A case for hiring an Operations Manager
Written by: Greg Weiss
Every entrepreneur has been there. We know you love your business. However, if you have to sit down and do the tedium of admin work yet again…
What inevitably happens is that the tedious admin bits get left to build up to such an extent that you cannot procrastinate anymore. When that happens, the basics of your business slow down as you tackle all of the admin in one go. It’s a balancing act often leaving the entrepreneur/business owner feeling drained and pondering the reasons for opting for an entrepreneurial career.
Typically when I meet with clients who have reached this point I recommend they find an operational soulmate, only to be met with “Yeah, we’ll get right onto that.” Or they say something like, “We hired a temp; if it works out we’ll give them a permanent role.”
They often assume I’m suggesting hiring an admin person. They erroneously think they need someone to merely fill the skills shortage, so they go out and hire a cheap resource to do the job.
Don’t do that, because an admin person isn’t what you need at all.
More Staff Means More Responsibility
When ‘Lilly’ came to me she had a flourishing custom jewelry business and was enjoying the creative outlet her business offered. She loved finding clients and providing them with beautiful jewelry pieces. She did not love filling in tax forms and compliance documents, and all the other tasks that come with running a business.
Consequently, she found herself caught in that loop of growth and stagnation as she flip-flopped between the parts of the business she loved, and catching up on all the back office stuff.
Even worse: she’d hired an admin person to take over the administrative side of things, only to find that she was now having to supervise and deal with issues that cropped up, leaving her no better off than she was before.
This is because an admin person is a member of staff. Their job is simply to perform admin tasks and they will be looking to you for guidance every step of the way.
In this respect, an Operations Manager is much more like a Captain’s Mate on a ship: while you, the Captain, are keeping your eye on the horizon and determining the overall direction, your Operations Manager should have a keen idea of what it takes to get there, who needs to be doing what, and how to motivate them to do it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg authored 3 practical Career Books, and 1 Book helping Visionary leaders scale their businesses. He is one of Australia’s most experienced HR consultants and leading career coaches. He is the founder and owner of Soulidify and Career365. As an entrepreneur/business owner, Greg has experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of starting and growing one’s own business.