Why Hiring a ‘Nice’ Online Business Manager Will Get You Further

Why Hiring a ‘Nice’ Online Business Manager Will Get You Further

What are you looking for in your new online business manager? For starters, you probably want someone who both you and your employees will be happy to work with daily.

You realize it’s best not to have a virtual manager who’s a ‘slave driver’. But you also want to stay far away from one who’s a ‘pushover’. Speaking of being a pushover, do you figure that ‘nice’ and ‘pushover’ go together like toast and jam?

If so, you may want to rethink that assumption. Although no one wants a new business manager who’s both kind and ineffective, it’s entirely possible to find someone who’s both nice and gets the job done right.

Just why should you want to hire an online business manager (OBM) who’s nice? Here’s why.

Negativity and Harshness are Demotivating and Stressful

Two things you don’t want in your workplace are unhealthful stress and a lack of motivation. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if the business manager you hire pushes people to achieve without caring about them as people.

Your remote team will be far more energized if their actions aren’t constantly motivated by fear. Sure, some measure of fear and healthful stress levels can motivate us to achieve more than we initially thought possible.

But, remember that your employees aren’t pieces of machinery. They’re living, breathing people who do their best work when they’re treated best. That means showing them it’s possible to keep their best interests in mind while also keeping your company’s best interests in mind.

Yes, those two can and should happen at the same time—and if they’re not, something’s wrong.

A ‘Hard-Nosed’ Virtual Manager Isn’t What You Think

If you’re like most people, when you think of a hard-nosed manager online, you think of strength. Many of us are too prone to equate harshness or someone driven at all costs as possessing power.

But, most often, harshness is simply weakness disguised as strength. Or, as one well-known saying goes, “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

Ironically, what may initially look like weakness turns out to be just the opposite. Authentic kindness in virtual leadership is far more powerful than harshness used as a means of ‘motivating’ employees.

As one ancient proverb puts it, “Soft speech can break bones.” Kindness combined with competence is a powerful force that harshness will never replicate.

Kind Online Business Managers Achieve More

In his LinkedIn article entitled Ten Reasons Nice Bosses Finish First, Dr. Travis Bradberry shares the following thoughts:

“Many bosses assume that a leader needs to be aloof and tough on employees in order to be effective. They fear that looking “soft” will erode their employee’s motivation and respect for them.”

But kind online business managers know better when it comes to leading virtual teams. When you find one, be sure to sign them up before someone else does. That consistent kindness unleashes a tidal wave of productivity and camaraderie.

A harsh ‘leadership style’ results in just the opposite. Not to mention, your valued staff will quickly head for the emergency exit!

Could Hiring an Online Business Manager Help Your Business?

If so, Smart to Finish can provide the best virtual manager for your business. We get a lot of questions about the process of hiring a virtual assistant, virtual team or virtual manager. Some of the common themes that come up include:

  • The benefits of virtual teams
  • Online business manager rates
  • Virtual team advantages and disadvantages
  • What virtual teams are being used for
  • What the biggest challenge to managing a virtual project team is

Regardless of your questions, we look forward to walking you through the process. That’s why we offer free 30-minute consultations for businesses. Feel free to get in touch. We want you to feel as comfortable and confident as possible when choosing your business growth strategy.

7 Essential Qualities of an Online Business Manager

7 Essential Qualities of an Online Business Manager

Trying to decide what you need most in an online business manager? That’s a crucial question to ask when you’re searching for a new business manager. Who you choose to oversee your on-staff or remote team will have a powerful influence either for good or bad.

That’s why it’s important to work towards a description of the type of virtual manager you’re looking for. While the top desired traits of a manager online may vary a bit depending on your company needs, there usually are some reoccurring themes.

In light of that, here are seven essential qualities to look for in a virtual business manager.

Positive Attitude

Hiring a virtual manager who has a positive attitude but an improper skill set could be disastrous. But hiring an online business manager with the proper skillset and a negative attitude could be even worse.

The daily pressures your employees face can feel heavy at times. Leading virtual teams and on-staff employees means being able to give them hope rather than diminishing their hope and motivation. Positivity goes a long way in doing that.

Skilled Delegator

For most, the art of proper delegation takes time to learn. And some never learn this indispensable skill.

No matter how talented and brilliant your online business manager is, that won’t matter much if they don’t know how to multiply their efforts.

A manager skilled in delegation understands how to provide any necessary guidance without micromanaging their employees. The result is a manager who mobilizes an army of workers instead of badly hampering their productivity.

