What’s an Online Business Manager?

According to Tina Forsyth, the author of Becoming an Online Business Manager, the official definition of an Online Business Manager (OBM) is:

A virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses, including the day-to-day management of projects, operations, team members, and metrics.

An OBM isn’t a virtual assistant who performs tasks. He or she is a professional business manager who runs the company’s daily operations to give the owner energy and time to focus on strategic growth. The OBM gives the owner permission to be the Visionary and serve her clients, plan the company’s growth and future, and use her gifts to their fullest potential.

The OBM keeps all the balls in the air as the Integrator of the business. Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters first defined the Integrator role in their book, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination that Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. The Integrator harmoniously combines the major functions of the business (sales, marketing, operations, and finance), runs the organization, and manages day-to-day issues. This role is literally the glue that holds the people, processes, systems, and strategy of the company together.

The Integrator creates space so the business owner, the Visionary, can fully step into the CEO role and do what she’s called to do-change the world.

Finding an Integrator for your business would take a big load off your mind and off your plate, wouldn’t it?

I help women business owners who need that time and space. For the past eight years, as an Integrator in my clients’ businesses, I’ve had the great honor of making someone else’s vision happen.

You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to.

When you started your business, you had to wear all the hats. You had to be the visionary and the manager. You knew it wasn’t your best fit, but you could do it until the business grew a little and you could hire help.

Soon you hired someone to take care of the tedious work, but you couldn’t let go of much more. You still needed to lead and manage alone. You told your family (and yourself) that wearing both hats wouldn’t last much longer and you could handle it.

Now, your business keeps growing and you spend way too much time managing and not enough time leading and serving. You don’t have enough time to decide where the business is going because you’re trying to keep up with managerial tasks you never wanted.

You started your business to change the world and to have the freedom to enjoy life. At this point, you can’t do either because you can’t get out of that manager role long enough to catch your breath!

Hitting the ceiling is inevitable. Every successful woman entrepreneur I’ve seen comes to the point where she’s exhausted and can go no farther – she can’t continue to manage and grow the business by herself. She needs online business management services so she can move into the CEO position and Visionary role to grow her company.

Transform your business with an OBM

Your business needs a Visionary and an Integrator to be successful, and you can’t be both for long and sustainable growth. As the Visionary, you need an Integrator to implement and drive your vision, and your Integrator needs you to lead the company’s direction and strategize its future.

Are you ready for your Integrator?

Have you hit the ceiling in creating new growth? Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with all the “DOING” in your business?

Why Time Management Is Important For Your Business

Time is an essential part of business management. It is one of the most important resources for you and the people within your team or organization. Together, time management can help propel an organization to success while providing business management a tool to also improve in this essential skill to have.

For most people time management is as great as having an alarm clock to get up. Zig Ziglar says that it should be called an opportunity clock, as it gives us an opportunity to get up! An alarm clock is as far as time management goes for most people, even in business management.

With 24 hours in a day, we have a large amount of time and it is easy to look at that and not see the essentials for managing time. You see even with an hour gone by, so much more could have been accomplished.

While waiting the whole week to complete so a project could be completed, correct time skills could have helped complete the project in the day or even the hour! And how is that for business management!

Time management is a vital skill for both business management to run the organization and for themselves personally as knowing effective skills in time management enables you to become a very valuable person.

Bill Gates has as much time as you have, so there is so much more that can be done. Though not many people strive to reach such a lofty place or goal, in business management, time is a resource that is essential for any kind of success.

We have skills in management, and more we add to those skills, the more effective we become and so do the results we produce.

Is it feasible to say that your range of skills, enhanced, can enable you to be twice as effective, five times as effective or even 10 times as effective? You bet you, and this is the benefits of learning good time management strategies and skills.

To learn time skills, there are books, training programs, seminars and DVD’s as well as other training material options that can enable you to increase your time skills. If you are in business management and studied business, you likely did not learn these skills and the learning is something that has to be done by you.

Once you learn effective time management skills, you will find that business management and time go hand in hand, after all – time is money!

Cross Culture Business Management

The company where I was working was taken over by a British multinational company in the mid 1990s. The newly appointed Managing Director from UK, during one of his visits to the plant, inquired how Gujarati people eat food at home. Having heard the response, he decided to sit down on the floor and have Gujarati food, along with all the senior colleagues of the plant.

What was the Managing Director trying to do? He was trying to appreciate the cultural norms of the new place and show his willingness to embrace. Such a behavior by the Managing Director obviously helped the local management open up more during subsequent discussions.

In the last 2 decades, cross-cultural challenges in the international business management have become prominent as the companies have started expanding across the territorial boundaries. Even leading management schools in India have started incorporating cross-cultural challenges as part of the curriculum of the international business management.

“Culture” being one of my interest areas, I recently had accepted an invitation to educate the students of a Diploma program on the International Business Management, on the topic of cross-cultural challenges. For my preparations, I browsed through many books on the subject. My knowledge-base got enriched substantially as the treasure of information contained in these books, was invaluable and highly relevant.

This article is an effort to present, some of the relevant issues related to the cross-cultural challenges in the International Business Management.

What is “Culture”?

Culture is the “acquired knowledge that people use to anticipate events and interpret experiences for generating acceptable social & professional behaviors. This knowledge forms values, creates attitudes and influences behaviors”. Culture is learned through experiences and shared by a large number of people in the society. Further, culture is transferred from one generation to another.

What are the core components of “Culture”?

  • Power distribution – Whether the members of the society follow the hierarchical approach or the egalitarian ideology?
  • Social relationships – Are people more individualistic or they believe in collectivism?
  • Environmental relationships – Do people exploit the environment for their socioeconomic purposes or do they strive to live in harmony with the surroundings?
  • Work patterns – Do people perform one task at a time or they take up multiple tasks at a time?
  • Uncertainty & social control – Whether the members of the society like to avoid uncertainty and be rule-bound or whether the members of the society are more relationship-based and like to deal with the uncertainties as & when they arise?

What are the critical issues that generally surface in cross-cultural teams?

  • Inadequate trust – For example, on one hand a Chinese manager wonders why his Indian teammates speak in Hindi in the office and on the other hand, his teammates argue that when the manager is not around, why they can’t speak in English?
  • Perception – For instance, people from advanced countries consider people from less-developed countries inferior or vice-versa.
  • Inaccurate biases – For example, “Japanese people make decisions in the group” or “Indians do not deliver on time”, are too generalized versions of cultural prejudices.
  • False communication – For example, during discussions, Japanese people nod their heads more as a sign of politeness and not necessarily as an agreement to what is being talked about.
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