By Modwenna Rees-Mogg, Founder And CEO Of Pitching for Management And Angel News.
Creating the right management team is imperative to any company, whether they’re a multinational or a startup. In order for your business to thrive, you need to create the right management team who will support, build and maintain the growth of the business.
All too often start-up companies bite off more than they can chew. You can have the idea, business plan and investment, but without the right management team you are more susceptible to committing amateurish mistakes. Although it’s natural to want to do all the work on your own terms, you can end up overstretching yourself and increasing your workload.
Finding the right mix of management is vital, but is also completely dependent on the culture of your company. Some companies prefer to hire management who have ‘the right skills’ and others prefer to hire ‘the right personality’ – neither is wrong, but the choice does require careful consideration. The following tips will help you in your search for the right management team, and explain the key management areas where you will most likely need expertise.
You’ve taken onboard where your business needs further management, and are now reading to start hiring your team: but where do they fit in?
CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
The CEO is responsible for the smooth running of the company, and is ultimately responsible for any failings too. A CEO will determine your company’s strategy and ensure it is moving in the right direction at all times. Every company needs a CEO to drive the business forward. The CEO will hire the best and fire the rest (if they’re doing their job well, that is).
If things go as you hope, your CEO will be plastered on the front cover of City A.M by the end of the financial year.
Top tip: The best CEO’s aren’t busy; they delegate and accomplish everything through other people, i.e. don’t sweat the small stuff!
COO (Chief Operations Officer)
The COO typically oversees all areas of that business that requires operational detail. The COO will be much more hands-on than the CEO, and will ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day activities rather than taking an overall perspective. If your COO is doing a good job, then they will be continuously feeding back to the CEO on the running of the company and any issues that call for the CEO’s attention.
Top tip: A COO brings all of the internal departments together and make sure things are running smoothly. They will be ‘the face’ of the company internally, so should be a personable leader. Encourage the employees’ work ethic at all times.
CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
The CFO will handle the money, and reports directly to the CEO. The CFO has a number of very important responsibilities, including: reviewing and analysing the company’s financial performance, preparing budgets and monitoring the company’s expenditure.
If you want your business to make money and don’t have great mathematical skills in-house already, then you will need a CFO. They will keep an eye on your cash flow, and make certain it’s healthy and profitable. If it’s not, get a CFO.
Top tip: Too many CFO’s get bogged down in cost reduction. Try focusing on the future of the business, visual how you could achieve this and put a plan together.
CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
Marketing isn’t all buzzwords and jargon. In fact, if done well, it can spell the difference between fortune and failure. Your marketing strategy should support your overall business strategy, and your CMO will take ownership of your marketing/sales strategy and put it into practice.
The CMO should have a clear understanding of your company’s industry, and with this knowledge, aid the roll-out of your product or service by ensuring its position in the marketplace is right. The marketplace is overcrowded as it is, so it pays well to keep up with your competitors and hire the best CMO to devise and manage your marketing plan.
Top tip: Position your product where it can be seen, and think about where sits contextually in conversation. Marketing isn’t used with force; it should stimulate your audience and make them think.
CTO (Chief Technology Officer)
The role of a CTO has become prevalent in the age of technology-based industries, and will devise all IT framework and technology in your company. The CTO will support the overall business strategy with the IT infrastructure, and will most likely manage your internal IT team, where he or she will allocate roles and responsibilities.
The CTO will also be external-facing, regularly in contact with IT suppliers and vendors to ensure the smooth running of the business. He or she will be the principal contact at executive level if any issues arise, and will report directly back to the CEO or board of directors.
Top tip: Create a strong working relationship with the company’s stakeholders. You should bridge the gap between the technology and the business, so it is useful to not only understand the needs of the business, but understand the customers’ wants and needs too.
The role of the Chairman is to control the board and to share their wisdom and experience to guide the board and therefore the business to meet its goals through proper implementation of the plan. A good Chairman is in touch with the CEO and other members of the management team on a very regular basis and at least weekly. Being Chairman also involves acting as the public face of and significant networker for the business. Sometimes it's an executive position and other times it can be non-executive.
Top tip: The best Chairmen are not necessarily famous in your industry, but they are influential and highly respected both inside and outside the company. They can also act as confidante for the CEO. Chairmen should control board meetings with iron levels of control.
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