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What is a Fractional COO?

The Fractional COO role has become very popular.  Many business owners have come to realize the outstanding positive attributes that an accomplished senior leader can bring to their business, and at a significant cost-savings.  This is one of the main advantages of a Fractional COO. 

So, what is a Fractional COO!  This is a person that can provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to allow your business to grow, while not costing you and not committing you to a full-time position.  The position can be whatever the owner needs.  If you want someone on site a few days per month, great, this can happen.  Almost anything can be customized to the owner and his or her needs of the business.

As the owner, the situation is totally within your control and can be adaptable as the process continues and the needs of the business changes.  One of the greatest advantages of the Fractional COO-the person will work ON your business and not IN it.        

This begs the question then, why a Fractional COO and what are the benefits?  The first and most important, you are adding a lot of experience to your team at a fractional (pun intended) cost.  And this experience is from outside of your company so you benefit from a different perspective.  Along with the experience, comes another huge benefit, flexibility.  No full-time person to hire, you utilize your resource as you see fit.   In addition, a Fractional COO gives you flexibility. You don’t have to worry about the complexity of adding a full-time employee that you may not be ready for yet. Because your COO is a contracted resource, you merely bring him or her in as necessary.

What kind of companies can use a Fractional COO.  Basically, any company that is not big enough to already have a FT person in that role.  Such as:

  • Companies that are experiencing growth and may need to put in place some new ideas and processes or perhaps just to refine the already solid ones in place. 

  • Startups are prime candidates to create strategies from the start and to build out the required operations to deliver on the business plan. 

  • Failing, stagnant, or perhaps companies not living up to their expectations.  A fresh look can be a huge boost to these types of businesses. 


How to move forward?  We use a fairly easy to understand process using a easy to follow 3-step model.

First:  Assessing your current state of affairs.  The items we would discuss are where your company is currently, where would you like it to be, and finally how you perceive you and us working together.  Companies come in all shapes and sizes, some may need a Fractional COO one day a week, some 2-3 per week, while some may want a Fractional only 1-2 days per month. 

Second, after we have agreed on your need for a Fractional COO, we will need to have several more detailed discussions to allow for a thorough analysis of the needs for the organization.  This would include talks and discussions with the leaders, your day-to-day managers, and your employees who do the work.

Finally, we will need to pin down where you wish to invest the time, effort, and resources to get the outcomes for your company. 

What are typical types of engagements?  You name it, we can probably do it!  We can do a simple straight-forward agreement where we provide a certain number of hours per week, per month, quarter, year, etc.  We can have a start and stop date range.  Such as you need someone from January 15th through March 31st.  Or a specific project need, then you would engage us to complete the project.  Other ideas, bring them!       

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