Have you been struggling to keep up with running your firm?  Stuck on the hamster wheel trying to be the leader, operator, business developer and technical guru?  Do you lack the time to focus on creating improvements or growth, but aren’t confident you can carry a full-time COO?  You are not alone!

I hear this all the time from firms of 10 to 100 people.  Most feel they need someone who can focus on and improve their operations but stall when they think about the commitment, cost, and risk if it doesn’t work out.

This is where the concept of a fractional leader can be a solution.  A fractional leader is a part-time or contracted position with an experienced professional.  

Here are a few reasons you might consider a fractional COO:

  1. Experience and Talent: Leveraging a fractional COO can give a firm access to a level of experience and talent they may not be able to attract or compensate.  Good candidates for this role are often looking to make a positive impact in a firm leveraging their experience without a full-time commitment.  They bring skills and knowledge today that can be leveraged to develop others internally.
  2. Manageable Investment:  A fractional COO generally costs less than a full-time hire.  This can make access to the right person possible where a full-time hire may not be.  Keep in mind that on an hourly basis, fractional leadership is often more expensive than the full-time hire.  This is offset by the fact you don’t have to provide benefits or pay bonuses.  
  3. Limited Risk: I see the hesitation to hire an operations manager is often tied to the critical nature of the role and the risk of failure.  Bringing someone in to improve your operations is scary, and making the wrong full-time hire compounds that risk.  A fractional COO is more often a temporary role, the duration of which varies based on the impact made by the fractional leader and the development of internal resources.

If you know you are stuck, doing the same thing tomorrow that you did today is the definition of insanity. Tapping an experienced fractional leader could be the way for you break the cycle.

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