You’ve heard a lot from me about the importance of having a Director of Operations in your business, especially if you have a team and you’re wanting to grow. But what do other CEOs and certified DOOs think about it?
I decided that the best thing to do was to go to the experts: a certified DOO who has been through my program and a CEO she works with. These are their words. And I think you’ll see how truly valuable it is to have a right-hand person in your business as a CEO so you can go on doing your visionary thing. And for those VAs, project managers and online business managers who feel like they can make a bigger impact for their clients? You can. Read on!
Dana Malstaff, Boss Mom
Have you always had a high-level admin role in your business?
No; it wasn’t until I was planning first Boss Mom retreat that I decided I needed to bring in a project manager, some sort of person who could manage other people and take that off my plate. That was you. After my experience seeing someone manage a project so I didn’t have to do it and have someone essentially manage me, I decided I needed it for my whole business. I’ve never looked back.
My director of operations is one of the most important roles in my business. I’d had administrative roles in my business, but never high level admin roles. I trust my director of operations to make decisions in my business, which takes a massive worry off my shoulders. My ultimate goal is to get to the point that if I’m gone for a month, I know my business would get better because I have the right person managing it for me.
Why do you need a DOO in your business?
As the CEO and visionary, I need someone to tell me what to do. I’m constantly thinking of the future of the business and where we’re going; I’m already years ahead in terms of the strategy of who I’m networking with, what we’re creating, how we’re creating it and how things will lead to the success we want in the future. I need the DOO to help make sure all the things we plan today get executed so my vision of tomorrow can actually come to life.
Why is it important for you to have a certified DOO in your business? What would your business look like without one?
My biz would be a mess. We’d try to do too many things. We’d all give deadlines that we can’t commit to. Things would fall through the cracks. My customer service would be for crap. It’s important to have a certified DOO in your business because you can trust they understand how to run projects and people and it frees up my own mental space. In turn, my business is run better than it would be otherwise.
How do you feel in your business since hiring a DOO?
Amazing. I doubled my DOO’s time this year which was a big investment for me but also one of the best decisions I’ve made.
What are some of the key roles your DOO serves?
My DOO runs all projects, coordinates content, does the HR functions and conversations, helps with logistics for events, helps make decisions for podcast strategy, manages outside agencies we have and more. In a huge way, she helps to manage me. We have three meetings per week: one for projects, one budgeting, one content. She makes sure I’m staying on pace and I’m doing my job in the best way possible, helping to get everyone the tools they need in order to do their jobs.
Amy Lockrin, certified Director of Operations
Tell me about where your business was before signing up for the DOO program. What were your rates like? How many clients did you have? How were you marketing your business?
My biz is operating the same as it was before with the exception that I’m transitioning into a full agency. I have 1:1 clients, but all future clients will move to agency style and high-level mapping, which I’m certified under thanks to the DOO program. I’ll be training project managers and many DOOs to be under my expertise for what I offer.
What made you decide to sign up for the DOO program?
I believe you are at the forefront of this side of the industry. We’ve finally hit a point in the online space where people on the creative visionary side have realized they need to have someone on the “right side” to help them build and scale. The frustration they have is that they know they can’t move forward with 10 low-paid specialists and have everything work together.
To be able to work with someone like you who is steps ahead of me in the business and be able to talk about the way things should be done has been so helpful. You deliver in everything you do and you truly care about each and every person you work with.
What were some of your biggest takeaways?
The strategic planning section, hiring section and the mentorship that came along with it. Strategic planning and hiring are huge gaps in the online space. People think you can-one-and-done hire and it will all work out, but then they’re frustrated that the people they hire don’t have the right work ethic. That’s not how hiring works. To go through that section of the certification program with you and know there’s some validity in why you need to spend some time internally in order for a good hiring process was so beneficial.
Strategic planning is something that moves and rolls with you. I was so excited about this part of the training because I think strategic planning can really change the way work is done for all of us in the business. Having a DOO helps the business owner to have accountability to stick to their strategic plan rather than get off track.
What does your business look like and feel like now? How has it grown?
You were able to connect me to the last two people I took on as 1:1 clients. I really came into alignment with who I should and shouldn’t work with. I made the difficult decision to stop working with someone I loved but knew our working styles weren’t compatible with where I wanted to take my business. It was the first time I made a decision like that in my business. Financially, it would have been great to stay working together, but after really looking at the scope of where my business could go if I stayed true to myself helped me make the decision.
How are you better able to help your clients after the DOO program?
I’m able to help clients more now because I have a renewed sense of confidence that I’m where I should be. I’m also at a higher level than the way I’ve marketed to myself in the past. It can be very isolating to be in the DOO role in a business when you’re surrounded by creatives who think differently from you. But through this program, I was surrounded by like-minded people who understand.
I’m able to work in a business and with a team to help make shifts in ways that other people can’t see in a business. This program made me recognize that my voice is so important to move a team forward and I need to not hold back in that no matter what the cost in an uncomfortable situation.
How are you more fulfilled now?
I’m so excited about where my biz is going and the team members I’ve brought on. I know 2019 is going to be a year to grow. I’m in love with the 1:1 clients I’ve kept on and know we’re meant to work in this capacity. As a DOO, I’m now able to market my offer and can serve people better in that way.
I cannot recommend this program enough for any high-level virtual assistant, online business manager or project manager.
Thank you Dana and Amy for sharing your experiences of working together as CEO and DOO. To learn more about my Director of Operations Certification, click here.
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