Why Startups Should Hire an Operations Manager Early On

Ethan Lu

February 17, 2023

When starting a new business, it's common for founders to wear many hats, especially in the early stages. One role that is often overlooked, however, is that of an operations manager. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, hiring an operations manager can actually be a critical factor in the success of a startup.

One of the primary reasons to hire an operations manager early on is that it frees up the founder's time. As a startup grows, the founder's attention is often pulled in many different directions, making it difficult to keep up with everything that needs to be done. An operations manager can help take some of the pressure off by handling many of the day-to-day tasks that might otherwise fall to the founder.

Of course, it's important to hire the right person for the job. An operations manager should have a diverse skill set, including experience in areas such as IT, human resources, and finance. They should be able to oversee and improve operational systems, assist with organizational planning and budgeting, and provide support with management and financial reporting. Additionally, they should be able to communicate effectively with all members of the organization, from employees to service providers to vendors.

At PSG, we often get questions from founders about startup operations. One of the most common questions we hear is when to hire an operations manager. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, we generally recommend hiring an operations person once your startup reaches 10 or 12 employees. By this point, it's likely that the workload has become too much for the founder to handle alone, and an operations manager can help keep things on track.

It's also worth noting that delaying the hiring of an operations manager can be a mistake. While it's understandable that founders may be hesitant to hire someone who isn't directly involved in developing their product, the truth is that operations play a critical role in the success of any business. By neglecting this area, startups run the risk of stalling out or failing altogether.

Overall, an operations manager is an essential part of any startup team. They help keep things running smoothly, provide support for the founder, and ensure that the organization is well-managed and efficient. If you're starting a new business, it's worth considering when to bring on an operations manager and what qualities to look for in a candidate. By doing so, you'll set your startup up for long-term success.

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