Healthy Work/Life Balance

When you hire a business manager online, you need more than someone who’ll ‘bark orders’ to employees. You need virtual leadership.

Virtual team leadership requires modeling healthy behavior. An important part of this is having a healthy work/life balance. In today’s digital age, many feel the impossible pressure to ‘always be on’. For that reason, proper work/home boundaries are crucial.

This will protect your virtual manager from burnout and show their priorities are properly aligned. And a virtual manager who guards their own work/life balance will guard the same for their staff, protecting your entire team from burnout and incalculably costly turnover.

Although it may initially seem counter-intuitive, remember this: an online business manager who neglects their personal health for the sake of work is not an asset—they’re a liability. It’s an unsustainable way of conducting work long-term.

Stellar Communication Skills

There are many benefits to hiring a virtual manager rather than an on-site manager. But your OBM will only be as good as their communication skills.

In Minutehack.com’s article entitled Key Qualities of Top Business Managers, the following is shared about communication:

“It is important to be able to communicate well in both the way you speak verbally and in the way you write. Using body language effectively is an important part of being a good communicator, too, as is listening.”

If you thought stellar communication abilities were essential for an on-site manager, you’ll need to step it up even more to have an effective virtual manager. It takes a unique blend of communication skills to pull a virtual team together and bring out their best work.

Admits Mistakes

Like any employee, your virtual manager will make mistakes from time to time. And, when this happens, you’ll want someone who admits their shortcomings.

Not only will your team respect your online business manager more for doing so, but they’ll be far more willing to admit their own mistakes.

The ability of your team to admit shortcomings helps to build trust. It also paves the way to recognize failures so a better solution can be created. Without doing this, excellence can never be achieved.

Authentic and Kind

Successful virtual teams require an authentic and kind online business manager. Managing virtual teams, first of all, means showing you care about your staff.

If you hire a virtual manager who genuinely cares about your employees, you’ll have few problems with motivation, unity and productivity.

Proven Track Record

Finally, you’ll get the best results from an experienced online business manager. One who well understands the challenges of virtual teams and who can encourage virtual team communication.

Need a High-Quality Online Business Manager?

If you’re looking for a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager, Smart to Finish can provide the industry’s leading business builders.

Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to learn more. We offer 30-minute free consultations. We look forward to answering your questions. Whether you’ve been wondering, “What is a virtual team,” are interested in how to manage a virtual team, or are intrigued by the advantages of virtual teams, Smart to Finish is here to answer all your questions.

How to Delegate Work Even When You’re Scared

Hand drawing Delegate concept with marker on transparent wipe board isolated on white.

Learning how to delegate tasks as a manager, especially when you’re afraid it could backfire can be tough. One of the greatest challenges is knowing when to override your fears and delegate anyway and when to refrain.

In her secretlivesofleaders.com article entitled Why Am I So Afraid to Delegate, Kishshana Palmer shares the following reminder:

“Delegation is NOT for dummies. But you are a dummy if you don’t delegate.”

Managers commonly struggle with releasing responsibility to their employees at some point in their careers. And when this happens, all sorts of fears crop up keeping you from multiplying your best work through delegation.

Most businesses are equipped with capable enough staff. But you can’t bring their positive and creative energy to the forefront if you hold the reigns too tightly.

It could be you’re new to delegating, struggling to find the proper balance or you recently had a bad experience when you ‘passed the baton’. Regardless of the reason for your delegating fears, here are some ways to delegate even when you’re scared.

Remember the Results of Not Delegating Are Even Scarier

What’s the question that paralyzes most managers when struggling to delegate? “What could happen if I delegate work to an employee?” Managers get fixated on that question when they should be asking, “What could happen if I don’t.”

It’s human nature for your mind to jump to the worst-case scenario. But effective delegation skills require you to envision the productivity you’ll lose by not fully involving your most valuable resource (your employees).

Sure, mistakes can and will happen if you delegate. But the productivity of your company, the job satisfaction of your employees, your professional reputation and job security could be at stake if you don’t delegate.

If you stop and think about it, not delegating is far riskier. For that reason, learning how to delegate effectively can’t be overstated.

Keep Things More Important Than Work in Mind

One of the saddest things about the failure to delegate is how it affects aspects of your life that are more important than your work.

These include your physical, mental and spiritual wellness. This also includes time with your family.

If you fail to delegate tasks, you’ll miss out on life itself. The decline of your health or family certainly isn’t worth holding too tightly to the helm.

You’ll work longer hours with higher stress levels if you don’t share your workload. The good news is you can better protect what’s most important to you in life through delegation.

