MARK LODGE: Are you a chief operations officer? Part 3

MARK LODGE: Are you a chief operations officer? Part 3

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Mark Lodge

Welcome to our third instalment in the series. In the first instalment we ascertained that the COO or general manager or business owner would be classed as the COO. In our second instalment we discussed the current stage of your business in its life cycle, with a link to help you to ascertain this.

With this information in hand you now need to implement some strategies, remembering that you are working closely with the CEO’s vision and the constraints of the chief financial officer. It is important to determine the organisation's comfortable level of risk - how much risk is involved in implementing the strategies, or does the decision-making process in your firm bog down to the point where nothing is implemented?

This often happens when an organisation's members are not aligned to the level of risk to be undertaken, and this often comes down to your role as the COO to clearly communicate with your team so that you achieve the goals set out by the CEO.

To better understand your organisation's propensity to risk, take the Risk Assessment Indicator by clicking on the following link

When you know where your organisation sits on the score matrix, you will be able to better understand the personalities involved and get decisions made that will positively impact on growth and create a more comfortable and harmonious team.

Now that you are better armed to implement the strategies because you better understand the personalities within the business, you are often better off engaging specialists to deliver the products or services you require. As a real estate office, you can always pick a DIY renovation from one of your listings - the vendor always thinks he has done a great job, but it never looks as good as a professional job does it?

Don’t get caught up in trying to do everything in-house. Don’t be a DIY real estate office. Advertising copy, photography, purchasing and outsourcing should all be handled by experts. Remember that it never looks as good or works as well as when a professional takes on the job.

As the COO, you need to keep the key personnel focused on their core revenue creation either from the sales department or the rental department, they are two very different personality types with two different types of risk aversion, so managing them correctly is a skill in communication.

In our next instalment, we will discuss outsourcing in more detail and the relevance of virtual assistance for back-office engine room work. A number of COOs are using these resources and we will get some comments. This will all start to help you to drive your business more positively and achieve sustainable growth.


Mark Lodge is the CEO of RealSave. The company's objective is to deliver professional procurement services that positively impact on the bottom line of SME, without undue input from the proprietor. Mark is passionate about small businesses and helping owners maximise their potential while saving time and money. 

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