather that information during the onboarding session, note it in your CRM program. Then every week or month, you can do a search for birthdays and send out cards. Sending eCards is certainly simple but also consider sending handwritten birthday cards with a simple message. That’s one way to stand out from the crowd since everyone’s email is jammed these days.

What Else Can a CRM Program Do?

Very often CRMs have an email system integrated so you can send individual messages or bulk messages instead of paying for a separate email provider. These email services also allow you to segment your clients based on what packages or products they purchased so you can run dedicated campaigns just to those people touting your latest products.

CRMs also offer ways to track leads so you can follow up with them on a regular basis or send them emails specific to their needs. This is especially handy since you always want to gather people into your sales funnel and you don’t want anyone falling through the cracks.

As you can see, CRM programs can handle a variety of tasks that keep your business organized. One note: there are dozens of CRM programs so do your due diligence when researching. Pricing structures vary considerably but also, choose a program from an established company that offers support and security updates.

Get More Tips for Personalizing the Client Relationship

Even if you’re just starting to research CRM options, you can still personalize your client relationship with tips I’ll share when you book a Strategy session with me. Spend up to two hours with me where we will work together to plan & create strategies to grow your business. Curious if we would be a good fit for each other? Check the services page on my website or go HERE to connect for a coffee chat. What could it hurt? Looking forward to talking with you soon!