When Should I Hire A COO?


A Chief Operations Officer, or COO, can be a vital part of any business. This executive oversees the daily operations of the organization and is the second-in-command to the CEO.

While the exact role of a COO can vary from company to company, one thing is clear: hiring a COO can greatly improve how your business operates.

What exactly does a COO do, and when is the best time to hire one?


The Chief Operations Officer (COO) holds a pivotal role in a business. They bring efficiency and effectiveness to a company by organizing and refining the processes in place.

The COO typically works alongside the owner of the company and the CFO. The COO ensures the business is creating operating profits and free cash flow by executing the operations of the business consistent with the strategic plan.

The COO understands the company's vision and how to best execute it.


In addition to freeing up the business owner to focus "on" the business, a COO can also greatly improve communications within the company.

While many growing teams experience issues with communication, a COO can help make sure everyone is on the same page. They will also improve the way overall operations are manager, by increasing efficiency, and figure out how to grow operationally.

One of the most crucial roles played by a COO is the oversight of the critical projects. A COO also serves as a clear successor to the business owner and can help ease the transition from one person to the next.


There is no perfect time to hire a COO, but asking mentors, advisory boards, and business coaches for advice and guidance can be a huge help.

Also, asking yourself the following questions may reveal if bringing on a COO is necessary:

  • What does the business need?
  • Who is available in the talent pool?

Hiring a COO is not one-size-fits-all. Some companies might need a general manager, director of operations or office manager instead. Deciding which best fits your business depends on the size of the company. Each position has varying responsibilities:

  • A general manager is responsible for overseeing the company's daily operations and finances. They supervise employees, handle scheduling, and enforce company policies
  • A director of operations supervises general managers, make long term decisions for the company, and ensures it remains profitable
  • An office manager oversees administrative support staff, manages the bookkeeping activities, maintains positive work environment, and keeps the office running efficiently and productively

Once you determine what you need, you can pull in an experienced operations person to start filling the role. It's best to make sure you have the systems and processes in place before someone to steps into the position.

Whatever stage your business is in, a COO can play an integral role in meeting your goals and scaling your business.

Gerber, LLC (“Gerber”) is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Gerber and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure.