Important Recommendation, Key Steps & Classes


Feeling like a bottleneck these days?

Regardless of your greatest intentions to take a step again to concentrate on the large image— the pressures of each day operations has a manner of creeping again into your checklist of to-dos. Your greatest vendor is out of inventory, the subsequent cargo is held up in transit, and also you lay awake at evening stressing over subsequent month’s payroll. 

How will you ever develop should you’re slowed down on this on a regular basis stress? Rent a Chief Working Officer (COO).

A COO with a superb monitor document oversees all enterprise operations, serving to unencumber your time to concentrate on the large image and long-term technique. However attending to this dream state—hiring a COO—is a major funding. Discovering the perfect candidate can be not a simple path. The choice might depend upon the best abilities, a confirmed monitor document, cultural match, and the distinctive circumstances of your enterprise. 

This information goals to equip you with the data to navigate the hiring course of for a COO efficiently. We’ll cowl 4 predominant areas:

  • Why rent a COO?
  • When to rent a COO
  • Easy methods to rent a COO
  • Onboarding your COO

Why Rent a COO? Trace: To dump operational burden

The reply might be so simple as this: Finally, you notice you will have your arms in too many pies. 🫠

“I wish to be left alone to develop gross sales and develop new merchandise.”

For others, it may be self-awareness discovery—understanding you want somebody to enrich your individual set of strengths and weaknesses to develop.

“There are improbable individuals on the market, and [a COO] will free you to work in your best playground.”

Workshopping your private “WHY” at first of your hiring course of might make it simpler that will help you outline what precisely you want a COO to assist with.

On that word…

The Position of a COO (And the way they may help you)

By “definition”, a COO is a high-level govt who oversees the day-to-day operations of an organization—usually reporting on to the CEO/Founder. The COO is liable for implementing the corporate’s technique and guaranteeing every part runs effectively and successfully. 

The job description of a Chief Working Officer (COO)

Whereas it may well fluctuate relying on the corporate, listed below are some frequent obligations of a COO:

  • Managing the corporate’s operations, together with manufacturing, logistics, and provide chain administration
  • Growing and implementing insurance policies and procedures to enhance effectivity and productiveness (i.e Entrepreneurial Working System (EOS) implementation)
  • Working with different executives to develop and implement the corporate’s technique
  • Managing the corporate’s funds and monetary efficiency
  • Making certain compliance with authorized and regulatory necessities

An ECF member makes a superb distinction between the function of a COO and an Operations Supervisor.

“For me, I see COO as extra of a real integrator. Any challenge, thought, idea, and so on that I’ve—they’ll implement. Operations Supervisor can do some biz dev work, however their predominant job is to deal with all issues associated to manufacturing and success.”

A particular callout: Don’t confuse the COO function with obligations that ought to fall with the Chief Advertising and marketing Officer (CMO)—gross sales and advertising and marketing.

One other ECF Member shared his expertise of working with glorious COOs who have been true integrators and had a radical understanding of provide chain and warehouse operations.

“These COOs have been systems-oriented and genuinely inquisitive about each course of and particular person inside their purview. They have been concerned within the particulars alongside junior workers however trusted them to do their greatest work. They might handle the CEO’s goals, the CMO’s lack of accountability, and the CFO’s irrational backside line ambitions with a humble servant chief high quality.”

Get yourself a copy of Rocket Fuel if you haven’t already. This book came highly recommended multiple times in the forum for helping you (the “Visionary”) navigate hiring a COO (the “Integrator”). And once you make a hire, get them to read it too.
📚 Get your self a duplicate of Rocket Gasoline should you haven’t already. This guide got here extremely advisable a number of occasions in our ecommerce boards for serving to you (the “Visionary”) navigate hiring a COO (the “Integrator”). And when you make a rent, get them to learn it too.

