by Theresa B. – Get free updates of new post here.

Experiencing growth in your agency is exciting when you repeatedly bring in 6-7 figure months and your team has expanded. The problem now is, you don’t have the operational expertise or experience to scale… so you’re sitting at a plateau and unsure how to move to the next level. There’s many ways to break through the ceiling, and one of those ways is to leverage a fractional COO (Chief Operating Officer) in your agency. 

It makes a difference to have someone who is operations-focused and has senior level experience that comes into your agency on a part-time basis to advise on your business model, operations, and growth strategies. 

RELATED POST: What is a Fractional COO and Why You Need One

Let’s talk through what are 5 simple ways to leverage a fractional COO in your agency. These are some of the most common services provided by a fractional COO executive:

1. Operational Assessment and Alignment

Are your operations as efficient as they can be? 

Supply-chain networks, sales funnel management, internal communications, bookkeeping, and more. Have these operations been assessed, audited, and re-aligned to match your team’s growth? 

Under an operational assessment and alignment, a fractional COO will put every operational area in your agency under an “efficiency microscope”. By leveraging a fractional COO’s experience and expertise in a senior-executive level, your agency can benefit with streamlined operations in all areas, resulting in bringing in more revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and up-level team culture and morale. 

A fractional COO’s purpose in this scope is to look at everything that keeps your business running to make sure it is efficient and effective. In these types of services, I usually start with developing a roadmap and work through it with my clients to make sure their agency runs like a lean-machine!

2. Executive Project Leadership

In this capacity, an agency can leverage a fractional COO’s experience by having them come in to execute a specific and time-sensitive project. Some of these projects can be transitioning from legacy software, preparing for a deal or large campaign, building out an automated repeat sales process, or hiring and training team members. 

A fractional COO will come in, part-time, and collaborate with the CEO of the agency to complete the task at hand, without costing the company a fortune or the more in-depth process of hiring a COO full-time.

Throughout my experience, I have been brought on to help with an executive project to lead team members in transitioning to a new system, process, or software, hiring and managing team members, automating a repeat sales launch, and more. 

In each case that I’ve worked, I’ve seen that having a fractional COO gives the CEO of an agency the peace of mind they need without putting too much financial stress on a business. It’s a win-win partnership for the both of us! 

3. Team Integration and Culture Development

Is your team fully integrated and working to their best capabilities? 

Do you have the right team culture to boost team morale, excitement, and keep your client experience streamlined and at an excellent standard? 

Leverage a fractional COO to scale your team and train them is one of the best ways to streamline your hiring process and keep the standard within your agency. To build the right culture, there are a few aspects to focus on:

  • Communication
  • Efficiency
  • Transparency
  • And leadership development

With the right fractional COO who has the executive experience, they will be able to understand and foresee any roadblocks to team integration and where your agency can avoid any miscommunication or “bad-hires”.

“You want to hire slow and fire fast”

4. Systems Optimization

Systems, one of the essential parts of a business, tying in processes and operations. 

With the right systems implemented, an agency can flourish and optimize the team’s time, as well as, the CEO’s time. With the wrong systems, there’s a clear disconnect between team members, order of operations, client expectations, etc. 

A fractional COO has experience with many systems and tools to implement in any type of business and agency, their expertise is seeing and understanding which systems a business can grow into and which ones are causing bottlenecks.

I’ve worked with different CEOs to audit their systems, rebuild them, and optimize them for maximum efficiency. Through my work, CEOs now have optimized platforms that onboard and offboard clients, build client relationships, lead capture, and workflows that are automated to take up less admin time and leaves them focusing on tasks that will grow the company. 

5. Interim Executive Partnership

If a company is looking to hire a full-time COO, an interim COO may be another great option to start. Some benefits of an interim COO include clear cost benefits and infrastructural advantages. 

Besides hiring a full-time COO and immediately integrating them into the team without know how the dynamic will be between the CEO and the team, hiring an interim COO is a great alternative to “test drive” the role. 

In most cases, an interim COO will be there to play the role as the CEO’s right-hand person, bouncing off ideas, seeing the gaps in the vision, and building the roadmap to help them reach their long-term business goals. In this case, many interim COO’s will work with the CEO to build a growth roadmap for the agency that team members can easily follow and implement. 

Your Move

Having access to an executive-level person in your team doesn’t need to be a costly decision. There are alternatives to how you can leverage a fractional COO in your agency, as an integral part of your team and still continue to sustainable grow. 

Options to look into for a fractional COO include:

  1. Operational Assessment and Alignment
  2. Executive Project Leadership
  3. Team integration and culture development 
  4. Systems optimization
  5. Interim COO

Is your agency optimized for growth or have you hit a plateau?
I would love to hear about your experiences and where you want to go next!

If you think it’s the right time to hire a fractional COO but aren’t sure which role is a high-priority, let’s discuss it on a Strategy Call. I’d be happy to help and see how we can build a strategic roadmap for agency growth!