Small companies face a lot of challenges with limited resources. But how can a Chief Operations Officer (COO) overcome these limitations and make an impact on their company's growth?A COO today has to be sharp. A COO has to look at every angle and make the best decisions for each department or team as well as the company as a whole.
Focusing on Budget
COO's should start each fiscal year by setting up a new budget and estimating expenses for the coming year. Set goals and priorities, beginning from the top down. Understand what the CEO wants and explain these end goals to department heads and team members.COO's focus on the costs and potential savings on company projects. If a project can pay for itself in less than three years, it's likely going to be further researched. If a project wouldn't be able to pay for itself for at least four years, a COO would probably dismiss the idea.Some COO's can only focus on one project at a time due to lack of resources and capital. But they end up doomed to fail if they can't figure out the big picture.Capital is a problem for many COO's. The company needs to sell more products and services, capturing more market share, while growing internal teams. But which comes first? This is one reason why many companies take so long to become profitable as they reinvest all they have back into the business.
Focusing on Time
To manage projects with ease, a COO needs to have regular follow-ups on the progress of the project. Weekly meetings can be essential to make sure that everything is on schedule. Otherwise, it's likely nothing would get done. But keep in mind, every one-hour meeting in the conference room is expensive, as all the team members are sitting around a table together. Plan your meetings, so you know what you want for an outcome in order to get maximum value.COO's should be prepared for the meeting. Stick to the agenda. If questions come up outside of the scope of the agenda, there are different ways to handle this:
- Set up a separate meeting to discuss details
- Delegate tasks to another team member
- Insist on regular follow-ups to make sure deadlines are being met
- Manage expectations, so everyone knows what is due and when
One of the biggest fears a COO has is that a project will start and will never reach completion. Not only is this a waste of the allocated budget, but it's a time drain as well.
What Can COO's Do Differently?
It's vital for COO's to always brainstorm and think about how they can do things differently. They need to be creative and think outside the box, sometimes doing things that are not considered to be ideal solutions.By being very detail oriented and very patient, COO's can learn a lot about their own businesses and their industries.Think about how your teams operate and how they interact with each other to get important jobs done. Is there any way to make those interactions easier, possibly even more fun?Giving team members some freedom to make their own decisions can make business processes work better since they're the ones closest to the tasks. If you empower 20 employees to improve business functions, that's 20 brains working on new ideas!And be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your team members so that they can easily share ideas and get feedback regularly instead of waiting for a formal meeting.How does your company get more done despite limited time and budget? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.To learn more about how automating business processes can help you get more done, download your copy of How to Plan a Successful Custom Software Project.