Advantages of hiring a COO

The function of a COO is to assist your enterprise obtain:

  • 📈 Improved effectivity and productiveness: A COO may help establish areas the place the corporate can enhance its operations and implement adjustments to make it extra environment friendly and productive.
  • 💸 Elevated profitability: A COO may help enhance the corporate’s profitability by bettering effectivity and productiveness.
  • 🤓 Improved strategic planning: A COO can work with different executives to develop and implement the corporate’s technique, guaranteeing that the corporate is shifting in the best route.
  • ⚖️ Higher danger administration: A COO may help guarantee compliance with authorized and regulatory necessities, decreasing the corporate’s danger of authorized or monetary issues.
  • 💬 Improved communication: A COO may help enhance communication between totally different departments and ranges of the corporate, guaranteeing that everybody works harmoniously.

Let’s not neglect the emotional advantages of creating the best rent too.

“Having a high-level sounding board who I can speak to about points. She’s very calm personality-wise, and I’m a bit extra emotional, so it balances out properly.”

When to Rent a COO

As a enterprise grows, the obligations of the CEO can turn out to be overwhelming. Hiring a COO can share the workload and herald new concepts and views.

Indicators You Want a COO

The choice to rent a Chief Working Officer (COO) is extra more likely to be based mostly on the wants and targets of your enterprise slightly than a prescriptive income or crew measurement.

Listed below are some frequent eventualities if you may get thinking about hiring a COO:

  • 😰 Overwhelmed with day-to-day operations and don’t have time to concentrate on long-term technique.
  • 🤯 Experiencing speedy development, and your organization wants somebody to handle the enlargement.
  • 😬 Lack expertise in a sure space, resembling finance or operations, and wish somebody with experience in that space.
  • 😮‍💨 Going through challenges, resembling declining earnings or elevated competitors, and also you want somebody to assist flip issues round.

💡 Put it this fashion: If each minute not spent doing what you’re greatest at looks like a chance price, it’s time to think about hiring a COO.

Timing for Hiring a COO

So, when is the best time to rent a COO? It could possibly fluctuate. Some companies might convey on a COO early of their development part, whereas others might wait till they’re extra established. 

Listed below are some elements to think about 🤔:

Organizational Construction

In case you are smaller and rising shortly, getting an organizational construction in place is necessary to outline the roles and obligations of every particular person within the firm. And not using a clear construction, there might be confusion, duplication of efforts, and an absence of accountability. 

Ask your self: Are you able to promote somebody internally to a supervisor place to supervise extra issues and rent somebody to switch them? 

❇️ One ECF member suggests a technique for managing development in an organization with out instantly leaping to rent a COO.

“Rising quick presents tons of challenges! I’d say to seek out an space the place you may promote one particular person to handle a couple of others. Perhaps somebody to handle the VAs, for instance. As you develop, discover a second space needing administration, promote or rent there, and repeat…

Leaping to rent a COO can be a mistake—one I’ve made. You gained’t be capable of clear up all of your stress and challenges with one massive rent, however you are able to do it and handle a a lot bigger crew by hiring good individuals in administration roles particular to 1 a part of the corporate.”

CEO’s Workload 

The workload of a CEO could be a essential think about figuring out when to rent a COO. As an organization grows and turns into extra complicated, the CEO’s obligations can turn out to be overwhelming, resulting in stress, burnout, and decreased productiveness. 

This was, sadly, the case for this ECF member.

“Lately, I skilled a large burnout from my enterprise, resulting in many panic assaults. I used to be overwhelmed by the tedious operational duty of my firm.”

In case your operational workload persistently prevents you from focusing in your core strengths, it could be time to think about bringing on a COO.

As this ECF member places it, it additionally stops you from being the bottleneck.

“I discover myself managing the each day operations and full-time managing the crew on a regular basis…and I’ve no time to concentrate on technique/advertising and marketing methods and even elevating funds. Due to this fact, I feel it’s time I cease being a bottleneck… and rent a COO.”

Are You Really Prepared? 

Bringing on a COO if you’re not prepared is like attempting to construct a home on a weak basis. It could look fantastic at first, however finally, the shortage of preparation and construction will trigger the entire thing to break down.

Ask your self: Do you will have the mandatory assets and construction in place to assist a COO, resembling a transparent organizational chart, established processes, and a strong monetary footing? 

❇️ This ECF member says hiring a COO shouldn’t be a method to keep away from making troublesome selections or to delegate obligations you “simply don’t wish to cope with” both.