Whenever you feel scared to delegate, remember it’s not worth the fear considering all you’ll miss out on if you don’t.

Planning Ahead Will Make You Less Fearful

I know what you’re saying. “If I just had more time, I’d plan ahead better for my projects.” Ironically, the main reason you don’t have time is that you’re not delegating enough.

Often, the reason you’re scared to hand off a project has nothing to do with the competence of your employees. Rather, your failure to adequately plan for the project’s success is what makes you most fearful.

Start delegating more regularly and you’ll have time to adequately plan for those projects. The result will be much greater peace of mind for you and your employees.

How to Delegate: Consider Going Outside of Your Company

Another reason for apprehension to share responsibility despite the benefits of delegation could be because of:

  • Overworked employees
  • Inadequate employee staffing
  • Inadequate managerial staffing
  • A lack of specific skills
  • Employees who are still in training
  • You have a lot of short-term work (like with a product launch)

All of these fears and more can be calmed through delegating tasks to a virtual assistant company. Whether you need a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager (virtual manager), you can find an on-demand expert when you need one.

Smart to Finish can assist you with a wide selection of tasks that may be too specialized for your employees. And the great news is you don’t have to wait weeks or months for an employee to be properly trained.

Would you like to see how we can help your business grow today? You can reach out to us for a free 30-minute consultation. We look forward to meeting you!

Delegating Tasks is Good—Doing it Badly Isn’t

Has delegating tasks in a way that actually works been a struggle lately? If so, you’re dealing with a pretty common problem.

In her businessnewsdaily.com article entitled 3 Elements of Delegation Every Manager Should Know, Marissa Sanfilippo shares the following reminder:

“As a leader, you can’t possibly do everything on your own. Instead, learn to lean on your team and trust them to get the job done. As a result, you’ll see that your company can accomplish a lot more without bogging you down.”

Sounds easy enough, right? It’s human nature for some to figure, “How hard can it be? I just assign tasks to my employees and then move on.”

This overly simplistic approach to delegating has been the bane of many a naïve manager though. Learning how to delegate isn’t nearly as easy as some make it out to be. Still, solid delegation skills are in reach for those who persevere.

Delegating mistakes can lead to even more work than before if you don’t learn to avoid them. They can also hurt your company’s reputation if you fail to deliver your best efforts.

What do you do if you’re struggling to implement effective delegation and it’s costing you big? Here are some examples of common delegating mistakes and how to steer clear of them.

Micromanaging

As a manager, it’s easy to micromanage your staff without realizing you’re doing it. And the problem is that pretty much no one enjoys being micromanaged. Worse yet, if you have competent staff, it slows down the project and keeps you from getting other pressing tasks done.

The feeling of empowerment is an important aspect of your employees doing their best work. For that reason, delegate the outcome rather than the process it takes to get there. If you have a competent and creative team, they’ll take care of the how. The main thing you need to communicate is what needs to get done.

Of course, this needs to be balanced out if some training is necessary. Just be sure to call it what it is–training, not delegated work.

Failing to Provide Any Direction During the Project

Now that we’ve discussed the dangers of micromanaging, we should also mention the hazards of laissez-faire leadership taken too far. Providing no insight into a project part way through could lead to a disappointing and inferior outcome.

If that happens, you’ll be all the more tempted to micromanage the project the next time around. Often, you can provide regular feedback without feeling too suffocating to your staff.

Are you starting to lean too much towards micromanaging the project? Keep lines of communication open with your employees and tell them your goal to provide just enough info to create success without hampering the project by hovering over it too much.

Once your staff realizes you’re in their corner, they’ll help you find that balance. Another positive side benefit is they’ll respect you a lot more for your transparency and approachability.

Not Allowing Room for Mistakes

A seasoned virtual manager or on-site manager knows you can’t prevent all mistakes from happening. And the most skilled managers know that to an extent it’s okay. Setbacks or failures are an important aspect of staff having the courage to learn new skills.

Imagine a parent wanting their toddler to walk perfectly but never letting them stumble or fall along the way to their goal. Trying to prevent failure in that child would only lead to greater failure in the long run.

The same holds true in the workplace. A good in-person supervisor or manager online should keep their staff from making any glaring errors while realizing mistakes will happen.

Also, be sure to stay communicative with your staff so they feel safe about coming to you if something doesn’t go as planned.

Thinking Delegating Tasks Should Only Happen In-House

Another common delegating mistake is thinking the only way to get a task or project done is through your everyday hourly staff. Today, more than ever, that’s not always the best route to go.

