We live in the age of outsourcing, where in pursuit of profitability, many companies have outsourced their business functions to individuals across the globe. Call and support centers of major companies have almost completely relocated to South Asia and are providing comparable standards of service for a fraction of the price. Supply Chain Management is another function being increasingly outsourced. Furthermore, in recent years, there has been a tilt towards outsourcing C-level leadership, even the CEOs.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the reasons why an outsourced Chief Operating Officer (COO), is seen as increasingly advantageous and profitable by businesses.
The number one reason why most budding businesses look towards an outsourced COO is that they need experienced campaigners on their side. You have set up a business, and you know your product better than anyone else. That doesn’t mean that you know everything there is to know about a running a business. This is where an outsourced COO comes in. Having worked in a breadth of industries, they bring with themselves an unmatchable pairing of leadership and experience that can help transform your business from a basic setup to a well-oiled operation.
They don't have eyes on your job
In a cut throat corporate business environment, there is always friction between the CEO and COO. Both leaders having knowledge of their organization on a comparable level and an almost identical influence. So, there is viable reason that most CEOs feel threatened by a well-performing COO, thinking that they are making moves for their position. This can often precipitate in the CEO and COO undermining each other’s decisions. And such kind of distrust among C-level leadership is very harmful for an organization of any stature. This is one of the main reasons why the job of COO has fell out of favor in many large businesses.
But having a leader with direct oversight on the operations aspect of thing, is still a very valuable asset. For this reason, most companies now look towards outsourcing the post of COO to outsiders who aren’t there to potentially undermine the CEO in an effort to gun for the top job. This way these two important offices can work in harmony and greatly help the business they are running.
An outsourced COO is just that, an outsider taking the position of the COO. And being away from the communications loop of your business’s environment, they bring a diversity of vision to your company. Having being working across a set of different companies, they have developed excellent flexibility and problem-solving skills. Skills that are instrumental in bringing a fresh and more dynamic approach to your business and helping it grow even faster. Essentially, what you are doing is hiring a consultancy firm in a person.
Free up your focus
Working as the CEO of a business, without a COO for support can be very hectic. You have to focus on a plethora of things on a day-to-day basis. Having an outsourced COO in your company, on the other hand, will free up a lot of your schedule and make you see your business in the grander scheme of things. Meanwhile the operations aspect of things is essentially managed by the COO – form product manufacture to customer retention, while also providing invaluable help in developing organizational workflow.
Your budget doesn't take a hit
With an outsourced COO, you get dedicated senior leadership for a half or 2/3 the cost of hiring a full time one, while having an almost negligible tradeoff in results. This is highly practicable, if you don’t see your organization needing a full-time COO and yet traditional business advisors and coaches won’t provide as much leadership support as you require.
You need a COO on an urgent basis
You don’t have a COO, yet you urgently need one. Maybe a major change is happening in your marketplace, you are launching a new line of products or you are expanding your business to newer territories. The traditional option is utterly useless to you, as it would be months before even the candidate pool is the required size for you to begin the hiring process. And you don’t have months. This is an ideal scenario for getting an outsourced COO, as the process is very quick and the new executive will be onboard and ready to oversee the drastic changes your company is experiencing to provide much needed operational leadership in the hour of need.
Convenient pathway to a full-time COO
Its time and you are ready to hire a COO to your team. You are ready to give them equity, authority, support, and compensation. However, you are skeptical. You have worked on your business for years. How can you sell equity in it to a person you barely know? Will your business ideas be safe with this person? Will they undermine my authority? Will they repeat a sour experience you have had with a C-level executive in the past?
This is a perfect case for getting an outsourced COO. You will be able to see their experience and capability first-hand – something an interview or a resume can never demonstrate. You get to know the outsourced COO as a person while not making any long-term commitments. When you think you are ready, you can hire them for the long run, reasonably confident in the person and your assessment of them.