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Should You Hire a Fractional COO for Your Small Business? 

Are you a small business owner considering hiring a COO or Chief Officer of Operations? 

Maybe you’re a visionary CEO, and you’re feeling bogged down in the day-to-day operations. Or maybe you’re confident in the direction of your business, but you know that it takes two to run a successful operation. 

Hiring a COO is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make for your business! We’re here to help you decide if it’s time to hire a COO, how to hire, and what to expect. 

Why hire a fractional COO? 

A full-time, salaried COO is too big an investment for many businesses just starting out. It doesn’t make sense for most small businesses to make the investment, which is where a fractional COO steps in! 

A Fractional COO is a contracted worker, not a full-time employee, so it doesn’t require that you provide benefits or human resources. This option is a low-risk way to assess your business’ needs and see the benefits a high-level operations officer can provide. 

Someone in this role is committed only to your success and ensuring the business operates at its highest level, and systems are synchronised.  

It’s so much more than just the day-to-day! It takes a great entrepreneur to build a business, but it takes two to build an exceptional business! They are polar opposites, and one needs the other in this partnership.

A COO is a grounded, practical, and logical person who harmoniously pulls together all business functions to work together like a well-oiled machine. They create focus, timelines, accountability, and alignment.

Because of this, partnering with a COO in your business can fast-track your growth! When you have momentum, and your business is scaling sustainably, they become a long-term partner for life. Ultimately, having someone understand your business and connect deeply with your mission builds a strong bond.

Why hiring a fractional COO is such an important decision, and how to make the right choice

Hiring a fractional COO is often a significant turning point in your business. It’s often the decision between staying where you are and scaling new heights you could have never imagined. Having a partner to grow along side you is like two train tracks running side by side, one driving revenue activities and the other directing the team in building the infrastructure to support that. 

A fractional COO will manage all internal functions of the business, overseeing the systems and operations that will sustain your business’ growth for years, such as internal team management, day-to-day operations, pricing structure and strategy, financial projections, and more. 

Hiring someone who doesn’t align with your vision or goals may ultimately hurt your business in the long run, and undoing any mistakes will be much more difficult. 

It’s crucial to ensure that you and your prospective COO are on the same page about the business’s direction and your relationship before you begin implementation. When hiring, ask difficult questions and seek their honest assessments of what you need.

Investing in your right-hand partner allows you to explore while your COO analyses and manages your business. Knowing your business is fully taken care of and held to the highest standards, the weight you carried before dissolves. You’ll share the workload with someone you deeply trust and respect, and vice versa!

Do you need an OBM/low-level operations manager or a fractional COO? 

If you’re scaling your business, you may be considering all your options. Maybe you’ve hired an OBM before or even have an OBM you love! 

OBMs are great hires that can offer incredible value in the beginning stages of your business. But, as you start to scale your team and your operations, you may need high-level support from someone with a deeper level of experience or even both roles. Here are the telltale signs that you’re ready for a fractional COO instead of an OBM: 

Sign #1: You have an OBM, but you’re still spending too much time working in your business instead of on your business. You struggle daily with feeling bogged down by administrative or operational work and can’t focus on the visionary or creative side, which prevents your growth. 

Sign #2: You want to strengthen and solidify your dream team. You want to invest in employees rather than contractors, meaning you’ll need to expand your internal operations to handle multiple employees. 

Sign #3: You need to grow significantly to expand your operations. You’re currently at capacity and unsure where to go from the current level of your business. You know you want to expand to other markets or products but cannot do that until you increase the level of your operations. 

But what is the best reason to hire a COO? 

You want a trusted partner, mentor, and advisor by your side.

You’ve worn all the hats before. Most of us start as solopreneurs, trailblasing all on our own. But maybe after a few years at this, you realise that you simply don’t need to do it all anymore! 

CEOs aren’t supposed to do it all! The CEO is the driver of any company. As a COO, I want you to be able to have the time to take the time you need to ideate, create, and envision the future of your business. 

And right now, bogged down in daily operations and content creation, you may not feel safe leaving your company without your watchful eye. 

Your relationship with your COO will go far beyond business as usual. When you choose the right COO, you’ll develop a deep professional and personal relationship built on mutual trust and respect for one another. 

You’ll be able to bring your concerns to them, take them with you through all of your life experiences, and call on them for support and encouragement when you need it.

Fractional COOs come into your business with more experience than your average OBM. They’ve seen businesses rise and fall for one reason or another. Bringing on a high-level professional at a lower investment level will give you access to their knowledge and experiences, both personally and professionally! 

Life and business are nothing if not shared. We’re all social animals that thrive on relationships and partnerships with others! You shouldn’t have to do it all alone forever.  

A Fractional COO allows you to act with your natural energy flow. Deciding to embark on this strategic partnership is finally stepping into your power as a CEO and having a partner by your side who gets it. 

We all carry leadership qualities but in different forms. It takes two leaders to run a business, a CEO and a COO; they have entirely different leadership qualities, and at times, there may be friction. But let me tell you, that is a positive! When two people care so deeply and are passionate about the business, they will challenge each other to arrive at the best outcome.

The CEO sees the future and its possibilities for scaling, and the COO makes it happen by directing the team. But the COO has to believe in it; they must be passionate about what and how you do business. 

When these two roles come together and have a unified foundational vision, mission, and values, their roles are crystalised, and that’s where the magic happens!

Let’s chat about your options. Inquire with Lauren Lea HERE

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