Business operator in discussion with business owner at an event.

What Is a Business Operator? (And 3 Reasons Why as a Visionary You Need One)

“I need help with my business but I can’t seem to figure out what sort of person I need to hire to help me.” 

Sound familiar?

It’s an age-old statement made by entrepreneurs around the world. In our company, we hear this statement on nearly a daily basis. 

You’ve reached a point where you know you need some help. You have tons and tons of ideas on how to grow your business, how to make it better, how to keep pushing forward. 

But you’ve run out of capacity to be able to execute the ideas. You’re doing everything on your own. You’re tired, stressed, and it’s starting to get to you. 

You want help. You just don’t know where to get it. 

And that’s where a business operator, or Operator, comes in.

What Is an Operator?

As a business owner, you’re a visionary. Visionaries tend to have similarities in their personality type. 

You likely find  details, maybe even calendars and lists overwhelming or just not that fun. You probably find sitting through meetings and scheduling meetings challenging. 

You can come up with a mile long list of incredible ideas. But the thought of taking those ideas and putting them into a step-by-step format to achieve them gives you anxiety  or it just doesn’t get done. 

You’re a visionary. That small percentage of the population that travels into the future, creates a new reality, comes back to the present and demands it becomes real. That ability makes you unique. It also makes it difficult to stay in the details and execute at the tactical level.

An Operator will help you take your vision and give you the operational support you need to turn that vision into a reality.

So what makes someone an Operator?

The Operator Personality Type

You know those people that live by their calendars, can’t seem to function without their checklists, and seem to absolutely LOVE details? They are real. They are people with a personality who loves organization, process, structure, and getting into the details so that they can get things done. 

Those are the people you want to be your business operator. They’ll come into the business and immediately want to start creating processes and making things more efficient.  

The characteristics that indicate someone is an Operator Personality type are often things like: 

  • Loves details and always want to know the how and the why
  • Always prepared and plans ahead 
  • Data driven and make decisions based on evidence
  • Loves efficiency and making things more efficient 
  • Prefer autonomy and don’t want to be micromanaged 
  • Love to build process that makes it easier to get things done
  • Create consistency and stability in the environments that they are in

As a visionary, you understand the importance of data, process, and structure but you may not necessarily enjoy those aspects of your business. An Operator lives for details and efficiency. They LOVE all of the things you dislike about running a business.  A talented operator is a perfect match for your visionary personality.
If you want to be able to stop spending all your time working in your business and start spending time working on your business, you need an Operator.

What You May Know the Operator As

Many people aren’t familiar with the term Operator or may have heard an Operator referred to by a different title. In our company, we use the term Operator as an elevated title because of how crucial the Operator position is in taking pressure and noise away from the entrepreneur.  

Other titles you may have heard for an Operator include:  

  • Executive Assistant/Virtual Assistant 
  • Integrator
  • Project manager 
  • Business Operator
  • Operations manager
  • Director of Operations
  • VP of Operations
  • Chief Operating Officer 

Individuals who hold these roles are going to demonstrate the characteristics of an Operator. They’ll be planners, data-driven, and detail-oriented. And there are many reasons why you need this person in your company.

Operators Love The Details

As a visionary, the thought of creating a written process may be as appealing to you as a root canal. 

Operators are driven by processes and making things better. Operators understand the importance of process and how process creates progress.

They love creating processes and creating efficiency. A business operator will want to come into your business, find anything broken, and fix it. 

And they absolutely love details. 

Visionaries are able to come up with big-picture ideas. And while they know how to make those ideas a reality, having to spend the time to come up with the tactical aspects necessary to achieve your goals slows you down. 

Operators will hear your idea, clarify what you want, and come up with the details you need to take to make sure you achieve your goal in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

Leaving you with the time and energy to work at a strategic, and less tactical level.

Take Pressure and Noise Away

You know the immediate pressure you feel when you start trying to think about having to spend your day on tactical activities? Sitting in meetings, scheduling things on your calendar, responding to emails, that sort of thing? 

It’s a commonality among visionaries. There are very few visionaries who love these activities.

With an Operator, you have someone on your team who can create the processes, structures, and routine you need to move your business forward and stay in momentum. 

An Operator is going to ask:

  • How do we make this work?
  • How do we get everything done with the right result?
  • How do we move the business forward at the tactical level?

And then they’re going to take all of that information and put it into step-by-step processes that everyone on the team can use to keep moving forward. 

A great Operator is going to understand all of the objectives in the business. They understand who is doing what. They’re holding people accountable. 

And they’re taking the tactical work off your plate and strategically improving how your business operates and helping you drive everything home.

Gives You Time Back in Your Business

As a visionary, you want to spend your time and energy working on your business not in it. You need space to think about things like:

  • “How are we going to grow the business?”
  • “What new products should we introduce?”
  • “Who is our  ideal customer?”
  • “What new changes should we make?” 

But if you don’t have someone helping you with the operational side of your business, too much of your time and energy will be going into operations. 

You need to find the person who can help relieve the pressure and noise created when growing a business. Depending on what stage of business you’re in, how your Operator relieves pressure and noise will vary. 

If you’re in the early stages of your company, you may be looking for an Executive or Virtual Assistant who can take care of creating processes and structure around your personal life. They may help ensure your bills are paid on time or set up car insurance coverage. 

Your EA will elevate to the Operator status as you grow and their role will evolve so they’re doing things like:

  • Documenting what is the thing you do in the business to make money 
  • Documenting how are you driving revenue
  • Building flowcharts
  • Documenting processes


And as your business grows even farther your Operator transitions to your Operations Manager. They help you hire a team, show your team clear outcomes, and develop departments and divisions in the business. 
So you can stay high-level, driving your long-term outcomes.

Find Your Operator

Having a business operator, or Operator, is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. 

If you’re feeling stuck and like you’re having to do everything yourself, know you’re not alone.

In fact, all of the entrepreneurs we work with have been exactly where you are. 

If you feel stuck working in the business rather than on it, trapped in the day-to-day, and spending too much time working tactically, you need an Operator.  

Hopefully you now have a better idea of what an Operator is, how an Operator helps you drive your business forward, and how the owner and operator work together to achieve your long-term goals.  

Next step? Find that Operator. 

Have another topic you’d like to learn more about? Need help with finding your operator? Leave us a comment below!

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4 Comments

  1. Love this. I am definitely the visionary type. I would love to know where to find quality operators that can compliment my style and value. Looking forward to the blog post on that topic.

    1. Hey Erik!

      Great question. Our members have used various hiring sites to find their Operators (LinkedIn, Indeed, UpWork, etc.). It would also be worth spending a bit of time determining what your budget for the Operator will be and if you’d like someone part-time or full-time to start. That way you have a better idea of which region to be searching in (US or another country) and have clarity around what you need before starting the hiring process.

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