Why Hiring a Part-time Operations Director Makes Sense

Scaling up any startup or SME means that you already have a proven revenue model and have established product-market fit. People now are willing to pay for your products and services. Many businesses fail before even reaching this point. 

However, you’ll find out rather very quickly, that the problems you have encountered in the past are a far cry from the ones you will be facing when you are scaling up your startup or SME. Most of these problems lie in how you structure your operational processes and how your different departments or teams work together.

If left unchecked, these challenges will hinder you from achieving your company goals and in the worst cases, will actually stall your company’s growth for years.

Now, hiring an experienced Operations Director is definitely an efficient way to prevent the worst cases from happening.

Ideally, you will need to find someone who has enough experience and knowledge, someone who can help you avoid common mistakes, someone who has developed the skills necessary to identify areas of improvement and suggest sound, reasonable strategies.

Unfortunately, in most cases, hiring an experienced, full-time Operations Director requires a lot of resources. Resources that for a startup or SME trying to scale aren’t necessarily flowing abundantly.

So how can you get somebody who has years of knowledge and experience while not spending too much of your resources? 

The answer is really quite simple, hire a Part-time Operations Director.

Think about it, getting a part-time Operations Director can skip a lot of the growing pains for a scale-up and establish foundational processes in a lot of different areas while keeping your budget in check.

They can work from a few days per quarter to once a week, depending on your needs and budget, adding more flexibility.

Moreover, more than the knowledge and experience in the field, they can connect you to their network and help your company scale faster, it can be through the right strategies when raising funds, or connecting you to your next big client.

They are also an additional source of leadership for your team, and more importantly, provide the necessary feedback and guidance to you and your executive board.

However, finding the right person that fits your company is definitely a task on its own. You have to assess the needs of your actual operations and make the decision on who to hire. Ideally, you’re looking for somebody who can:

❖  make sure that all departmental targets are met

❖  review your current processes and suggest changes for the ones that aren’t working

❖  ensuring your financial targets are met

❖  work with the executive board to ensure team productivity and outputs are optimised

❖  keeping the employees motivated and suggest or develop appropriate training materials

❖  analyse your customer feedback data and report any issues

Granted that hiring a part-time Operations Director may be an unorthodox strategy, but getting the right kind of help that produces astounding results while not putting too much strain on your resources definitely sounds perfect for a startup or SME trying to scale.

Written by: John Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK. He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran six of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.