Everyone’s business has a story.

People start their own businesses for many different reasons, and their businesses evolve in many different ways.

Mine is no different. It has been an amazing journey led by events I didn’t anticipate, but which have driven me to create the successful Online Business Management business I have today.

Let’s start back at the beginning.

Leaving Corporate America

In 1992, after the birth of my first child, I left corporate America. I missed the mental stimulation that work provided, however, and after a year I started taking on freelance projects at home.

I enjoyed the stimulation it provided and appreciated the flexibility it gave me to schedule working hours between parenting responsibilities.

After my son was born in 1994, this work flexibility became even more important. 

Although his autism was not diagnosed until much later, we encountered many challenges that we now know were part of the autism spectrum: issues such as colic, painful teething that lasted many months, food sensitivities, and late language development were a part of  everyday life. 

I needed to be able to prioritize his needs and was thankful my work allowed me to do that. In addition, working helped to fund the therapies he needed that were not covered by insurance.

A chance reading of a magazine article spurred the next step in my business journey.

Virtual Assistant Certification

In 2000 I read an article on virtual assistants, and after further research signed up for an online certification program. I already had a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and paralegal certification; being a virtual assistant allowed me to continue to have flexibility so I was available for my son’s therapy appointments and for both the kids’ schedules and activities. 

I completed my VA certification, and as my business grew I began getting referrals and took on more and more clients, from ecological scientists to attorneys. The biggest connection I made, however, was with executive business coaches and business consultants. 

I really “clicked” with their line of work and easily anticipated their needs.

As my responsibilities increased, I decided it was time to take my business to the next level:

Becoming an Online Business Manager (OBM)

My children were grown and my son was now in college. Working through college with autism presented him with a different set of challenges and needs, and I still wanted the flexibility to assist and support him through those challenges.

After researching different possibilities, I decided that Online Business Management would allow me to better utilize my skills and expertise for my clients, but retain the flexibility I needed for my family.

I spent the next several months completing an Online Business Manager training program in order to change my business model and business focus, and began my OBM career.

Even while increasing my responsibilities, the flexibility of the work I was doing allowed me to prioritize other areas of my life as well. I designed my business model to allow me to support and visit my grown children, help my mother as she aged, and help my son with any challenges he was facing.

Becoming an Organizational and Procedural Expert

One thing I learned very quickly as a parent of an autistic child was how important structure was for his success.

Consistency is particularly important for children on the autism spectrum. It can improve cooperation, reduce power struggles, and help them develop new skills and behaviors successfully.

Creating a flexible business model at each step of my career allowed me to develop and maintain routines for my son and live by his schedule, and for that I am very grateful.

As an added bonus, I witnessed the immense benefit that structure and organizational processes create, and was able to translate that skill to the business world. 

I am an expert at creating processes and streamlining procedures for my clients that make their businesses run more efficiently and effectively. 

Many times a client will ask me to take over a chaotic process within their business, and after developing an efficient procedure I will implement the process for the client.

This frees up immense amounts of time for the business owner, while reducing errors and increasing the consistency of their business procedures and processes.

Conclusion

Life journeys are fascinating. When you look back, you can see that each challenge you encounter changes your journey in one way or another.

My son’s abilities and challenges have led me to the OBM career that I have today.

I love the work that I am doing. There is a lot of variety: one day I might be administering assessments, another day I am establishing systems and processes to help a company run more efficiently.

I focus on long-term clients; it allows me to develop an in-depth knowledge of their business needs, as well as establish a solid working relationship based on mutual respect and appreciation.

I plan to continue to grow my business and form long-term client relationships for many years to come.

Would Effective Systems and Procedures Help Free Up Your Time?

Robin Kramer is an Online Business Manager that has been working with small businesses for 23 years. She can help you analyze your current business model and identify areas that could be streamlined with the development of processes and procedures.

To learn more about Robin’s skills and how she could help your business, contact her for a free consultation today

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