10 Attributes of an Effective Startup Operations Manager


In the business world, operations are the backbone of keeping everything running smoothly. These operations are managed and overseen by the operations manager. During a typical day, an operations manager must wear numerous hats and juggle several responsibilities, so in order to perform the role correctly, there are vital skills you must possess.

For startups in particular, a small mistake can have big consequences, so to avoid falling into the 50% of companies that go bust within their first year of operation, here are some of the key attributes you need to succeed in operations management.

communication skill

Communication Skills

When running a startup, knowing how to communicate effectively is a must for operations managers. Each day, you will be expected to converse with colleagues from different fields, so you must be an excellent communicator and confident in your delivery. Effective communication can help to build solid, robust relationships that can create a pleasant and productive workplace environment. Effective communication can also build trust, prevent problems from occurring, and promote team building.

Motivational Skills

In the operations field, colleagues have to perform the same duties day in, day out. Because of this, it can be easy for employees to lose momentum and focus on their work, which can have severe consequences for the company. Operations managers are responsible for motivating their team to achieve their targets and stay on track. If a member of the team is falling behind with their work, it’s your job to use the right tactics to boost productivity without compromising on the quality of work. Whether it’s administrative or managerial staff, retaining a positive mindset can benefit the entire workforce.

organizational skill

Organizational Skills

Operations managers are expected to concentrate on several projects simultaneously, making sure they do not get distracted by the numerous processes. Therefore, having exceptional organizational skills is a must to flourish in this role. An operations manager should know how to plan, run, and monitor each project from start to end without falling off track. Organizational skills are vital to helping a business function correctly, especially for startups that need to do everything in their power to stay afloat in the initial stages. Also, staying organized will make sure you meet company objectives.

Decision-making Skills

When there are changes in operations, the manager must be mindful of these and make split-second decisions to keep everything running correctly. Each decision you make will have a widespread impact on the entire organization, which is why operations managers must be confident in their abilities and make educated decisions that benefit the business as a whole. You must factor in time to analyze your decision, be aware of the repercussions, and know how it will affect others before coming to your conclusion. In some scenarios, there will be little to no time to address such factors, which is why you may have to listen to your gut feeling and act on your instincts.

Analytical Skills

The operations of a startup can be incredibly complicated. As an operations manager, you must be there to identify and monitor every step and each aspect involved in the process to spot any faults, room for improvement, or problems before they turn into something major. To perform at their best, operations managers must possess excellent analytical skills that can help when it comes to analyzing products, services, packaging, and customer service. Strong analytical skills can also help you assess performance and spot talent.

Stress Management Skills

No matter what kind of startup you’re launching or working for, there will be stressful periods that require you to work well under pressure. To keep on top of the operations of a startup, you must know how to best manage your stress levels to ensure you’re thinking clearly and not making any errors. The best operations managers use relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises which can be performed both in the workplace and at home to control anxiety, remain focused, and ensure everything runs according to plan.

Leadership Skills

Operations managers are expected to be leaders who can manage a team and ensure they’re functioning at their best. Effective leaders are at the top of their field as they know how to communicate well, delegate tasks responsibly, and be confident in their demeanor. Operations managers must be able to take feedback on board and handle constructive criticism. To improve your skillset and be at the top of your game, click here to learn about the best operations management books you can read.

Reporting Skills

If you’re an operations manager who is working for a startup, you must liaise with the owner daily, meaning excellent reporting skills are vital. Reporting skills can help you provide status information and detailed descriptions of the latest goings-on in the business operations. Keeping communication lines open between you and the boss is key for success. You must be able to report and present your findings in an easy-to-read manner, as the owner of the business may not share the same expertise and terminology as you.

Personal Development Skills

To become an excellent operations manager, you need to be constantly working on your personal development which will benefit you in both your professional and personal endeavors. As you grow your skill base and confidence, the quality of your work output will improve. There are all kinds of targets you may set yourself which can give you a clear direction and help you stay focused and motivated in your work.

Technical Skills

Operations and technology go hand in hand, which is why all operations managers must have a solid knowledge of technical operations. Whether it’s the type of software or machinery used in operations, an operations manager must know each one inside out and know how to troubleshoot problems. When launching a startup or joining a newly founded business, you must set aside time and training to get to grips with the software and machinery you will be using. As an operations manager, you will be responsible for managing daily operations of the business, setting objectives and goals, communicating with colleagues, and motivating your team. Therefore, developing an extensive skillset that you can use to your advantage will help you flourish in this role and turn the startup into a long-running successful business.