When you grow your company, you’ll reach a point where you need help in running your day-to-day business. At this point, you have multiple options; engaging a COO-as-a-service is one of them. This post will give you an idea if hiring a COO-as-a-service firm is a viable option for you.
Why do I need operations help?
You run a successful business. As you grow, the number of customers increases, your processes are becoming more complex and also the size of your team increases.
All this comes down to one thing: More work in managing the company.
Additionally, improving your processes and building out your business systems becomes more important and more time-consuming at the same time.
At the same time, as the CEO, you probably don’t want to spend all your time managing that day-to-day and building your backend systems.
There’s more exciting stuff to be done that also might have more impact in the long run:
- Finding new clients
- Creating new products or service offerings
- Defining strategy and strategic goals
- Working on your company culture
- Discussing potential new partners
- And an endless number of other things
What are the options to improve operations?
If you don’t want to run operations yourself, there are a few options.
DELEGATE PARTS OF IT TO DIFFERENT TEAM MEMBERS
You might try to split responsibility up between different team members. One could be responsible for documenting your processes, while the other is responsible for running great meetings. A third might track your KPI system and another handle all people topics.
While this might work, the biggest downside to it is that these functions – again – will need your oversight.
HIRE OR TRAIN AN OPERATIONS MANAGER OR COO
Another obvious alternative is to recruit an operations manager or Chief Operating Officer. Or you train someone in your team to take over that role. This person’s dedicated role will be to oversee your day-to-day operations and strategy execution.
The beauty is that you can define the role rather freely. If you want to stay involved in marketing, then it’s not part of the COO’s job. If you don’t, delegate it to them.
Think of the COO or operations manager as the execution engine to your strategic decisions.
While this is probably the most long-term solution, it’s also not an easy task. Good operations people are hard to find, and there will be quite a bit of uncertainty regarding the scope when filling this role for the first time.
Also, hiring that person is a rather long-term decision, while you might only need a lot of ops support for a few months.
Lastly, the size of your organization might not (yet) justify a full-time COO or operations manager; hiring this sought-after talent part-time makes it difficult.
USE A COO-AS-A-SERVICE FIRM
A third option is outsourcing the management of your operations by hiring a firm that offers operations-as-a-service. These companies usually have a pool of highly qualified operations and organizational experts that can be plugged into your organization and hit the ground running.
Read how it works below.
How does operations-as-a-service work?
Companies that offer these services will usually provide you with people that bring a relevant level of expertise and experience to your organization. Being able to tap into that pre-selected pool of experts saves you the time to recruit someone yourself.
ONBOARDING AND CONTRACTING
When engaging with an operations-as-a-service firm, they’ll often run you through an onboarding routine, establishing the way you and your operations expert will collaborate.
During this onboarding process, you’ll answer questions like:
- What’s in, and what’s out of scope?
- How are work results being approved?
- What’s the communication structure between yourself, the ops expert and the team?
The goal of the onboarding process is creating absolute clarity about what to expect and how to collaborate.
NO CONTRACT DURATION
This should be a very flexible offering, with no contract duration. After all, you’re looking to reduce complexity and commitment.
READY, SET, GO!
Getting started with such a service can be as quick as 2-3 weeks, depending on the complexity of your organization
Is it right for me?
If you’re looking for a hands-off solution to your operations issues, engaging an operations-as-a-service firm is a great solution.
Imagine you’d finally have the day-to-day off your plate and could focus on growing your business! Wouldn’t that be great…