“Most founders haven’t made the onerous selections they should make, and so they suppose this bag of crap they wish to give to their new integrator. They mentioned of their head, “I wish to do all of the enjoyable stuff and let me rent somebody to cope with all of this crap”. They’re searching for a method to shortcut private development, and that doesn’t work.”

❇️ One other ECF member shares how his private expertise helped him study that hiring a COO will not be obligatory for each stage of development.

In his case, he initially thought he was the issue and wanted somebody to tackle the duty of working the enterprise.

He later realized that folks weren’t working within the firm as a result of they believed within the firm; they believed in him and his personal beliefs (one thing he didn’t uncover till a lot later). 

“I spent the subsequent 4 years engaged on my faults—holding myself accountable for not being a bottleneck or the distraction. Both fixing or accepting my weaknesses. We grew from 16 individuals to round 38 once we promoted somebody from throughout the enterprise to President/Integrator. It was the best particular person on the proper time. And was wanted at that time. It positively wasn’t wanted at 16 individuals. I wasn’t really prepared for it both.”

Do You Have the Price range to Pay a COO’s Wage? 

Knowledge from Comparably says the median wage vary for a COO is between $180,000 to $480,000.

Recommendation from different ECF members mirrors the identical 6-figure sentiment. 

“If I used to be a $25M enterprise, and paid $500k a yr, I might get that expertise, however I used to be paying round $100k USD (after tax), which wasn’t sufficient.”

However there are different methods you may give it some thought, too—from a COO’s perspective.

“My present function is executing the enterprise’s day-to-day, and my compensation is a income share + revenue payout.” 

💡 You may additionally think about a fractional or consultative COO function to minimize the rapid monetary affect.

“One factor I’ve accomplished lately as a result of I wanted the steerage is to rent a fractional COO/CFO who helps lead the restructure and offers that steerage however solely works a couple of days every week, so her price affect is affordable. I feel fractional, freelance and ‘company’ is the way in which to get out of the 7 determine rut I name it…”

👉 One factor to recollect should you rent a fractional COO is to not overestimate capability.

“My fractional COO rent walked in with a challenge on hearth, and I had hoped that she’d be capable of handle a number of issues. Given she’s solely part-time, it restricts this lots, so she’s solely beginning to get to issues. Correcting with a 30-60-90 day plan that’s extra reasonable.” 

❇️ One ECF member recommends SCORE as a place to begin for these searching for enterprise recommendation. He personally had a SCORE advisor for a few years who had a background in operations and had run a number of firms, and this advisor had been extraordinarily useful to his enterprise. At the moment, he’s exploring the choice of searching for session assist.

“Simply as an FYI, some nice individuals do consultative COO roles and will add large worth with out breaking the financial institution.

I’ve a good friend who’s a CPA and does this for a lot of companies in Portland. I’m having espresso with him subsequent week to see if he might give me a couple of hours a month on this function. He typically has concepts and insights which aren’t apparent to me.”

❇️ Or you might begin with an govt assistant, like this CEO.

“I’m attempting to alleviate a few of this “operation bulllshit” by hiring an Government Assistant. Going by ultimate interviews now, they’ll deal with all kinds of duties that I’m both attempting to do myself or forcing individuals in different roles to do after they shouldn’t be.”

Hopefully, this helps to unencumber my schedule to concentrate on revenue-generating exercise—then I’ll be on the time to re-evaluate the “massive” rent…”

Key takeaway: With out the funds to rent a COO, you continue to have choices to companion with somebody of comparable nature with out breaking the financial institution. You might want to put down some stepping stones earlier than you spend money on the “massive” rent.

Easy methods to Rent a COO

Defining the Position

A COO is usually second in command to the CEO and will act because the CEO’s proxy of their absence. Each roles have totally different areas of focus and experience, but when there may be ambiguity of their obligations, this may result in some points if not correctly outlined.

An ECF member shares his private expertise of struggling to let go of management as a founder when bringing in an Integrator/COO. 

  • He suggests the CEO learn the guide Rocketfuel (the guide linked earlier) and take exams to assist outline their roles. 
  • He additionally emphasizes the significance of getting metrics and stories that the CEO cares about to make sure the corporate is on target, which may help the CEO belief the Integrator/COO extra. 
  • He additionally recommends a weekly management assembly between the CEO and Integrator to assessment the metrics and handle any issues. 
  • And lastly, he advises the CEO to concentrate on “WHO not WHAT” at this stage of the corporate, that means they need to be delegating obligations to the Integrator/COO and trusting their experience, slightly than stepping into the weeds themselves.

A standard query that got here up within the discussion board is whether or not a COO ought to have eCommerce expertise. 

This CEO employed one for his enterprise and weighed in. 

“In my expertise, having [a COO] already accustomed to EOS was unimportant. EOS is actually a set of tried and true Operations practices that any good Ops particular person ought to know (not essentially underneath the EOS model identify) and/or be capable of choose it up shortly.”

He additionally suggests looking for a “Half-Time Operations Supervisor/Director” or a “Fractional COO” as a substitute of an “Integrator with EOS expertise” to seek out extra potential candidates.

Qualities to Search for in COO Candidates

Based mostly on actual hiring experiences in lots of industries, there are three key qualities that it is best to search for in your COO candidates to make sure they’ve what it takes to excel on this function.

A Bias In direction of Motion

One ECF member employed a COO after an 18-month search course of, however she was let go a yr later as a result of she was lacking two issues: the lack to guage and problem overly-optimistic visionary concepts objectively. Second, she lacked the initiative and drive to sort out inefficiencies throughout the enterprise (however was nice at gathering information).

“If our enterprise was the Titanic, as a substitute of grabbing a bucket and furiously bailing out water, she was on the deck calculating the speed at which it sank.”

Regardless of being an excellent one that improved morale and was good at recruiting and hiring, she was not suited to a small startup that wanted bias in direction of motion.

Expertise Main Groups & Folks

One other ECF member suggests you’ll see an excellent payoff if yow will discover somebody at this degree who each respects you and enhances your capabilities (or the management crew). 

Right here’s what’s labored properly up to now in hiring a fractional COO:

  • The COO’s trade expertise in particularly eCommerce—ops, finance, manufacturing and provide chain
  • Complementary persona traits— a work-to-get-it-done sort
  • Expertise with organizational programs like EOS (Entrepreneurial Working System) 
  • Expertise main groups and other people (this one is important, in accordance with her)

“It’s completely important {that a} COO has expertise main individuals since they’ve the entire efficiency conversations, hiring, firing and so on.”

A Pure at Empowering Others

This ECF member says to be cautious of management freaks as they will destroy morale inside a crew. A COO ought to be capable of delegate successfully and belief their crew to get the job accomplished.

“Select a COO properly with glorious management abilities as they’ll bear the brunt of dysfunctional groups casting about for blame when issues go badly.”

It’s as much as the COO to set clear expectations, present assist the place wanted, and sit again and let their crew work autonomously with out micromanaging. By empowering their crew, a COO can foster a tradition of belief, collaboration, and accountability, that are important for long-term success.

Rent a COO Techniques: Ideas and Methods to Discover Your Preferrred Second-in-Command

After getting outlined the function and recognized the qualities you search in a COO, the subsequent step is to begin the interviewing and hiring course of. However the place do you even start hiring such a heavy hitter?

There are two predominant approaches: searching for exterior assist or wanting internally throughout the firm.

Exterior Assist

Some members advocate utilizing consultants, recruitment businesses, or hiring an govt search agency to assist in the search course of. One thing like VisionSpark, which provides govt search and management consulting companies.

“I used VisionSpark out of Ohio. They communicate EOS and specialise in serving to Visionaries discover integrators. Would positively use them once more if my integrator bought hit by a bus tomorrow.”

Others have employed consultants to assist them decide their wants and recruit/interview individuals.One ECF member talks about this actual expertise. He was matched with a retired C-level particular person by SCORE—who has been a superb useful resource and sounding board for outlining COO expertise necessities. 

“A COO having an eCommerce background is sweet to have, however not important.”