Sometimes you need skills now that your staff doesn’t possess. It’s also possible your staff is too overloaded to have extra items added to their to-do list.

That’s where hiring a virtual assistant, virtual team or online business manager can give you the on-demand skills you need today. Smart to Finish can provide all of these needs for your business.

There’s no reason to fret over lost productivity. You can get in touch with us to find out the benefits of delegation. Feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us and start realizing your full potential.

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

Exciting Announcement: We’re Simplero Certified!

We have been utilizing Simplero for some time now, and can attest to its ability to bring ease
and profitability to our clients. By packaging multiple systems into one source, Simplero
provides a software program that delivers all the Sales and Marketing functions an information-
based business needs. At Smart To Finish, we’ve assisted several of our clients to integrate this
service into their business – and we are delighted to announce that we are now officially
Simplero Certified!

What exactly is Simplero?
We think Simplero sums themselves up best when they say “Simplero gives you everything you
need and nothing you don’t”.

Some key features include:

  • Comprehensive email marketing
  • Tools for creating and selling infoproducts (PDF e-books, webinars, audio, video)
  • Built-in member sites
  • Fully customizable website (includes shop, blog, etc.)
  • Create landing pages, invoicing, affiliate programs, and more

Trying to decide if Simplero is right for you? Let’s talk! As certified Simplero consultants, we can
help you determine the best options for your business!

A Quick Guide to Facebook Ad Types and Formats

A Quick Guide to Facebook Ad Types and Formats

When stepping into the Facebook Ads arena to help promote your business, it can be overwhelming to learn that there are ten categories of Facebook ads. Yes, TEN! And on top of that, there are different ad formats to choose from. So which category and format is the best for your needs? It depends.

Here is a quick rundown of each ad type and what their objectives are:

Facebook Ad Types

  • App installs: Promote downloads and installations of your desktop or mobile app
  • Brand awareness: Help get your brand noticed by a new audience
  • Conversions: Get people to perform specific actions on your website, such as purchase a product or subscribe to your email list.
  • Engagement: Drive people to your page or a post on your page to increase the number of likes, comments, shares, video views, or photo views. Also used for event promotion.
  • Lead generation: Get people to sign up for your email list and add them to your sales funnel.
  • Reach: Get your ad noticed by as many people as possible.
  • Product sales catalog: Show people ads for products that they are most likely to purchase.
  • Store visits: Get people to visit your brick and mortar store.
  • Traffic: Drive traffic to a website.
  • Video views: Get your video out in front of as many people as possible to promote brand awareness.

And within those objectives, there are six Facebook ad formats to choose from:

Photo Ads

This is just what it sounds like. Just know that images can have no more than 20% of it be text if you want it to be seen by as many people as possible. Use this Facebook ad image tool to see if your image meets the requirements.

  • Campaign types: All except video views
  • Facebook ad image sizes: 1200 x 628 pixels

Video Ads

Video is where it’s at when it comes to engagement on Facebook. Here are the specs to keep in mind when making your video (but for the most impact, the shorter the video, the better):

  • Campaign types: All
  • Facebook ad image sizes (thumbnail): Minimum width 600 pixels; match length to video aspect ratio
  • Facebook ad dimensions: Video aspect ratio of 16:9 (full landscape) or 1:1 (square) for all objectives; other aspect ratios available for specific campaign types
  • Maximum video length: 120 minutes

Slideshow Video Ads

Don’t have the time or ability to make a video? Why not create one from still images (up to 10). Just add captions, and voila! You have a video ad with very little effort.

  • Campaign types: All except post engagement and product catalog sales
  • Facebook ad image sizes: 1280 x 720 pixels

Carousel Ads

While this may seem similar to a slideshow video ad, it’s not. You can display up to 10 photos OR videos in your ad, but they will be presented in one post that displays the images separately.

  • Campaign types: All except post engagement and product catalog sales
  • Facebook ad image sizes: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Maximum video length: 2 minutes combined

Collection Ads

This is a mobile-only ad that shows off multiple products or features.

  • Campaign types: Conversions, traffic
  • Facebook ad image sizes: 1200 x 628 pixels

Canvas Ads

One of Facebook’s newer formats, it’s almost like a sales page incorporating text, up to 20 photos, and video.

  • Campaign types: Brand awareness, conversions, engagement
  • Facebook ad size: Full screen
  • Facebook ad image sizes: 66 x 882 pixels (header); 1080 x 1920 pixels (full-screen image)

Still confused about Facebook ads? Why not contact us at Smart to Finish. We will work with you on determining which ad category best suits your needs and get your Facebook ad campaign underway.