My team and I launched the first version of our startup 2 years ago. Over that time, we have gotten to know our market (college students) intimately, constantly testing and iterating new ideas, gathering hundreds of thousands of contacts, establishing relationships with key groups, and recruiting hundreds of students. Our last beta gathered over 20,000 students in a single month! We are now poised to launch our most attractive product yet with the best chance of succeeding. However, my biggest weakness as a CEO has been establishing a structure that takes all of these assets and organizes them into actionable, repeatable, and accountable methods for executing our strategy. Should I take on this challenge myself? If so, where do I begin and how can I go about operationalizing digital marketing and on-campus marketing efforts at multiple universities? Or, should I find an operations genius to take on the challenge with us?
In addition to the other great answers, seek out a local incubator/co-working space that offers connections with local mentors who have 'been there, done that'. That said, don't take all mentor input as gospel...just input. There are multiple ways to accomplish things, the right way is the one that works for you.
Establish a process of operations and iterate it as you go to find efficiency but definitely just write down a process manual of sorts. As your company grows, you will need to grow your skill set as well and being well versed in operations is a good trait for a ceo to have. Good luck!
Good Morning Paolo...
As I read your request and summary, I was not so sure if you were in need of an operations person or rather a marketing services project manager-type. In your summary, you conjure areas of market research, product development, direct response, project planning/process flow, strategic direction/tactical execution, digital marketing/social media interaction, local/regional marketing and more.
In my opinion you need someone who's priority is to understand market strategy and is able to translate that strategy into tactical market penetration. Characteristics that you seem to desire for the team include the ability to build process and document it for administrative and training requirements...with the ability to upgrade/revise as the organization evolves and grows.
Let me know if you'd like to chat further. You can find my email address on Linkedin.
Have a great day.
You could consider bringing on a COO to split your role as CEO. That will give you an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward without giving up control. The COO role could very well be a temporary one.
Hi Paulo. Have you looked at Outreach.io as a tool? (Very inexpensive at your stage - $100 per month.) Based upon your description, I believe it would help significantly. I'd be happy to speak with you on the phone about it and believe it would only take 10 - 15 minutes for us to determine how far this tool would take you. Let me know if you'd like to speak.