Startups Blog

Do All Startups Need a Chief of Staff?

Employee roles within startups will vary from company to company. However, regardless of industry, the part of 'chief of staff' appears to be growing in popularity across modern ventures. What does this role entail? Furthermore, why might investors be interested in looking for a business with this type of control in place?

chief of staff startups


Many Hats to Wear

Sifted explains that founders behind startups often have to wear multiple hats. At least this is the case during their formative years. Furthermore, the role of a chief of staff is flexible by definition. This adaptability helps when you are running a company that's continually pivoting.

The definition Sifted puts forward is that a chief of staff is effectively the second-in-command. They aid and assist the CEO in terms of advice as well as employee and company oversight. Crucially, the chief of staff may be someone a founder relies on to help organize a complex hierarchy.

Julia DeWahl, writing for Medium, suggests that adding a chief of staff can provide extra credibility to a firm, too. However, DeWahl also comments that this can mean a company focuses on multiple projects, avoiding an in-depth approach.

Why Startups with Chiefs of Staff Are Attractive

Concerns regarding the chief of staff role aside, a company offering this position has a 'status' to uphold. Sifted, again, recognizes this.

Some sources argue that a company with a chief of staff is one that's ready to grow. That is, such a venture has ambition, and it can focus on planning for future projects. Many companies thrive without the chief role. However, it is becoming essential for growing brands.

There is the argument that a chief of staff helps to facilitate rapid growth. Investors and VCs want companies with fast growth in their line of sight and the ability to pivot at short notice.

There is also the fact that a chief of staff position indicates a startup is ready to explore and improve. A company that purely installs a CEO at the head of the board may not be as primed or flexible.

However, these are only suggestions. As mentioned, all companies will have different structures and roles for various purposes. It is unfair to paint all ventures with the same brush. However, a company with a chief of staff on board may be more forward-thinking than others.

An Essential Role?

Research tells us that many industry experts see the chief of staff position as an essential role. It has mostly been a political role until recent years. However, it stands to reason that fluid, scalable starter companies need someone flexible at the head of the board, too.

In an ever-changing world, finding a scalable company to invest in is merely common sense. Investors keen to support startups with growth potential can use databases such as Fundz to take that next crucial step. For added confidence, it may be worth watching out for a chief of staff in the ranks, too.



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