Online Business Owners: Five Benefits of Hiring a Project Manager

Welcome to this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety! Today we are talking about five benefits of hiring a project manager in your online business. 

In this episode:

  • The benefits of hiring a project manager
  • Differences between an online business manager, project manager, and virtual assistant.
  • Where the three roles can overlap.
  • Why it’s essential to set up expectations in your business.

Listen to the episode here:

Obviously, this topic is super close to my heart. But before I jump into the reasons I want to discuss the difference between a project manager, online business manager and virtual assistant.  There tends to be a little confusion and sometimes there can be overlap on what the difference is so I wanted to break it down for you.

Virtual Assistant

Now this one isn’t going to be all-inclusive because I know different virtual assistants come with varying levels of experience and offer different services. I also know virtual assistants who are project managers but call themselves virtual assistants because people aren’t always sure that is what they need when they hear it by name. Often when you hire a VA, they are there to do a specific task that you’ve given them. They may be there temporarily or in an ongoing position. Typically your VA will be performing tasks as opposed to creating a strategy. They perform functions that are typically cut and dry to free up your time.

Online Business Manager

An OBM not only does tasks but they do strategy. They help strategize and organize things for your business in more of an ongoing role. They might handle big temporary projects, but they are also tending the sheep on your day to day projects.

Project Manager

A project manager is someone who comes in just for specific projects, a book launch a course promotion, an in-person event for example. They come in for a specific task and then leave when it’s done. They help strategize, keep to the timeline and budget and make sure the boxes are being checked in regards to one particular project.

I know for some people it may be easier to hire a PM because they are hiring them for a specified period when they are projecting an influx of cash. Instead of having this person on staff for months even when they aren’t launching.

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Benefits of Hiring A Project Manager

1.You can focus on the content.

If it’s a blog, podcast, the book you’re writing, content for a mastermind you’re hosting, they have your back. You get to focus on your zone of genius. You can do what you’re good at and know that someone is on top of the little details. Let’s be honest you probably didn’t start your business to make schedules and deadlines; you want to have that support that makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. You want to have someone you trust and depend on who can make sure the little things don’t get overlooked.

2. You’re no longer a bottleneck.

I’ve seen firsthand how when someone starts growing their team they can quickly become a bottleneck. Either they have done things themselves for so long they still want to approve everything, or they just have to maintain that role of team captain and make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. When you have a PM, they can take that off your plate. They’ve worked with you on the vision and plan for the project, so they know who to task what to and are organized at keeping track of it. They know when everyone’s due dates are and what might be holding things back without having to refer back to you and take up your hours with time-consuming tasks.

Most people don’t start by hiring a bigger role such as an OBM, COO or project manager they may hire a VA to just take stuff off their plate. But let’s say for example you’re launching a new course and you’ve hired a graphic designer to create your graphics. If you have to spend all your time going back and forth discussing edits and making sure they get paid. Answering emails and slacks, you end up becoming a bottleneck. You’re trying to focus on your content and message, so you stall the designer’s work. That not only can cost you time and mess up your schedule but it can cost you fees if the designer chargers for late approval or late edits, which many do. Your PM will go in and make sure these things are being handled, and you’re not in the heap of it.

It’s the same with your team, they can organize team meetings, even when you aren’t there. They can make sure people know what’s expected without you continually being involved in each step.

Free: 5-Star Client Experience Checklist

3. You and your customers are taken care of.

Obviously, you want someone there who supports you and helps you get things done, but Without your customers, you don’t have a business. You want someone who can help you take care of your customers. They make sure the right systems are set up. So you’re not getting emails or complaints from clients who didn’t get the information they expect. People aren’t saying, “Oh, I didn’t get that logging.” or “it took forever for someone to get back to me.”

When you have a PM, who is making sure schedules are synced, emails are sent, and things are getting done, you’re providing your customer’s with a great experience.

They think about potential fires before you even launch so they can be prepared with a strategy if they do arise.

I’m not saying that your PM is your fairy godmother and nothing bad will ever happen because that’s life, but that can make a huge difference. If you work closely with clients but have to cancel or postpone calls to put out fires you aren’t giving them the best experience. You can be there for your clients because your PM is there for you.

4. You can build your team.

Your PM is great at looking at the project and its goals and seeing what you need on your team. Do you need to hire a VA 6 hours a week or do you need one 20 hours a week? They can break down those project objectives to help grow strategically. This isn’t to say your PM should replace a business coach or consultant but when they can look at your goals and the projects you have on deck they can see what areas need support.

5. They save you time.

The amount of time they can save you on trial and error. The amount of time they can save you on setting things up. Just the ways they can save you from repeating tasks.

In my personal experience working with different types of clients from real estate agents to HVAC companies and more, I’ve realized that people tend to have a blind spot in their business. Your PM can come in and see opportunities to make the project exceed expectations as well as spot risky areas that need to be avoided. Because they don’t have the same type of investment in your business as you do they can see it in a different light. They also have a view from the different point of view and see things you may not have considered in your industry.

They also really help keep you on the path. When you have a PM you’ve hired for a three-month project, you can’t just blow it off because you aren’t feeling it. They are there to help you stay on track and get it done in that specific amount of time.

So to recap my five reasons you should hire a project manager for your next project. 1. You can focus on your content and create! 2. You and your customers are taken care of 3. You can stop being a bottleneck. 4. You can build the right team. And 5 to save yourself time and headaches.

One last thought: 

A lot of people who perform these roles would be good at any of these roles because they all require attention to detail and bring organized. The important thing to remember when hiring is to specify what you’re looking for and what you expect.  If you have an existing virtual assistant you love and your business is growing they may be interested in taking on a larger role such as Online Business Manager or Project Manager. Clarity is key.

Now tell me:

  • Have you worked with an OM, VA or PM?
  • Which benefit of hiring a project manager could you most benefit from?