Do you love developing new strategies to boost revenues, improve business results, and optimize company workflows? You may be the ideal candidate for a career in business operations and strategy, or BizOps for short.
Let's take a look at the role.
A role in BizOps gives candidates a uniquely influential position at a company. BizOps impacts nearly every part of a business's success by solving some of its most urgent problems.
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Business operations, or Biz Ops for short, is a term for the actions or operations that companies employ to make profits and grow the firm's value.
As you can imagine, being such a broad term, Biz Ops could entail many different operations.
Business operations could involve:
Amongst many many other business activities.
If it's done well, a company's business operations must change as it grows.
While Biz Ops could refer to a wide variety of company activities, all of them will, generally speaking, fall into one of the following three categories:
When most people talk BizOps, they likely have business processes on their minds.
Businesses processes are all the actions, activities, and operations critical to the company's functioning. From implementing a new marketing campaign to launching a new product, business processes are what make a business run. They are the business.
Another essential dimension of BizOps is human resources. Ultimately, the business processes developed and streamlined by the BizOps teams won't mean much without the employees implementing them.
As such, it's not uncommon to work with HR to help staff the company and maintain productivity.
BizOps is also involved with the technology and equipment of a firm. Business processes need employees to execute, but many processes will require technology or equipment.
A business operations manager is perfect for those candidates that are curious, innovative, and talented problem solvers.
In many cases, you'll find a member of the business operations team working to develop solutions to several different kinds of problems facing their companies.
These problems could include:
The role of a business operations manager is typically used interchangeably with that of strategy consultants. The positions are very similar.
Suppose you're a business operations manager at a smaller company or early-stage startup. Your projects will likely consist of developing new teams, products, and processes.
Some Biz Ops managers may find startup companies more compelling. You'd be starting from scratch and be responsible for initially developing and executing the organization's business operations.
However, at larger or older companies, business ops will likely already exist, and they will have existed for some time. Therefore, your potential BizOps projects here will be focused on optimizing these pre-existing processes.
BizOps projects typically vary in length. Your projects could take as little as a few weeks or several months—it all depends on what problem you're trying to solve.
This variability could be suitable for candidates who enjoy novelty in their day-to-day work lives. The varying projects would help prevent things from getting stale.
However, individuals who want a lot of routine work may not enjoy the varying project lengths inherent to Biz Ops.
No matter what business operations managers are up to, they will always work cross-functionally with several key stakeholders.
Finally, business operations can be some of the most impactful and meaningful work conducted in a company. This is a desirable feature of the role for many candidates.
Optimized and effective BizOps can make or break a company, especially in the early stages.
Given the breadth of something like BizOps, it may feel a bit more obscure than a position like software engineer, for example.
To help you get a better feel for what BizOps is, we'll detail a sample project related to Exponent.
Below, we'll give you all the details of this sample BizOps project and the four primary BizOps project phases many will undergo.
BizOps is an inherently data-driven and analytical role. As a result, BizOps professionals will rely heavily on their analytical thinking for success in their positions.
BizOps will require a comfortability working with both quantitative and qualitative data. Analytical thinking will be vital for developing solutions to what are often unstructured and abstract business problems.
Countless problems need solving during a company's operations. It is up to BizOps teams to solve them. As such, problem-solving skills are vital.
As we mentioned, BizOps problems will likely be complex, abstract, and not so straightforward. As a result, you'll need to leverage your skills to develop innovative and thoughtful business solutions.
By their very nature, business operations will bring together many of the different teams and departments at a company. Those working in BizOps will then be working with many other individuals in their organizations, which involves a great deal of communication.
BizOps professionals will need to be capable of communicating with all the business stakeholders while simultaneously bridging the gap between their individual interests or circumstances.
BizOps sits at the intersection of nearly every other team or department at a company. As a result, members of the BizOps teams will work alongside dozens of employees outside their group.
Cross-functional collaboration is one of the most essential skills for success in this role.
As you learned above, BizOps primarily consists of project-based work. So naturally, then, project management skills are necessary if you want to thrive in business operations.
As a field, BizOps is inherently prone to change. Considering that many companies have growth built into their business plans, the necessary business operations will grow and evolve over time while expanding in scope.
As such, BizOps must continuously improve for an organization to ensure its success.
Here are some of the general ways that BizOps professionals can do just that:
There is a lot of data involved with BizOps, both quantitative and qualitative. This means that BizOps performance can be measured and tracked over time. In many cases, beneficial insights can be gleaned from data sets collected by BizOps.
So, the first thing BizOps must do to improve is staying on top of its own performance data.
As we saw with our sample BizOps project, it's necessary to understand where you stand before you can develop solutions or improvements.
This performance data can vary depending on the company and the business operations. For example, if we were analyzing the operational performance of the Exponent blog, a BizOps team would likely measure:
Nevertheless, these metrics will vary based on the nature of the company and its daily operations.
After taking a deep dive into the performance of many of your business operations, it'll likely be possible to find additional ways to streamline and automate these processes.
These could consist of minor tweaks or major overhauls. Regardless, if it improves or optimizes the BizOps at your company, it should be done.
Finally, the last significant thing you can do to improve the BizOps of your company is to keep up with the latest trends, both in BizOps as a field and within your market.
It's always a prudent idea to keep track of what your competition is up to. Doing so will give you ideas or perspective on how your own BizOps could improve or differentiate itself.
Nowadays, you will find BizOps teams at nearly every kind of company in the modern economy. However, they are widespread in tech companies and have similar interview processes as other tech positions.
These teams play a critical role in ensuring a company is successful. Without a talented BizOps team, a business may be unable to make the leap or survive.
As we mentioned, BizOps professionals are commonly hired by tech companies. This is especially true of tech startups, where BizOps professionals act as generalists and internal consultants. BizOps at smaller companies may have a significantly broader purview than at larger companies. In larger companies, their duties may be more specific.
At the end of the day, every company conducts business operations to generate revenues. As such, BizOps have a place at nearly every firm out there.
BizOps is one of the most impactful and essential aspects of a modern company. If you're interesting in jumping into the lucrative and exciting field of business operations, be sure to check out the many interview resources we have at Exponent:
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📖 Read through our company-specific interview guides
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