Episode 115

What is a Virtual COO and What Can They Do For Me?

May 17th, 2023


Today I’m chatting about the Virtual COO, what it is, and how they can support you in your business.
We dive into:
  • What a Virtual COO is and how I landed on this title
  • Supporting you to manage change
  • Creating fabulous new processes

Connect with Nicole on Instagram @theartisansolutions 
Nicole’s website: https://theartisans.com.au/
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Welcome to take control with Nicole. As business owners, we experience firsthand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce, overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you’re looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you’re in the right place. All right, let’s go.

Hello, I’m Nicole Smith, COO, Operations Specialist and Systems Designer from The Artisans Business Solutions, and welcome to Take Control with Nicole. This week, we are going to be having a conversation around the virtual COO, what it is, and how can they actually support you in your business to really lean in, make educated data driven decisions and look at ways of working that you may not have yet discovered is possible for you and where you are at your stage of business.

Now, virtual COO, this title, how did it land? Where did it come from? So a number of months ago, I was reviewing the actions and the types of support that I was providing to my clients. I was also reflecting back on my experience across my career, what areas that I really specialized in, what did I have information on, where? And how did I actually support those fabulous business owners and leaders in those teams to really lean forward and elevate the way of their operations to continue to be a beautiful, efficient and profitable business?

So this is where this virtual COO landed, because I realized that Systems Designer, yes, that is 100% accurate in what I do. Operations Specialist. Yes, 100% absolutely correct what I do, but what it was that I wanted to provide a point of difference is that what we do here at The Artisans, and what my speciality lies, is really looking above and looking at the business from holistic view, and providing strategic support that really is focused in for you as a business owner, to discover and experience how, when we invest time in, in developing and evolving, discovering how our ways of working for our business can truly align with the design of what you are creating right now. How the activities in your business start to feel easy and enjoyable, your team are more connected. The product of your work. So, the outcomes are experienced quicker, more enjoyable, accurate, as well, more efficiency and accuracy. And that’s what I do. That is what I do in a nutshell.

So, that’s where I finally stepped on up and said, hey, Virtual COO, is what I am here or a COO. So, there we go, the virtual just means I’m not permanently in your business. So, I come in for either a period of time where you’re transitioning into the next phase of growth, if you’re just at the start, and you’re looking to really set those foundations up for your business so that you can really continue to drive and dance on up and in a beautiful and enjoyable way. That’s where we come into play.

So, another really easy way to connect with it is that we support you to transform those beautiful creative ideas that you have as an entrepreneur into actionable steps. We provide clarity, direction and focus and so that when we’re actually at that point of implementation, it’s again really easy, because we’ve got that structure underpinning the entire way of working so that as you implement it through to your business, you can easily connect in your team, have those documentations as SOPs on file ready to continue to scale and grow your business, but also really keeping in mind that as a business owner, we don’t want to be doing working all the time.

Understandably, when we first start. We’re doing all the things, we’re excited were designing, we’re developing, we’re trialing and we’re testing. And then as you get to that next phase, where you’re bringing in team members to really align with how you work, support your clients. We want to be able to really bring back in that sustainable way of working as sustainable work practices, which means that you as a business owner, your team as a fabulous humans are not busy, busy, busy all the time, that their work and the operations, the supporting the clients, those activities in and out of your business. So, growing your business while also supporting your clients to do the fabulous actions you support them to do, you actually have some time to be you to spend with your family and friends, to go on leave confidently knowing that the business will be doing its thing back wherever you’re living right now, how fabulous?

