Episode 116

6 Key Indicators You're Ready For Next Level Support

May 24th, 2023


Today I’m continuing the Virtual COO journey to share with you what 6 key indicators your business is showing that mean you’re ready for that next level support.
We dive into:
  • Recap of what a VCOO does
  • Knowing you don’t want to be doing all the “things”
  • Setting up the foundations for growth
  • Engaging a team or specialists for efficient changes
  • Creating a seamless experience

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 at The Artisans Business Solutions, and welcome to Take Control with Nicole. Today, we are going to continue on with that investigation conversation around virtual COO, and what actually is it about, but more importantly, identifying those six key business indicators that really dance out at you and say, hey, I’m ready for someone to come in and support me holistically on the operations of my business. So just to recap, what actually is a V virtual CFO or a COO? Now, in the previous conversation last week, if you scroll on back to last week’s episode, and press play, we really had a conversation around where the virtual COO sits within your business and support round that in a nutshell, we’re here to come and support you by providing holistic operational support to sitting alongside you in this top layer of your business. Looking at the siloed areas of systems.

Again, if you’re not sure about what we’re talking about with business systems pop on back, we’ve got some beautiful episodes around creating clever systems design as well. And being able to support you make data-driven decisions and efficiencies in your business that will enhance the experience for you, and your team will really introduce efficiencies, more accuracy, and overall profitability for your business or your organization that you’re working for. How fabulous, right?

So, as we’re going through, how do we actually know it’s time, because when we are going through growth phases of our business, we do identify areas that are feeling a little bit stickier, and we’re not quite sure what’s next, or things that just you know, should be feeling a little bit easier. So, our six indicators that we’ve really identified working alongside our clients is, number one, you have clients, knocking at your door to work with you.

But you’re at capacity. Now just a preface or a side conversation to this. Every business is designed and grows and scales, our maybe stays exactly where it is uniquely aligned with your business focuses or your goals for your business, you’ll bigs as we call them here. Not every business wants to grow to a 10, 20,50 plus, not every business wants to stay a solopreneur. So firstly, really being clear. When you get to this stage and you have clients knocking at your door, and you have a waiting list and you have no capacity right now, that question is, am I happy with where I am right now? Or, am I ready to elevate my experience and elevate and evolve my business to support me to welcome in all of these fabulous new clients.

The second indicator is that you’re sitting there knowing that you don’t want to be doing all the things. As an entrepreneur or any leader in businesses, you’ve tended to find you’re wearing all the multiple hats, especially in a phase of growth, where we’ve not yet had the resources or financial resources to engage another resource to support you. But you’re now at a point where you know that when you actually invest in a human in evolution of tech and evolution of systems, as we support people, you’re ready to set up the foundations so that as your business scales as your business continues to elevate and grow, that you know, you’ve got the foundations, they’re ready to support you at each stage. So, when you know that you’re there, that’s another indicator. Okay, who’s in my space right now? What skill sets are aligning with the actions that I need to take?

Number three, you’re growing a team? Yes. Fabulous. Love it. We’re growing our team over here at The Artisans as well and it is a joyous occasion when I have felt so surrounded and supported with the way that we are supporting our clients, we are really aligned and in tune with how we’re operating. And all of that comes down to the consistency in the way we work.

Now, as we have been bringing on these new humans, we’ve realized even ourselves over here, oh, that process isn’t working anymore. It’s not just Nicole and her brain, connecting all the dots just working through the things. Now it comes to a point where, as a human, I do one part. And now we’re looking to delegate that to the next person’s responsibility.

The most important thing is that connection of data to be able to translate and transfer that IP, that information you’ve collected for working with those clients for the longest time, or the shortest time, depending on what your agreements are, and how you support your people. But being when you’re growing a team, that transfer of information, that consistency and how we’re communicating the consistency around expectations, what systems are we using internally? How do we share that data and then information of when things are due and what those expectations are from a business owner from a client deliverable?

All of those things, and it comes down to really knowing that it’s time to invest in getting someone to support you with these foundational elements. Because in the long run, when you actually make those investments, so you do lean into those enhancements in the ways of working. The results are fabulous.

I know from my team, they love it when we introduce something new, could be that we’re surrounded by a whole heap of fabulous operational people in my business who love consistency and structure. But I can tell you from working with many organizations and many humans across all different industries, we all love consistency, and that little bit of non-brain work. If I know I’m going to open up ClickUp, and that task is handed over, in the same way each and every time. The data is all there, we know where to go where our document libraries are stored, we know how to access our client information, we know where to actually go to find out about our clients.

It’s such a beautiful experience from a business owner delegation or a leader delegating to your team or manager delegating to your team, whatever terminology you resonate with. And then from a human team member point of view, to be able to be the recipient of that beautiful package of information, ready to action that task and be really clear and know exactly what is expected of them. Ah, it’s just music to my ears. It’s beautiful.

