Fractional COO & Facilitator

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Enabling you to do what you do best

About Us

C-Suite Solutions was established to help your company focus on what you are most passionate about and what you do best.

We help to facilitate your businesses growth through enabling your support functions to perform at their best.

Our goal is to take the weight off the C-Suite by offering expertise and focused time where it is needed most.

With a flexible engagement model we can tailor the solution to meet your business needs from facilitated workshops, to distinct ​projects or through to ongoing support to get your teams working at their best.

Taking inspiration from ‘The Hedgehog Concept’ developed in the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, we provide the space for ​your leadership to focus on what you are passionate about, what you are best at and what drives growth within your business.

Maria Vavoulas is the founder of C-Suite Solutions (more in “About Maria”). Throughout her career in recruitment / search Maria ​has taken on tactical and strategic Board sponsored projects, whilst leading collaborative, global teams with people development at ​the core.

Which areas do you need help with?

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Image of a mind map for opportunities to improve your recruitment business


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Business Development Facilitate
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The C-Suite Way

The three approaches complement each other, you ​can engage all in 3 or focus on one area:


A great way to start is by workshopping. This ​eliminates presumptions, gives everyone a voice and ​all ideas are put on the table. We then guide your ​team to find the solution that is fit for purpose.


Once your team have committed to the solution, we ​can work with the right people to ensure they are set ​up for success.


If required, we can execute, taking the weight from ​the C-Suite so you can focus on what you do best.

How can we work together?


How does it work?

C-Suite Solutions offers a hybrid solution ​to meet your needs, whether this be on ​an hourly basis, specific workshops or a ​longer term interim / project ​engagement.

Based centrally in Bedfordshire Maria is ​able to travel throughout the UK, while ​travel internationally is possible as ​required.

What is your pricing structure?

Day Rate (8 hours)

Half-day Rate (4 hours)

Hourly Rate

Where workshops cover more than 2 ​days, a fixed price will apply.

Rates available upon request.

Contact us

If you would like to have an initial ​discussion about the opportunities or ​challenges that your business is facing feel ​free to contact us through the following ​options:

Maria lives by the mantra of ‘Make It Happen’ and with over a decade of experience in COO/Operational ​Leadership roles, has a proven track record of bringing ideas into reality. Maria is hugely passionate about ​taking practical steps to enable your business to become the best in the market at what you do best. She is a ​Workshopper Master with a mission to bring workshops to the recruitment industry.

Example achievements:

  • During a period of unprecedented growth Maria took a siloed business services (back office) function and ​turned them in to a fully engaged team offering a robust, scalable, high-quality service to the business on a ​global scale

  • During a time of unparalleled challenges in the wider market, Maria saved a medium sized organisation ​circa £400,000 in annual costs

  • Implemented a new fully configured CRM with customised functionality for a global retained search ​business

  • Set up a Key Account Support function to offer tiered and bespoke solutions to meet specific end client ​needs - this solution supported 3 divisions across consulting services, contract/interim and contingent ​permanent recruitment

Born and raised in Wales and of Greek heritage, she spent time studying in the US and working in Spain, ​before spending many years living and working in London. She comes from a family of recruiters and ​entrepreneurial business owners so understands what it takes to ‘Make It Happen’.

The hedgehog logo is inspired by a personal affinity for these unique creatures and it represents our ​dedication to enabling clients to concentrate on their strengths, whilst we handle the rest.

Photo of Maria Vavoulas, the Founder and Director of C-Suite Solutions

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The value we bring


Click below to read more

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Justin Pearson

Founder &


"Her practical approach, honesty and leadership were ​instrumental in navigating the complex challenges HC Group ​faced and drove the ambitious three-year strategy to ​fruition.”

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Ross Hoare


“Maria spent the time to really understand our business, how ​we operate and the areas we’d like to improve. We covered a ​huge number of topics during this project and Maria bought ​her considerable experience and her creativity to the table.”

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Denise Doyle

Operations ​Manager

“Overall Maria was instrumental in identifying areas of ​improvement with the business, streamlined processes, and ​implemented best practices.”

Platforms / systems knowledge

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Defining your organisations vision, strategy, goals and objectives ​is critical to ensuring that everyone in your firm knows the ​journey you are on and can drive towards these goals. Not only ​does a clear vision and strategy improve decision making at ​middle-management level, it ensures that the message is clear ​both internally and externally to your firm.

A ‘Facilitator’ provides non-directive leadership, and assists ​groups in reaching decisions and understandings effectively. A ​‘Facilitator’ offers guidance and support, ensuring that the group ​functions more efficiently.

We free you up to focus on sustainable growth for your business. ​Business performance books and podcasts provide inspiration ​but for many, the vision is not fully realised.

Engage us to turn your ideas into actionable items and ensure ​they are embedded.

  • Vision and strategy definition along with a clear communication ​plan for clear direction and objectives for Leadership and the ​wider business

  • Practical steps from strategy to operational implementation; ​leveraging the right people, the right tools, at the right time

  • Helping define which strategy blueprint is the best fit for your ​business and guiding you through the implementation

  • Accountability and responsibility frameworks to drive ​performance

  • Facilitation workshops and off-sites, for strategy sessions, ​leadership alignment, problem solving and​ ​team building

  • Development sessions for Business Services/Sa​les Support/Back-office teams for enhanced collaboration, proc​ess improvements and​ ​cross-learning

  • Project planning and execution for strategic​ initiatives and prod​uct development
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TECHNOLOGY, Platforms & AI, ​Data & Analytics

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In today's rapidly evolving tech landscape, staying ahead means ​leveraging the best tools and solutions to maintain a competitive ​edge.

