I get this question a lot. And the answer is different depending on the size of the organization.
My background is in corporate. We’re talking corporate corporate. As in >$100B in revenue. Even in companies of that size, there wasn’t consistency in the Chief Operating Officer’s responsibilities.
Rather than tell you what it’s supposed to be, this is how we break it down at ACThoughtful for our perfect customers: micro-business owners.
Operations are simply the running of operations in your company. (dramatic pause). How vague is that?
Some people think of it as supporting customers (think service desk) or delivering projects, or building and shipping stuff. Others think of it as anything that is not selling or marketing.
In a sea of C-suite titles which one do you need?
But you’re a micro-business. You are wearing every leadership hat in your company. CFO (Finance), CHRO (Human Resources), CIO/CTO (Information, Technology), CMO (Marketing), CISO (Information Security), CRO (Revenue — yes they have those now), and a lot more… I even worked at a company that had a Chief Culture Officer. For every decade that goes by, a few new c-suite titles pop up. And guess what? You’re playing every single one.
(This is where I’d pat you on the back if I were close enough to shake your hand.)
The shape of operations
So if you are the CEO of your company — who is your right hand? Who fills in the gaps and missing pieces for you? Who pushes you when you need it and delivers for you when you need it. Who drives your strategy forward? I don’t care if it’s sales or marketing or supply chain. You need someone who can help you think strategically, put the needle in the thread, and start sewing the pieces together, so your vision becomes your reality.
That’s what a Fractional COO does. Your business is a web of things working together to deliver on a bigger vision. Your right hand can bring it together.
How does this show up?
Shaping and launching new offerings
Getting into the numbers, so you have actionable information to grow your company
Coaching your talent so you can bring them to the next level
Helping you design an organization that works, and one you can afford, with a skilled and motivated team
Finding (and sometimes implementing) tools and systems that operate more efficiently
Create clarity on where to focus your time
Strategies to grow and acquire companies
How to bring your customers to the table and serve them better
If you’re Batman, think of us like Alfred.
What fraction is right for you?
But fraction means you don’t need that kind of skill full time yet. You’re just getting your wings, and you only need a few hours a week to make magic happen.
One of the reasons I started this business is because I hated being in one slice of the pie. My fingers were always in a little bit of everything — A lot like you. I love building teams, thinking big picture, doing real work, and sharing opinions (of which I have many). My team does too.
What could a fractional COO do for you?
Curious? Schedule a virtual coffee today.