How Do You Know When You Need a COO?

Hi guys, Diane here. 

Last week I was talking about who the second person in command was in your business. So, if you were to get sick with the flu for a week or two and needed someone to keep things going – or if you just wanted to go on a vacation for an entire month – who would your team talk to?

We talked about that COO role and how those roles could show up within your business.

How do you know if you need a COO in your business?

Like many other consulting questions, the answer is that “it depends,” – and on several factors: the size of your business, where your business is today, where you want to take it, your vision for the business, the growth initiatives you have in mind, and so forth.

However, there are a few kinds of high-level thematic signs that point to you needing a COO on your team.

  • The first sign would be that you’re overwhelmed. Remember, I keep saying that you are the most valuable asset in your business because as the business owner, founder, and head person in charge, the business is built on you. Whether that’s something you developed or created, something you’re great at, etc. Then, you combine this fact with needing to run your business: administration, bookkeeping, record-keeping, managing the sales pipeline and dealing with customer complaints.

It’s massive having to take everything on, right? There are so many things that need to happen within your business, and they all ultimately land on your plate. In the end, you only end up doing a small portion of it.

If this is you, then it’s time to hire a COO. Someone skilled that you can trust and that can help you divide your workload so that you can breathe and turn your attention to the next steps in your business – the next big idea.

  • A second tell-tale sign that you need a COO is if you are spending more time managing your business or being a manager than being the owner. If you’re spending much of your time putting out fires, trying to get the business to run smoothly, and as a result are missing out on big opportunities… then that’s when you need a second in command. If you missed a deadline or couldn’t get samples in on time or can’t take on any more business without working an impossible amount of hours, it’s time to consider a COO to help you manage the overall workload.
  • A third sign is that you’re struggling to execute in your business. If you’re in a place where you’re frustrated with projects, your ideas are stalling, you’re irritated with your team, and it seems like everything keeps coming back to you, it may also be time to consider a COO. Otherwise, you’ll continue being unable to move the ball forward or get any traction with your business. With someone skilled by your side who’s moving the ball forward and managing operations, you’ll be much more likely and able to get things done. The pressure won’t be 100% on you.

These are the three most common reasons I notice when clients come to me asking about a fractional COO. If you fit into any of these categories, feel free to drop me a line or a comment below. I love hearing from you and would be happy to help you figure out what steps you should be taking in your business so that you can get some relief and start to build it strategically.

Until next time,


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