Hey, they’re just interrupting this episode to share with you a guide that you are going to want to explore. Are you a ClickUp user at the moment? Or have you been sitting on the fence and hearing me talk about it each and every week? And just wondering, what is the next step to tech? Well, I’ve created a guide that’s going to support you on your journey to really design your ClickUp spaces, be able to create those and then connect them into the way that your business operates each and every day. My community have told me that this guide has been a game changer in the way that they really look at their ClickUp workspaces, and operate each and every day. And you can access it as well. So pop on over to my website, the artisans.com.au backslash freebies, and access The Action Takers Guide to ClickUp. How fabulous that you know, you’re ready to evolve your ClickUp journey, you’re ready to move from where you are right now, to where you have always known you want to be. Reach out, let me know. I love to hear all about your journey in ClickUp. So, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

So, that’s what a virtual COO can do for you, come in and into the inner sanctum of your business and alongside you really to support you to discover and explore what you may not have seen is possible right now, and make it a thing so much easier and quicker than you ever imagined it to be. So, what can they do for you right now, if you’re in a phase that you’ve got a team say, 3, 5, 10 – really doesn’t matter? Every stage, you’re going to feel these similar things. The processes that have been working beautifully when it was one or two of you are starting to feel clunky, are starting to feel a little bit icky, we’re not enjoying the tech anymore, but we’re just not sure what it is exactly, that is causing this friction and those blockages. I come in and we support you through that operational change, change management. And that process in itself can be a beautiful, successful experience. Or it could be one that you wish you’d never started.

So, coming along that journey, we support you to identify those areas that we can really lean in and make more efficient, we can do and support those tech changes. But ultimately, again, keeping in mind, we’re looking at things from a holistic view. So, you may have a specialist come in, that is all about marketing. And they come in with a sales and marketing view. Whereas you might then have a finance human and your business like we do, finance human that comes in with that lens of finance.

How we come into your business and a virtual CFO comes into your business. It’s from a holistic operations view. So, we’re sitting along top, alongside you, looking at all the avenues of your business, all of those deliverables, all those actions, all those ways of working. Who’s in your business, what tech are you using? Why have you selected to use that tech? What’s not working, what is working? All the things, and we’re really there to help identify and create the space for you. So that you can continue to be that creative entrepreneur that you are, develop new initiatives and really make the decisions that are going to be really aligned with the way forward for you and your business. The other thing that we love enjoying, which I have mentioned before is supporting your team on the journey as well. So, we get pretty excited, and I get very excited over here, when we’re really designing new ways of working, and how, from a moment we have a conversation, the mind starts to float around and connecting all the dots in and all of a sudden, it’s your new process, your new workflow is there.

Now for some people change can feel a little bit sticky, a little bit, but I’ve always done it that way. Or, it’s much easier if I do it and then sit down and train my team to do it. Or, why do I need automations when it only takes me a few minutes to do it? All of these questions are 100% valid, and all of these things are really about are you connecting him with you what’s right for you in the moment. We will never there will never be any ‘musts’ or force or ‘do’s’ or ‘needs’. None of that comes from our side. It’s really about exploring for you, and supporting your team on that transitional journey as well, to be able to support them to connect him with the tech they’re using. Understanding the SOPs that have been designed and created. So, they know where to go when they have those questions. And also to be that external person that can be that sounding board. Oh, this isn’t working? Oh, how about this? Have we thought about this? And then all of a sudden, your team are part of this change process. And they’re going to connect in beautifully with these new ways of working.

Now, this, as I’ve mentioned, can be at any stage of business, primarily, the virtual COO offering in the way that we support our clients is a really high touch point experience for our larger clients, with bigger teams that are really growing into the way that they’re shaping. However, in all of the ways that we support our clients from joining in on The Members Lounge all the way up to All That Jazz, and Virtual COO, you experience what it is like to work alongside a COO or a virtual COO, in a strategic holistic way, to be able to really pinpoint that thread of conversation and follow it on through to where you’re actually looking, what those little niggles are, and being able to really have that solution focused mind sitting right next year.

So there we are, that’s in a bit of a nutshell, what a COO or a virtual COO can do and how they can support your business. If you, or when you are ready to explore how this can be for your business, and how it can support you to elevate your ways of working, come on and jump on by. Book a time in with me, and let’s discuss where you are in the support areas of The Artisans, and how we can support you to really discover and design your clever systems to continue your elevation upwards. Wonderful.

Well, thank you very much for joining me today. I hope you have the most fabulous rest of your week creating clever systems for your business. Bye now. Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over say hi, I’m on all the platforms at The Artisans Solutions. So, I’d really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today’s episode, don’t forget to tag me and I’d love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time see you then


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.