I spend my time as a Fractional COO and Executive Coach serving co-founders (CEOs) and their leadership teams. Practically speaking this is part time trusted operational work from me. While I do not have all the answers or any silver bullets, I help ask the right questions and share what I have seen work (and what hasn’t).
I love working with early teams that may not have operations figured out just yet, and need some extra help.
I started my Fractional COO services & Executive Coaching practice to help founders.
So what does that actually mean?
What is a Fractional COO?
All early stage companies are in need of operational excellence to ensure a solid foundation. You want to focus on the vision, hiring, and fundraising making sure your executive team is executing.
The reality is you may have a long list of administrative or operational tasks that aren’t getting done, need to cleanup or prep your financial plans for what may be next, or finally strategize about next years goals in a structured way. By consulting with founders on operational tasks, I check items off this list and fill in gaps that exist on the team.
Executive Coaching + CEO Coaching + Co-Founder Mediation
I find myself working with CEOs and Executives at crossroads of business that require coaching. Those self aware and interested in professional development are great candidates for working together over the long term.
Co-Founder (and sometimes executive team) Mediation has become a growing need for teams in turmoil. Typically brought in for full day or ongoing work, I act as an arbiter between founders to help them return to peace. The majority of this work comes from referrals from VCs and legal firms (interestingly not the firms in the deals where there are issues) and I welcome confidential discussions to understand more about the process.
I put together the following list to help identify the things that I do:
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is best suited for a Fractional COO?
Whether a team of engineers recently funded and looking to scale, or a later stage company looking to get organized – I offer my services as a COO As A Service, that can plug into an executive team to accomplish what you need. Some businesses are just getting started and need operational excellence to hire the best. Other companies need to organize and migrate their bookkeeping efforts in house. Still others need to find the right GM or COO on a full-time basis and need help identifying what they will do, what the job spec. should look like, and who to hire. I am here to help.
Why not hire a full time COO?
This is a senior role usually reserved for a co-founder that is costly from a cash + equity perspective. Without operational processes in place from the beginning you can be severely impacted in the future as it relates to bookkeeping, financing, and business processes. More on pricing below – a typical COO role can be between $250k-$350K & equity packages depending on the stage of company. This does not include the operational burden of hiring time, onboarding, and the cultural impact if they don’t work out.
Can I afford to just wait and do these things later?
The #1 reason companies fail is they run out of money. It typically is not because the product or service fails – businesses just run out of time. Organizing the operational elements of the business early give you the maximum time/runway to figure things out. If you are like most companies nobody wants to do the things on your operations list.
How much does it cost to hire you as a Fractional COO?
I charge a on a retainer basis for a minimum of 3 months. I think about outsourced providers and agencies as competing on time, quality, and price – you can only ever have 2 out of 3. I usually win on time (if available) and quality – rarely on price. If you spent 3 month searching for someone cheaper you could find them. If you want a trusted operator to get started soon, you have found him. I have done smaller engagements, and longer engagements – please get in touch and lets talk about it!
Do you have a blurb/summary I can share with my (CEO/Co-Founder/Portfolio Companies)?
Eric Friedman is offering Fractional COO services, focused on bringing operational excellence to startups – deliverables around what teams need to move fast and build a solid foundation. From his experience operating at multiple startups, investing in companies, and advising founders he is able to bring lessons learned to great founders.
What can I help with?
- Business + Bank account setup
- Bookkeeping services setup
- OpEx/Financial Planning
- Cap Table/409a Management for organization + option grants
- Hiring a COO/GM/Chief of Staff/VP Operations
- Hiring across many roles – BD, Marketing, Ops, Sales
- Talking to customers – “Getting outside the building”
- Pre-Mid-Post Fundraising Organization
- Organizing and helping quarterback fundraising strategy
- Setting up a deal room for fundraising or acquisition
- Security Audit + Services Implementation
- Hardware/Software Audit + Management System
- OKR + KPI tracking for people + business
- HR Services + Processes
- Business Credit Card setup + organization (migration from personal if needed)
- Applicant Tracking System setup for pipeline of talent
- Onboarding/Offboarding procedures for employees
- Project + Task management software implementation
- SaaS audit and review
- Mission Vision and Values Workshops
- Founder blueprint workshops
- Contract/Freelancer/1099 contractor setup
What is executive coaching?
Carving out space and time for founders for professional development is paramount to success. While not for everyone, executive coaching can provide context and awareness away from the day-to-day happenings at a startup. I work with founders, executive teams, and other individuals to help them communicate better.