Elevate Your Business: Introducing the Role of a Chief of Staff

You are surrounded by a talented team, and your Executive Assistant ensures everything from your calendar to your inbox is under control. Business is good, but you’re still doing tasks your team could handle if you had the time to delegate. You tell yourself, “I’ll get to that tomorrow if I can just finish this work right in front of me today.”

If you lack the right processes or systems to grow your business, and/or your team could benefit from better communication all around, it could be time to consider bringing a Chief of Staff, commonly known as an Executor Chief of Staff, Implementer, Online Business Manager (OBM), or Process Manager, into the mix.

 

What is a Chief of Staff?

While the role of a Chief of Staff, or Online Business Manager (OBM), will vary depending on your unique needs, they are not meant to replace your Executive Assistant. An Executive Assistant provides administrative and clerical support, and your OBM is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including, but not limited to: managing employees, developing and implementing strategies, and monitoring financial performance indicators. 

An OBM typically has decades of experience in a business setting and helps ensure your company is running smoothly and efficiently.

An OBM is your right hand. They bridge operational and administrative functions to get the team working together. An OBM also finds ways to implement your strategies within the operations to keep moving your business forward.

With an OBM overseeing the daily business functions, you will have capacity to refocus on business growth, company culture, and anything else where you feel your contributions are most valuable.

“An Online Business Manager having a remote meeting via Zoom to present reporting, insights and direction”

How an Online Business Manager Can Help?

You and your Executive Assistant have developed a good rhythm, but you need more help at a strategic level. This is where an OBM shines. These professionals are trained to assist in areas such as:

Human Resources:

Hiring the right people, and then managing employee retention, is super important, but it is incredibly time consuming. An OBM assists in talent acquisition and management by collaborating with HR teams to develop effective recruitment strategies, ensuring that the organization attracts and hires top talent. Your OBM may also be involved in the interview process by writing compelling job descriptions and vetting applications. You can still meet with top candidates and make the final hiring call, but hours of prep work have been removed from your plate.

An OBM also contributes to talent development initiatives by identifying skill gaps and facilitating training programs to enhance employees’ capabilities. They help streamline HR processes and policies by assessing existing HR systems and identifying opportunities for improvement, such as implementing HR technology solutions or revising outdated policies. If your company is on the smaller side, your OBM can also serve as a point of contact for employees, addressing HR-related inquiries, concerns, or conflicts.

Project Planning and Management:

You know those people who just love a spreadsheet more than most? An OBM fits that definition. Complicated projects require the attention and rigor only a dedicated team member can give to ensure your vision is carried through to completion.

Your OBM plays a critical role in project planning and management by providing strategic guidance, coordination, and oversight. Everyone approaches project management a bit differently, but generally speaking your OBM will help define project goals and objectives by collaborating with stakeholders, analyzing data, and aligning the project’s vision with the organization’s strategic priorities. Then they can facilitate the creation of a comprehensive project plan and resource requirements, and outline key milestones, timelines, and deliverables.

Your OBM ensures effective project management by establishing clear communication channels, with both the project team and external stakeholders. They initiate regular meetings and check-ins to monitor progress, identify potential roadblocks, and make necessary adjustments to keep the project on track. They also think about resource allocation, ensuring that priorities are ranked in a way so that proper funding can be made available to complete the project within the given time period and team members are not overloaded, working overtime, or faced with complete burnout.

A good OBM can foster collaboration among team members, promote problem-solving, and provide support when conflicts or challenges arise. By overseeing project planning and management, the OBM ensures that initiatives remain aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives, optimize resource utilization, and increase the likelihood of successful project completion. Honestly, would you really have time to do all of this on your own?

Streamlining Internal Systems:

You can’t deliver strategy without systems and processes in place to do so. They create the infrastructure, much like our roads, bridges, and railroad lines do to keep traffic flowing.

An OBM plays a crucial role in streamlining these internal systems. They often begin by assessing existing processes and workflows to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks. They collaborate with cross-functional teams to develop and implement streamlined procedures, ensuring that resources are utilized effectively and tasks are completed in a timely manner. The OBM may also leverage technology and automation tools to optimize internal systems, reducing manual work and increasing productivity.

The OBM  fosters a culture of continuous improvement and change management within the organization. Of course, culture is something that starts at the very top, but an OBM will promote and evangelize the values that are most important to your company. They can foster transparency, communication, and collaboration across departments, encouraging the sharing of best practices and innovative ideas.

By streamlining internal systems, the OBM helps eliminate waste, enhance operational efficiency, reduce Costs, and improve overall organizational performance. They can define performance metrics, monitor progress and iterate on processes as needed. They play a pivotal role in driving organizational growth and ensuring that the company operates at its highest potential.

Is it Time for a Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager?

You should consider hiring an OBM if:

  • Important commitments get pushed out due to lack of time, energy or resources.
  • You feel the pressure of not having the time to strategize.
  • Integrating new business opportunities feels more energy draining than exciting.
  • Connection within your team is fragmented, and communication gaps are creating roadblocks.
  • Keeping your team morale up seems to be getting more difficult as you grow.
  • Recruitment and hiring are too rushed, or do not get done at all.

Every leader needs help if they want to achieve big goals, not to mention sustain the colossal energy it takes to lead. Hiring the right OBM could be the most important business decision you ever make as you strive for better performance in your organization.

Contact VEA anytime to talk about your specific needs. Let’s find the right OBM who understands your needs and can help make getting ahead feel easier.

 

Tovey Blake
Operations Manager

 

 

Frequently asked Questions about Chiefs of Staff

Q: How do I onboard a Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager?

A: The team at VEA will guide you through a step-by-step onboarding process to ensure you are matched with an OBM who is right for you and your business.

Q: What if I only need help during peak seasons?

A: Our OBMs are available on an ongoing basis as well as for one-off projects to fit your needs.

Q: How can I be sure I will get a Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager who understands what I need?

A: We begin with an in-depth strategy session to better understand where you require support as well as assess for personality and culture fit. You get to meet potential candidates and are part of the decision-making process from the beginning. VEA prides itself on HAND MATCHING every OBM to every client. We will work with you to get it right.

Q: What if I quickly realize I don’t need a Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager?

A: We will discover that for you before we even get started and most likely recommend an Executive Assistant instead.

Q: How does VEA ensure I am getting the most value from my Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager?

A: Open and regular communication with your OBM is the best way to get what you need. By the end of your kickoff call, your OBM should be clear about the project and/or role expectations. 

The kickoff call for a one-off project entails: Review of scope of work. Your OBM will then use the approved scope to create a project plan and work-back schedule to complete deliverables.

The kickoff call for an ongoing role entails: Creation of a 90-day plan that focuses on a combination of “quick win” improvements and short-term goals. 

In either case, your OBM will lead and execute the work needed to result in positive outcomes.

Q: How many years of experience does a Chief of Staff or Online Business Manager have?

A: Our OBMs have at least ten years of experience, and many have more than that.

Q: Where is your team located?

A: We are a Canada-based, remote workforce. Our OBMs are spread across Canada, and we can match you with someone who is within or near your time zone.

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