Faces From The Neighborhood

The Boutique COO: Helping Small Businesses Thrive

June 4, 2024 | People in the Neighborhood
Makena, owner of the Boutique COO

I recently chatted with Makena, the inspirational founder and leader of The Boutique COO. It didn’t take long before I felt her genuine, heartfelt desire to help small businesses succeed and thrive. This is the fuel that motivates her and all she does.

The Boutique COO has one central mission: To provide operational support and guidance to small business owners, so they can focus on building their businesses. The Boutique COO is providing a much-needed service to fill a gap that can keep small businesses from achieving their goals.

The accidental COO

Makena says her business kind of started by accident. She had been working in operations and analytical roles for traditional businesses for about 10 years and had gone to business school. She really loved working with small businesses, and she discovered that a lot of small businesses needed a lot of operational support.

So, she decided to solve the problem by offering operational business support for them. And, she quickly discovered a big demand for this service! Makena says that even after 10 years, there’s plenty of work.

When she found herself unable to take on more clients, she started hiring independent contractors to help provide the services. Each contractor has their own specialized expertise, such as graphic design, videography, photography, copywriting, marketing, etc. This way, she has a collection of experts with different skills and expertise to help her clients.

Providing essential business operational services

As Makena points out, every business, whether tiny, small, or large, has essential business operational needs. But most of us in business for ourselves are either ill-equipped to perform these tasks, lack the interest in doing them, or just don’t have the time to manage them well. So, we just try to muddle through and do our best.

But after talking to Makena, I can see how this behavior hurts our businesses. Getting our operations done right is key to our success. The sooner we learn that it takes more than just providing an outstanding service or selling a fabulous product to be successful, the quicker we will excel.

The Boutique COO to the rescue

Makena and her talented team offer a variety of services to help small businesses, including:

  • Process and workflow improvement
  • Financial planning strategy – such has how to reduce costs, etc. (They do not do tax work)
  • Accounts payable and accounts receivable
  • Business process improvement
  • Email management
  • Software setup
  • Strategic business services such as identifying issues and deficiencies in the business and helping the businesses get back on track.
  • New product or service launch planning
  • Content writing and newsletter automation
  • Google Workspace help

Flexibility and trust are key

Makena matches each new client to a case manager with the most appropriate expertise for their needs. This way, clients get to work with an expert in the exact field where they need the most support.

The beauty of the service really lies in its flexibility. Basically, businesses receive as much or as little back office operations support as they want or need. You can hire The Boutique COO on a project-by-project basis or with monthly retainers.

Trust is the foundation for everything

Additionally, every member of the team works hard to develop trust with the clients, from onboarding through delivery of services. In fact, case managers are also experts in forecasting, anticipating the work clients may need next.

All work and communication begin with kindness. As Makena says, we all start somewhere. So, there’s no judging about where your business is at, or using one-size-fits-all solutions. Makena strongly believes in helping people progress from where ever they are at and helping them get to where ever they want to go.

This is very smart. Makena understands and approaches business with a more human outlook, which is very appealing to me and I think to lots of other small business owners as well.

Makena, Owner of the Boutique COO

A beautiful dream

I asked Makena what her future plans are for the business. First, she said she would love to scale the business. And then she said why.

Makena’s big dream is to be able to invest in minority entrepreneurs who need access to capital to get started. She wants to invest in equity, as she put it, and act as a type of business incubator for business owners facing large barriers to starting a business and facing limited access to funding.

Now, that’s a dream I can really get behind!

Some solid advice

Makena obviously understands business and how to build and run a business. So I asked if she had some good advice for us. She said we should focus on finding a good fit in the marketplace.

She cautioned that we don’t always find this fit immediately. In fact, it took Makena some time to figure out her exact niche. But once she did, things took off.

She says the niche, or target market, definitely needs to practical. The people you want to serve need to enable you to make enough money to build the business and life you want. Can your ideal client or customer pay enough for you to not only stay in business but also to thrive?

This is excellent business advice.

Living our dreams

The Boutique COO is really in the business of helping people live their dream of having a successful business.

They help small businesses owners by taking tasks off of their plate they don’t have time for or the know-how to do, allowing them to focus on their talents. They’re helping small businesses thrive by giving them advice and guidance as they move through their business journey. They’re providing a service smaller businesses really need in an affordable way that lets The Boutique COO also succeed.

After talking to Makena, I know having her on your team would be an asset to any business. She and her team have the knowledge, the skills, and the genuine desire to help you build the business you want and deserve.

How to contact The Boutique COO

The best way to contact The Boutique COO is on their website.

Check out their services page: https://www.theboutiquecoo.com/services

To learn more about Makena and the team, check out the about page: https://www.theboutiquecoo.com/about

Lisa Ratzlaff

Lisa Ratzlaff is a web designer who loves telling the amazing stories of interesting people and businesses in Portland, Oregon. Her web design business is Share Your Story Media, where she builds powerful websites for small service-based businesses that help them succeed online.

Lisa Ratzlaff