The Vital Role of Operations People in Startups: Unraveling the How and Why 

In the thrilling journey of a startup, the role of operations is nothing short of indispensable. As a problem solver/organiser etc, an Operations Manager plays a pivotal role in boosting team productivity to transform a business or product idea into a reality with maximum efficiency. However, as the startup evolves and finds its product-market fit, the Operations Manager’s responsibilities transition from holding the startup together to propelling it forward on a path to success.

Once the initial chaos settles and the startup gains momentum, the Operations Manager is responsible for strategising and organising the company’s operational systems, processes, and policies. They ensure the startup runs like a well-oiled machine, overseeing support, compliance, product ops, finance ops, business ops, HR, and overall services. Contingency management becomes essential to tackle unforeseen challenges and maintain smooth operations. This role also extends to executing crucial tasks, such as creating company policies and ensuring timely payroll processing for the HR team.

A core responsibility of the Operations Manager is to structure and streamline processes across the entire company. This involves strategic planning and continuous review of the day to day runnings, HR management, and overall service delivery. By coordinating communication between different departments, the Operations Manager paves the way for smoother scaling of the business and financial planning.

Flexibility is crucial for an Operations Manager, as they must problem-solve and keep their team on track daily. Beyond supporting the team, this role also involves contributing to critical areas such as fundraising, market analysis, and product management. The Operations Manager becomes a multi-faceted leader who ensures everyone is aligned with their responsibilities and keeps the startup thriving.

As a startup ventures from ideation to implementation, operations management becomes the backbone of success. Here’s why operations people are the unsung heroes of startup growth:

Product Quality 

For startups striving to carve their niche, delivering exceptional products is paramount. Operations people meticulously analyse and optimise processes, ensuring that each product meets the highest standards. This dedication to quality becomes the bedrock of the startup’s reputation, captivating customers and building brand loyalty.


Productivity fuels the startup engine, and operations management is the ignition key. Operations people allocate resources efficiently, enabling teams to achieve maximum results with minimum resources. By streamlining workflows and maintaining peak efficiency, startups can drive productivity to new heights.

Customer Satisfaction 

Customer happiness is the lifeblood of a startup’s success. Operations people are pivotal in creating a seamless customer journey, from production to delivery. By delighting customers with top-notch products and exceptional service, startups foster loyalty and cultivate a devoted customer base.

Reduced Operating Costs 

Every penny counts in the startup world. Operations management optimises costs by eliminating waste and unnecessary expenses. Through strategic resource allocation and waste reduction, operations people pave the way for improved profitability and sustainable growth.

In conclusion, operations people play a crucial role in startups’ early and scaling stages. Their ability to organise, streamline processes, and keep teams on track contributes significantly to the startup’s growth and success. They are the backbone that supports and drives the company forward, ensuring it reaches its full potential. As startups embark on their transformative journeys, recognising the vital role of Operations Managers is paramount to unlocking their true potential and achieving unprecedented success.

Yvonne Obike

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