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Hiring a chief operating officer is a huge moment and one that requires a lot of thought and planning, particularly for small businesses: A good COO can work wonders for a company, while a misstep in hiring can cost you time, as well as generate a great deal of frustration for everyone involved.

As you prepare to start your search, you need to be sure you know where to look for your COO, as well as what kinds of traits your organization needs. Is it better to hire from within, for instance, or perform a job search elsewhere? If you’re looking externally, should you look only within your industry or only at people who already have all the credentials you want? And how important is the culture fit?

To find out more, we’ve asked members of the YEC experts about what smaller firms should remember during the planning stages, or actual execution, of a search for a COO. Here is what they said: