Interim COO Services

How to be successful with an interim or fractional COO

/ Build Ops Team / COO

Every business needs the strategic and managerial  expertise of an effective COO

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COO Fit: The Right COO

What should you look for in a COO?

  • Fit – While developing a rapport with the Board and management team is a must, a good cultural fit with the rest of the team is important too. The CEO should have a “been there, done that” attitude, but also be creative and flexible enough to adapt to the team and its culture.
  • Experience – A CEO with years of experience working with similar companies can enhance the management team, provide credibility with your board and investors and generally raise the level of professionalism at the company. Experience with your specific industry is a plus.
  • Leadership – The CEO should be a natural leader and have the gravitas to slip into a leadership role, even on a part-time basis.
  • Can-Do – Small companies often don’t have the resources to provide a lot of support. So the CEO must have a can-do attitude and be willing to do what’s necessary to support the company.

COO Services: Strategic Advisory

For those companies — typically startups and early-stage growth companies — that do not have a seasoned executive, they may choose to seek strategic advice and executive counsel from an interim COO  until they get traction for their products and solutions.

Make or Break Moments

Many entrepreneurs may be reticent to add development, product and sales people so that costs don’t run opportunities.  However, there also comes a time in a successful company’s lifecycle where the opportunity opens up and the team must flick the switch from conservative to aggressive.

This is the “make-or-break moment” and not many companies get it right. The decision has to be made and communicated to the entire company. A good COO strategic advisor will help to identify when resources need to be allocated to take advantage of the opportunity whether it’s by investing in people, marketing, sales or the next generation product. Being able to identify when that window of opportunity opens and taking advantage is the difference between a great company and a merely good one.

Delay hiring a COO

Startup companies are well suited to follow a familiar mantra:  “Don’t invest in G&A costs until you prove you can:

  1. Build your product and
  2. Sell it.

In other words, use your scarce resources to prove the product concept and establish that you have a market.

As a result, more companies are delaying hiring staff and support functions and taking advantage of advisory, part-time  or project-based professionals with deep experience and expertise.

In the case of TechCXO partners, our CEO and COO professionals have often worked for dozens of companies over their careers and have seen and done just about everything that a startup will require.

When do you need an interim COO

When does it make sense to consider a part-time or fractional COO?

High-Growth or High Stress

Companies that reach an inflection point in their growth usually do so for one of the following reasons:

  • Increasing number of transactions, such as more customers, more employees, more vendors n increasing complexity in the business that requires more experienced leadership and better
  • Planning to develop policies and procedures
  • An inexperienced founder who may simply need a mentor
  • The company has raised or intends to raise significant ($1 million or more) funds from outside investors
  • A merger or acquisition of a line of business that requires reconciliation between multiple systems.

Specific Projects

Other circumstances require specialized skills to address a specific problem. Some accounting and audit firms are increasingly unwilling to risk compromising their audit function by providing in-house consulting services and will instead refer the company to a project-based CEO for issues such as:

  • Identify hiring needs
  • Plan hiring processes, steps and communication challenges
  • Intervene on difficult corporate culture and employee relations matters
  • Plan market entry and product strategy
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If you’ve never outsourced or used executives on demand before, you’re sure to have a lot of questions. Don’t worry, we’re more than happy to answer them all.
And we know everything there is to know about this unique model. Schedule a call with us or send an email now.

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