When do you add an operations lead

This is a question that not enough founders ask. The simple answer is right now.

Let me explain.

Most companies are built on tomorrow’s hope and are generally operated that way. The thing that triggers a focus on today could be the first bunch of customers, a potential expansion to a new city or a round of funding.

At that point there is a scramble to get finances up to a level that are readable, sales and marketing aligned and product in check to the next phase (while also backfilling to make sure it can scale).

My first 100 days in a company are usually clean up. Forget about setting direction and a roadmap, most of the time is making sure we can report on the things that are moving the company and the things that are putting it in jeopardy.

What I’m not saying here is that this role needs to be a C-level hire, that’s not necessary at this stage. What is required very early on is someone that can cut through the learning curve most founders go through. Speed is what you are bringing on.

I see it every single time. Founders need to focus on scaling the business without a shred of focus on the operations of it. So they let that slide, manage by the balance in the bank account and delay the decisions that move the business further and faster.

Now. The answer is now.