Did you know that there are multiple ways you could structure Director of Operations (DOO) business?
Today we are going to be talking about the different ways you can do business as a Director of Operations. When I started this certification four years ago, I created all the content based off the way I was doing business then, which was the 1:1 retainer model. I thought this was the way that everyone would want to build their DOO business. As I have had more and more people coming through, they continuously show me new and creative ways to do business as a DOO while leveraging the content I created for them.
“I thought the retainer model was going to be the model for everybody, but they can take these techniques and training and turn it into something that fits them.”
I want to walk you through the four primary ways that DOOs set up their businesses once they finish the certification process.
If you are curious about what the DOO Certification Program entails, check it out!. We will be beginning another cohort at the beginning of 2021, and if you are ready to apply, complete the application so we can hold your spot!
Four Popular Models
Today I’m going to talk about the four primary ways that DOOs are setting up their business, but there are actually 22 different ways that people are using this content in their business to fit their lives. You won’t be short on options!
As we’ve gotten to know people coming through the program, we have developed a quiz to help us understand how important different criteria is to you as a business owner. We look at things like:
- How important is income?
- How risk averse are you?
- How important is marketing?
- Do you like leading teams?
- How long do you like to be in relationships with people?
- How available are you to work?
We ask you to rate how important these are to you, and based on the outcome, we help you identify which path is right for you specific to your circumstance. We also use Kolbe A test to make this determination.
The four different models we are focusing on today are the retainer model, the project based model, the agency model, and a product model.
If you are looking for consistent income, and are not looking at incurring a lot of risk, or if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on the marketing side of things, the retainer model works well. 70% of people who come through the program start out here, and it allows them to get practical experience so they can determine later if they want to do something else.
In this model you serve in 2-3 businesses in a fractional, part time or full time capacity. If it fits for you to go full time with someone you will have the least amount of risk and the greatest amount of income with the least amount of complexity. Going full time in the right size business can be a big blessing.
A retainer model brings you consistent revenue, and you will be making anywhere from $2500-$8000/month as a retainer as you oversee the operations, lead the project management, lead the operational strategy, and oversee team members. This is the beginning of an executive strategic partnership in a business.
“If you love being the right hand of a business, this retainer option is a beautiful, comforting, safe option for you.”
Project Based Model
This means that you love project management, and you don’t mind marketing because if you have project based relationships, you will need to be marketing more regularly. You need to make sure you love leading teams, and that you love creating systems and processes, which will be required of you. The great thing about this model is that it can fit into your lifestyle and meet you where you are. If you have project management experience, and if you have project management acumen, you will have authority in the project management space.
If you are someone who likes variety, and don’t like sticking around in a business for a really long time, then this is a good model. One thing I will caution you on is that you will be spending more time, money, and energy in marketing more so than the retainer model
Lots of people come to me from the VA/OBM space who are curious how to work with more clients without working more hours. One way to serve this need is to create an agency. There are so many different ways to build an agency but one of the ways is for the DOO to serve as just that – the DOO in the agency (which is likened to an account executive). They use the people on the team to be the implementers in the business. There are many ways to set this up, but here are the business implications of having an agency:
- You should feel really comfortable with marketing
- You should enjoy leading teams and managing/providing feedback on a consistent basis
- Passion for growth and people growth
Your goal is to multiply the number of relationships that you are managing. Your availability to work will need to be quite high. This model can be extremely lucrative, but you will need to be the consummate leader and strategist for these businesses because you will have to manage up and down at the same time.
Often after a DOO has been serving in this capacity for a couple of years, they come back to me with creative ideas. The marketing is a hard job, and they feel done with marketing. They often come back wanting a retainer or full time position in a business. But there is another option…
One of our first certified DOOs Theresa Beretta had served as a DOO for several years and was able to reflect and see where her real zone was. She came up with two: the ability to create processes and systems in a business, and the customer and client experience. She decided to use her expertise to create a product; a membership for SOPs, The SOP Success Lab. This is a great example of how she started as a retainer DOO, scaled up, and niched down to having her own zone of genius in the product space.
It takes some time to get to this point, and you should serve in the retainer or project space before you can figure out what your zone is.
You will need to have a good understanding of marketing to get lots of eyes on your product and gain visibility. You may also need some additional income to be able to pour back into your business so you can build your audience.
I hope this episode has helped you start to think about all of the opportunities available for DOOs!
Weekly Ops Activity
Come into our private FB group, and tell me: In 1 year, what kind of business do you want? A retainer business, a project business, an agency, or a product based business?
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