Hello, there, I’m just interrupting this episode, as I would love to invite you to come on in and join us inside The Members Lounge. My community have shared with me that they joined initially, because they really wanted to discover the power of ClickUp. They wanted to be able to design, build and connect their ClickUps within their own individual businesses. However, once they were inside, they really discovered how the power of looking at the foundations of your operational areas of your business. And designing those really to set you up for success is such a powerful element. And guess what else, we have a fabulous community inside, so once you’re in you’re never going to want to leave. So come on over have a look. Go to my website, the artisans.com.au and pop up to The Members Lounge button at the top and we look forward to supporting you as you discover how fabulous it is when you’re confidently striding down easy street. See you inside The Lounge.

Okay, number four is that you know, by providing your team with the right structure actually will create you space to continue to play in your zone and be able to grow your business. As a leader of a business of a team of a department. Your role is really to lead the change, lead the growth, lead the ways of working and that next step, moving towards the next thing on the line. When you are in the doing of the doing all the time. We don’t always have that extra space to be able to think of that new thing. Develop that new way of communicating with our clients or is it just about combining all of the the needs and the wants from our CEOs and being able to really feed them through in a sustainable way so that our people are not ending up in, say burnout or and yourself as well, being able to really structure it in a beautiful, consistent way.

So, when you know that that is a focus for you, come on over, come and say hi, because that’s how we support our people. Now, the other thing to know the number five, hang on, there we go. Number five. Knowing that your team currently as it stands today does not have the skill set to really make those shifts and changes. So, it’s not always necessary to outsource a shift in your business or a way of working. Say you’re a marketing agency, and you’re looking to enhance your own marketing. Now, as we know, the builder has the house that’s not always finished. It’s very similar with all of our businesses where we are really investing in our client operations, our client deliverables, sometimes those internal operational things in in-house may have been pushed to the side for a little bit. So, where you do have the skill set internally, absolutely utilize that. Allow and schedule some time for those developments of those ways of working. And really bring those enhancements and let your people shine. It’s such a wonderful experience when you’re humans, just jump on in and make those suggestions and really design those ways of working that align with you and your business. But also, just as a whole will be a really beautiful experience.

However, you may not have the humans in your business. And that’s where outsourcing or engaging a team like ours, or somebody else who’s a specialist in those zones can really help to make change happen quicker and more efficiently. Of course, you can learn the things, you are a fabulous human who has grown and continuing to grow a fabulous business or lead an amazing team. However, when you know that you can experience faster, change, faster, more efficient ways of working, more enjoyable ways of working by working alongside somebody who is skilled and loves that space, when you know that’s the right time for you. There we go. That’s number five.

Now number six, this is one that can happen at any stage of business. So, you’re experiencing delays, you’re experiencing hurdles, you’re especially when it comes to rolling out new ways of working. This is something that we support, especially our bigger clientele, our more larger team-based clients around. So really helped to alleviate some of the pressure from the internal operations human and be able to provide that support and facilitation to transition that change process from a bit sticky and a bit yuck and a bit ick into a really seamless experience where they feel supported, we provide that external view of we’re not so entrenched in the day to day. So, being able to step out and look in and provide that, we thought of, let’s look at this way, what do we do here? Those little prompter questions. I know that I’ve had, and I do still have fabulous humans in my world that really allow me to think broader when we had those little prompters. So, if you’re currently stuck in a cycle of, you know, you know, this is what you want to do. You’ve got those clients ready to work with you, you’re ready to grow your business, you want to welcome on more team members, so you can support the clients. You know, for yourself that it’s ready and time to step away and put down those tools on that area so that you can come over here, and really, you know, elevate and grow and really transform the business into the business that you had always dreamed of. That is what a virtual COO can do for you. And when you’re really ticking those things off. That’s the time to come and chat with us as well.

Well, there we go. That is a little bit of a summary on some six indicators that we’ve identified. Now we support organizations from a solopreneur all the way out to corporate level. My career has been through financial sectors in globally and multinational corporations, all the way through to owning my own business now and everything in between. So, being able to have that holistic and that wide viewpoint on seeing how the big guys play, and knowing how bringing these little operational elements into your organization at whatever size. The relief, the efficiencies, let’s talk about from practical point of view, the efficiencies, the accuracy, the profitability.

That is what we’re looking at when we’re going to invest in an outsourcing or a solution or support. We’re looking at what is that ROI, the return on investment. And that’s what you get when you work with someone, a virtual COO that has that mind that is broader than just the siloed approach. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you had the most fabulous rest of your week creating clever systems for your business by 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 theartisansolutions. 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.