After reading a blog post by Dale Robinette (thanks Dale!), we realized that we gave our readers advice on how to hire a new Chief Operating Officer, but gave no advice on when it is time for your company to find a new one.
Here are a few thoughts on when to hire a COO:
1) If your current COO leaves, you need to find a replacement. Most businesses benefit from having a COO, and trying to run a business without an operations leader is a risk most business owners should not take.
2) If you as the CEO have too much on your plate, and you need someone to take a few things away from you that you either don’t want to do or are not that good at. It’s important to note that hiring a COO doesn’t mean you can’t handle the company, it means the reverse actually. Having a COO is likely to make your company run smoother. Check out my post on the The Seven Roles of the COO to learn more.
3) If you have new growth initiatives that you would like to devote your attention to, it can be a huge help to hire a good general manager to oversee the current business, so that it is not neglected in the process.
4) If your team is primarily made up of innovators or creators. While it’s great to have people who can come up with ideas, you need people to make these ideas a reality.
This is not an all-inclusive list of times to hire a second in command but these are some of the most popular reasons why companies decide to hire COOs.