You started your business because you saw a gap that needed to be filled, or looked at your competitors and thought “I can do better.”  You are really good at creating whatever it is you are delivering to your clients – software, professional services, etc.  When you start a company you generally become the Chief Everything Officer and do tasks from setting up your website to writing your blogs and balancing your books. It might feel like you need to know everything…but you don’t. 
If you can’t afford to have an internal staff just yet, surround yourself with allies and partners that can help you through. Your accountant, your lawyer, your best friend who has owned a business for 10 years – talk to anyone and everyone, get their experiences and advice. Build your list of allies and rely on them as needed through different phases of your company’s growth.  
There are also a growing number of incredibly experienced executives offering part-time services.  That means you could potentially have a knowledgeable C-level person on your team only when you need them and at a fraction of the cost. Traditionally this part-time world has been reserved for the Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), but increasingly there are executives from marketing, operations, and technology entering part-time/interim consulting and you can utilize these resources to help you.  
The best thing you can do for yourself and for your company is realize you DON’T need to know everything, understand your weaknesses, and surround yourself with people to fill those gaps.  

Debbie Millin is President/CEO of UpperLevel Solutions - a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim COO services, operational assessments and executive project leadership.



10/14/2014 9:40am

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