Are you getting the most out of your current tech? Could you be ​overspending or are there better options out there?

Your business development, sales support, operational, and ​finance functions all depend on robust platforms for day-to-day ​and project needs.

Moreover, your data holds untapped commercial potential. With ​AI reshaping industries, understanding and adopting AI ​technologies can distinguish your business from the rest.

We're here to unlock the value of your data, setting your business ​on a path to further success.

Our service is designed to guide you through these opportunities ​and challenges, offering advice, evaluations and the ​implementation of optimal solutions.

  • Deploying cloud solutions and CRM systems, enriched with MI/BI, ​and HRIS functionalities for comprehensive reward, learning, and ​development tracking

  • Enhancing and optimising the MS365 suite to maximise ​productivity and collaboration, including AI tools

  • Facilitating user adoption through targeted training on platforms

  • Conducting detailed platform assessments with third party ​suppliers to select technologies that best fit your organisation's ​needs

  • Driving data quality, you get out what you put in

  • Refining CRM systems to improve functionality, enhance ​reporting capabilities, and provide deeper analytics insights; ​unlocking the potential of data monetisation

  • Utilising visualisation tools and dashboards to present data clearly, ​enabling quick insights and informed business decisions

  • Streamlining spreadsheet usage with rationalisation and ​optimisation techniques to minimise reliance and promote more ​efficient data management practices

BUSINESS SERVICES, Efficiencies, ​ROI & Suppliers, Operational Costs

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It is natural for business owners to predominantly focus on the ​sales teams and fee earners. However, there can be issues you are ​unaware of coming from within your support teams.

We can help your support teams to focus on constant continuous ​improvement, to operate in line with the company mission and ​be trained to run critical projects.

Perhaps you have a lean/small back office team - how do you get ​the most out of your existing sales support team?

While it is essential to invest in tools, technology and services to ​support the growth, as organisations grow, layers of complexity ​can be build in decreasing ROI.

We can assess your current set up and offer insight to where ​savings can be made ensuring your business achieves maximum ​ROI.

  • Implementing MS365, automation, and AI to boost productivity ​and drive innovation across your organisation

  • Leveraging the full potential of your Business Services teams with ​targeted coaching and mentoring to foster unity and efficiency

  • Providing support for COOs and Heads of Operations with ​specialised project-based assistance to tackle strategic initiatives

  • Establishing a Central Knowledge Hub, integrating document ​management (like SharePoint) and project management tools (such ​as to streamline collaboration and information ​sharing

  • Conducting a thorough assessment and selection process for ​outsourcing and managed services to ensure you're getting the ​best return on investment

  • Redesigning organisational structures and refining business ​processes for peak efficiency and smoother operations

  • Developing cost reduction or right-sizing strategies that target ​platform fees, subscription costs, lease agreements insurance ​policies, compensation plans

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Selection of the Best Employee
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Footprint Clues

People are the lifeblood of all organisations - we can help you ​with practical steps to ensure that you are retaining your best ​employees and attracting the best people from the wider market.

If you are looking to scale the growth of your business, are your ​sales support and business services functions set up to meet ​growth expectations?

Culture cements employees’ confidence in their work and keeps ​them motivated and inspired to do their best. The key ​cornerstone for culture is focused on two areas - a business’s ​values and leadership.

We can also ensure that you are maximising the output of all your ​employees from sales through to sales support functions while ​ensuring the culture and skills are build in to those teams to meet ​your planned scalability.

  • Crafting your company's core values together, so they truly reflect ​where you're headed and what you stand for

  • Mapping out career paths including clarity on job roles so there's ​no guesswork about who gets to move up and why, accountability ​is key

  • Facilitating feedback workshops to get clarity on what employees ​really think / need, ensuring they feel they have a voice that is ​heard by leadership

  • Ensuring employees understands what makes your company the ​best it can be and can sell that to potential hires

  • Assisting in bringing focus to efforts to attract and keep the kind of ​talent that aligns with your mission, vision, culture and values

  • Encouraging employees to voice thoughts, ideas and increase ​innovation

  • Project Management of office moves or opening new offices ​abroad, making sure everyone is set up for success wherever they ​are

  • Assisting with rewards structure to ensure everyone wants to do ​their best


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Are you suffering from “group think”?

Do you want to attract investment?

Are you thinking about growth through acquisition?

Are you considering an MBO?

Bringing an external viewpoint to assess your market and ​operations can diversify thinking in board meetings. This ​approach challenges the status quo and offers critical insights, ​driving your business towards optimal outcomes.

Moreover, having visible representation of diverse individuals on ​your Board or Operational Leadership team will empower your ​employees; we all look for someone we can relate to.

No matter what your plans for the future of your organisation, we ​can help assess your current set up and offer practical solutions ​to ensure that you are prepared for the next steps.

  • Offering a practical voice and an external perspective to steer your ​business in the right direction

  • Board and leadership assessment and realignment to support ​transparency, establish governance and drive growth

  • Sitting on your Board or Leadership team to drive ED&I goals and ​provide a voice for your Business Services team where they may ​not be represented

  • Championing diversity to enrich your team’s creativity and ​problem-solving skills

  • Ensuring your business is primed for investment, merger or MBO ​with a focus on reporting, technology, and leadership

  • Undertaking technology and operational due diligence to ​safeguard your interests

  • Evaluating your current offering, providing opportunity for ​accessing untapped revenue streams

  • Streamlining acquisition integration, ensuring technology, ​operations, and teams integrate seamlessly
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