The CEO’s BFF – The Benefits of Hiring a COO

Hiring a COO is an Advantage for Your Small Business. Here’s Why.

Did you go into business because you fantasized about working twelve-hour days? I am going to go out on a limb and say that is a not the case. It is more likely that you envisioned a life with more – more money, more personal freedom, and more control over your professional trajectory. If you have been dreaming about swimming at resorts and spending more time with your family rather than being chained to your laptop, it may be time for you to hire a COO – a Chief Operating Officer.



Hiring a COOMost people are familiar with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the role this position plays in a company, but I get a lot of questions, especially from small business owners, regarding exactly what a COO is does, why the role is needed, and the type of skills required. The COO is what I like to call the CEO’s BFF. I don’t necessarily mean they are personal best friends. Although many CEOs and COOs establish strong bonds from closely partnering together. As the integrator who executes the strategy and drive results, the COO is the CEO’s right-hand person. The role is a key member of a business’s leadership team.

This leader oversees and manages the company’s business operations, working closely with the rest of the team to support the day-to-day activities of the company. The COO is in fact the key strategic partner for the leader of the company, collaborating to reach the company’s vision and growth goals.

Entrepreneurs believe this role is limited to large corporations, however many small business owners benefit greatly from adding this leader to their team.



With limited resources and time, small business owners must do more with less, even more so than larger corporations. Acknowledging that you are a very busy entrepreneur and do not have billion-dollar profits, finding someone to partner with you running your day-to-day operations is a great next step.

You may be wondering how hiring a COO for your leadership team benefits you and your business when I just acknowledged that your resources may be limited. While the responsibilities for this role can vary from company to company, there are fundamental benefits all business owners can realize from hiring a COO.

Say Hello to Your Second-in-command

And the person that will take a ton of work off your action list. The most important benefit of hiring a COO is you have a capable leader to step in when decisions need to be made. Your COO represents you when you are not available. They can also make it so you do not need to be available. From vetting new partnerships to handling client onboarding to ensuring the team is performing up to your standards, your COO can be counted on to take the load off. The COO knows you better than anyone in the company. Count on your COO to maintain and build trusted relationships with clients, partners, suppliers, and vendors on behalf of the company.

Get More Done

How well are you at executing your strategic vision and managing your action plans? Launching programs, managing client projects, planning for business expansion while still selling, marketing, and strategizing can consume your time as a business owner. A key responsibility for any COO is making sure plans and systems are in place to achieve the company’s vision. As you envision the next level for your business, a COO would partner with you to develop actionable strategic plans that align with your vision. This leader would also create and oversee your internal and client project plans to achieve your strategic objectives.

Easier Decision Making, Better Results

Even the best laid plans can fall short if not monitored for success. Your COO will implement and track key performance indicators (KPIs) against your business goals then establish corrective measures as needed. This is an area many entrepreneurs are inconsistent in implementing or monitoring but it’s also critical in understanding your company’s progress in achieving your vision. Some of your top KPIs are likely to revolve around financials. Your COO aggressively manages budgets to ensure the company performs to targets relative to growth and profitability.

Managing the Team

Typically you would hand your human resource (HR) function off to a HR company or dedicated role. This makes sense. You will also need someone to develop hiring strategies, staffing plans, and onboarding processes with you. An additional thing to consider is who will manage the team. Let’s face it, you can’t do it all. Your COO directly oversees functional roles in your organization, including working with any outsourced roles so everyone is marching to the same beat. There is nothing worse than having your digital marketer dancing to Jennifer Lopez while you are dancing to Mary J Blige. You may both be moving but will be out of sync. Hiring a COO helps keep the team aligned.

Continuously Improve How You Function

COO’s have specialized expertise in analyzing internal operations to look for improvement opportunities in systems and procedures. A key lever for growing revenues beyond six figures is having systems in place. Systems that include the processes for running efficiently and the technology to automate those processes. It is the COO’s responsibility to implement industry standards and innovation to effectively progress the organization.

There are many other benefits to hiring a COO for your team, I could only mention a few here otherwise this would be a book!



For entrepreneurs with a small or non-existent team, hiring a full-time COO might seem out of reach. This is particularly a concern when assessing finances and practically. After all, making six-figure revenue does not equal six-figure profit. But it does mean you need help executing your plan for expansion.

Hiring a Fractional COO could be the game changer you need. A Fractional COO is a budget friendly way to get seasoned operations expertise on an outsourced, part-time, or project basis – without the full-time hiring process and expense. You get to focus on being the talent, the strategist, and visionary, while the COO focuses on executing.

A fractional leader can help you ‘try before you buy’ while also reaping the benefits of having their expertise. You will know exactly what to look for in a full-time team member. Just as you might hire a digital marketing or accounting consultant, you may consider hiring for your operations. Many business owners even realize a fractional leader makes sense for their long-term business goals.


Do You Even Need a COO?

Not all entrepreneurs need a COO. You are shocked to read that coming from an operations consultant, I know, but it is true. There are many factors that go into the decision of hiring a COO. Some of these include the goals you personally have for your time, your profit aspirations, and your business stage.

To find out if your business is ready for hiring a COO take this short COO Readiness Quiz.