Checklist For When You’re Ready To Hire A COO (Chief Operating Officer)
Hiring a COO, or a Chief Operating Officer, might be exactly what your company needs to make its next leap in growth and get you back into your role as CEO.
But it can also be really overwhelming to think about.
Are you ready to hire a COO? What exactly do they do? How do you find the best fit for your team?
Today Chris takes you under his wing to prepare you for one of the biggest hiring decisions you’ll face as an entrepreneur.
You’ll get a few signs to look for that will let you know when it’s time to bring in a new right hand. You’ll also get an overview of what you can expect from a good COO and how to find one. Plus, Chris gives you an exercise you can do today that will help you move forward in making a decision.
[Hiring a COO] allows you to work more exclusively on the larger picture.
In this Episode:
- Do you have mixed feelings about hiring a COO? You’re not alone. Hear how Chris felt when he first thought about bringing someone into his company
- Signs you might need to consider hiring a good COO
- Bird’s eye view of what a COO can do for your company
- The daily responsibilities you can expect a COO to take on
- Skills and experience that are a MUST in any COO you hire
- Still not sure whether hiring a COO is the best move for you? Try this exercise to get clear on what you really need to grow your company
Find out exactly what aspect of your company is the current weak link that, if fixed, will help you scale faster and more successfully.
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What’s a COO, a Chief Operating Officer, and are you ready to hire one? Do you find them inside your company or do you hire from outside? How do ensure that person you put into that position really organizes and helps grow the company?
Well that’s what we’re going to go over today in the Built To Grow podcast.
My experience with COOs — finding them, grooming them, and coaching them – started with COOs in my companies, and the hundreds I’ve worked with inside the companies in my advisory program, and also the COO’s we have we use in the VC world that we pull into a company to help get those companies organized and grow after investing in that company.
The First Time I Hired A COO
I remember the first time I thought about hiring a COO. It was both crushing and exciting at the same time. I was torn between knowing I needed help, and accepting the fact that I am not enough to grow this company by myself.
It was causing so much stress in my life, but luckily I wasn’t alone. I discussed this with my Board several times over about a 6 month period.
And if you don’t have a trusted source of knowledge like that, whether it’s a board of directors of even just a person that’s been where you are, and achieved what you want to achieve, and knows how to help you avoid the landmines –if you don’t have that resource in your life, then I’ll be that source for you today.
Things that you might want to consider before hiring a good COO:
- You spend more time managing than improving your company,
- You need a second hand to execute overall mission and manage people and tasks,
- If you’re at a point where you can’t meet expectations to scale your company,
- If you have investors and need another face in front of them,
- And, of course, you know you can afford one and you know how to set them up for success, which we’ll touch on today,
…then, again, you might want to consider a COO.
Now the 30,000 foot view of what a COO does is:
- Managing the current operations of the business.
- Driving the future growth of the business.
- Constantly have a finger on the finances, the people, the customers and the prospects – and everything that effects those areas.
But let’s go deeper than that.
What is a COO?
The COO is hired by and reports directly to the CEO or the President, and is responsible for carrying out the Company policies and managing the actions needed to reach company targets.
They’re usually held accountable for all areas of the company.
And they become your bridge to the staff so you can avoid the smaller details of managing the day to day operations, which allows you to work more exclusively on the larger picture and the long-term focus of the company and the brand.
Also, the COO keeps you up to date on everything and prepares reports on the effectiveness of the company’s policies, and operations, and marketing and programs.
They help you with your mission, and they keep you appraised of the company climate, they identify problems and solutions, they communicate with the team and vendors and governing agencies and investors if you have any, and they monitor long and short term goals and projections, and they locate and hire new team members, and manage the current team to maintain a high level of ethics.
The Qualities You Should Look For
And I’m just sharing with you things that are important for COOs that I work with. Your list might be different depending on the industry you’re in, or the needs you have as a company and as a CEO or owner of the organization.
Another important factor for us is that a COO needs to be so in tuned with our company, and our competition, and our team that they anticipate challenges and trends and needs.
Now to be the kind of person who can handle that, I’d be searching for someone who has COO experience or someone with such strong skills in all these areas that I can train them, which might be someone already on my team, or it might mean going outside of my company or my industry and bringing in someone with experience. Both scenarios have their pros and cons and both can work.
But in addition to that I want someone who, in their nature, in their own personal values, is ingrained with: honesty, accountability, straightforwardness, clear thinking, integrity, leadership and dedication.
And they absolutely must strictly adhere to deadlines, have strong relationship skills, be goal focused, be a good/clear communicator, be administratively competent and be able to live by the Company’s vision and values.
What You Need to Consider
And before you move forward with a COO you need to be crystal clear on their responsibilities. Remember a COO is a big role, and a strong COO is going to expect that you already have a strong company and a drive to grow and some systems in place that they can build on.
But mostly, they’re going to want to know what you expect from them and what they can expect from you in return. And all of that needs to be put into writing, in a clear COO Employment Agreement.
Like if they dedicate their life to helping grow the company, they need security and a clear vision on what you’re both growing together, and why you’re growing it.
Now there’s a lot more to finding and hiring a great COO, but I think that’s at least enough to get you thinking in the right direction.
If you’re considering hiring a COO, or even if you’re not and you just want to be far more organized in your company, then you can start by making a list of the top tasks that a COO would take off your plate to make you more effective as a leader and at the same time grow the company.
Just the act of making that list will get you moving in the right direction.
MEET CHRIS GUERRIERO
Chris is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and advisor to a handful of high growth companies.
He has built four 8-figure companies, developed winning leadership teams in six industries, and designed business systems that predictably grow multi-million dollar brands.
He’s been featured in financial periodicals such as: Success, Inc, Bloomberg TV, and in Entrepreneur as a top entrepreneurs of the time.
In addition to his own companies, Chris is also an advisor, investor and equity holder in companies across a variety of industries, including health, medical, digital advertising, legal and real estate.