He mentioned the guide was assured that somebody with a level in industrial engineering would be capable of implement many of the adjustments we have to make round tools placement, workflow configuration, KPI monitoring and training/administration of operations employees, ERP/MRP choice & implementation, and different high-level stuff that we want however would wrestle to do ourselves.

Trying Internally

One other ECF member discovered his COO from an worker who he educated and promoted.

However how do you establish the individuals up for the problem? Conducting exams or assessments, resembling persona exams or abilities assessments, may help.

“For us, I had a number of of our high individuals who I believed ‘might’ match that function take the check (together with my spouse). One other employees member higher match these roles, so we moved her into that place.” 

One other ECF member broke out bigger roles into a number of positions and paid much less total however bought extra. This allowed her to upskill workers to tackle extra obligations over time.

And this ECF member shared an incredible success story on how an Amazon contractor turned his COO. The brand new COO performed a major function in boosting the corporate’s income, driving development to the tune of 2-3x, all because of a well-structured compensation plan that tied his private success to the corporate’s total earnings.

There’s additionally a component of ‘typically, you simply get fortunate’ with a superb COO—like this ECF member.

“She began part-time doing pattern meeting, moved to advertising and marketing, and is now my integrator. One way or the other she will get me, understands what I need, and might interpret my half-speak into precise actions. It feels so good to know there’s somebody I can belief to instruct workers and will get issues accomplished with out over-explanation. I bought fortunate. I’m unsure I ever would have been in a position to know that she’d have this secret expertise for understanding me by an interview course of to be trustworthy.” 

One other ECF member acknowledges that selling from inside has been extra profitable for them than importing senior-level expertise immediately. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that he may have to rent externally as the corporate scales. 

As you scale, it’s unattainable to seek out all of the expertise you want internally, and in addition, typically, you want a senior particular person now, not in a number of years.

He believes that the issue lies within the integration, coaching, and management of latest senior leaders, and plans to be extra deliberate about making a plan for the primary 30/90/180 days of a brand new chief approaching board.

Onboarding Your COO

Once you’re within the strategy of bringing a brand new COO on board, it’s necessary to consider how one can assist them seamlessly combine into your organization tradition. 

Some concepts to think about: 

  • Present the COO with an in depth overview of the corporate’s historical past, mission, and values.
  • Introduce them to key stakeholders and crew members, together with division heads and direct stories.
  • Encourage them to attend firm occasions and take part in team-building actions.
  • Assign a mentor or buddy to assist them navigate the corporate tradition and construct relationships.
Onboarding a COO- 90-Day Plan Overview

Defining Targets and Expectations

Along with integrating the COO into the corporate tradition, it’s necessary to make sure that everyone seems to be on the identical web page:

  • Work with the COO to ascertain KPIs that align with the corporate’s strategic targets.
  • Create an in depth job description that outlines the COO’s obligations and expectations.
  • Arrange common check-ins to assessment progress and supply suggestions. 
  • Set up a course of for addressing any points or considerations that come up.

Ultimate Ideas: Rent a Chief Working Officer (COO) – The Buck Stops With You

Most CEOs/Founders have a tough time giving up management. However when yow will discover an confederate to development (Enter: COO) who can problem your visions, have wholesome disagreements, and produce a contemporary perspective to the desk, you’re in a a lot better place to scale your enterprise. 

Regardless of the first-hand experiences of the search course of and opinions supplied, keep true to your targets and funds, whereas additionally trusting your intestine instincts. The truth is that discovering the best particular person, also known as a “unicorn,” could be a time-consuming course of, taking weeks, months, and even years. In the end, the choice of who to convey on as your COO is a major one, and shouldn’t be rushed or taken flippantly.

Need Extra? Entry 200+ Discussions About Hiring COOs and Different Management Positions

And also you don’t have to do that alone both, eCommerceFuel is a neighborhood of 7- to 8-figure model house owners. By becoming a member of the neighborhood you’ll acquire entry to a wealth of assets and recommendation from vetted practitioners who’ve deep, significant eCommerce expertise to share.

 You’ll be able to study extra in regards to the neighborhood or apply to be part of at this time.

Good luck along with your search!


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