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Updated: Sep 10

Kirstin Brenders working with design teams
KB&Co Brand Photo | Credits: P3 Photography

Choosing the right Online Business Manager for your interior design or architecture business can initially feel overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as you have a clear plan of action, you’ll find the hiring process relatively simple. The key is to ensure you’re asking the right questions and gathering the information to make the right hire.

First things, first: The acronym OBM stands for Online Business Manager

What does an OBM do?

He or she is a virtually based support professional who manages online based businesses and remote teams. They oversee the day-to-day management of projects, operations, metrics and team.

The role of an OBM is to make sure the right THINGS, get done at the right TIME, in the right WAY and by the right PEOPLE.

As an OBM, I able to plug into the big picture, layout plans and work with the entire team to ensure that everyone is ‘getting the right stuff done’ and progress is being made to meet the goals of the business. Without further ado, here are KB&Co's six tips to help you pick the right OBM:

TIP #1 - Book a Discovery Call

Would you bring a client on board without doing a discovery call? No, right! Just like your own discovery calls with your design clients, use this time to get to know the OBM. These calls are usually 20-30 minutes, and I recommend you prepare for the call by writing down your questions.

Tip #2 - Evaluate why you think you need an OBM

Where did that thought come from? Is it something you’ve been thinking about for a while or more of a spur-of-the-moment reaction to something someone said, etc.? I encourage you to share this on the discovery call.

"Kirstin delivers exceptional work. She holds herself and others accountable and uses technology and resources effectively." – Former Employer, Director of Interiors

Tip #3 - Know your desired outcome

What is the desired outcome you want to reach for your business? Are you hoping to work fewer hours in your business and want someone to manage it for you, or are you looking for an expert to work alongside you?

Do you want someone who knows how to run a design studio? Or a generalist-type of manager? Know what tasks you want them to take on and ensure their skills match those things you’re looking to outsource.

Tip #4 - Confirm the duration of your partnership

Many OBMs will work on a minimum 3-month retainer, sometimes longer. So check that you’re happy with the duration and can afford to cover the cost of your investment in hiring them.

Tip #5 - Establish their availability

Many OBMs will work with 2 to 4 business owners at a time. Therefore, they might not be able to partner with you right away. If your first choice is not available right away, I highly recommend you wait and start taking action to bring them on successfully when the time comes. The OBM should be able to give you a list of steps to take while waiting.

Tip #6 - Confirm their personality traits and work styles

Because you will be working closely together with your OBM, it’s essential your personality, and work styles don’t clash. Take some time to find out about them, not just their skills.

Kirstin Brenders working with design teams
KB&Co Brand Photo | Credits: P3 Photography

There you have it - my six tips for choosing the right Online Business Manager for your business.

Slow down to find the right kind of virtual support to simplify your business and gain more bandwidth. - Kirstin Brenders

Have questions? I genuinely love what I do as a certified OBM. I love the results my clients are seeing, and I am here to help you grow your business. Book a free 30-minute call if you’re curious about what your business life might look like by partnering with me.


Hey there- if we haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I’m Kirstin, a former corporate gal turned small business owner who virtually supports female entrepreneurs. Learn how we can partner together, check my Services.

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