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Agency Exposed Podcast


Jul 7, 2021

Summary:

Last week we covered how to scale your business without hiring. Today, we chat about how to make sure your agency is primed for scaling. The first step is to define what you want your agency to look like. Next, you need to put guidelines in place to protect your goals for your business. It’s also important to know what tasks give you energy, drain you of energy, and the ones in the middle. By being self aware and finding people who love the tasks you don’t, you can improve efficiency and limit fatigue. One final step to prep your agency for scaling is to have a bigger purpose than simply making money. By doing this, you can inspire your employees and create a genuine culture that they love.

 

Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 

 

  • Put boundaries in place to protect your goals. Figure out what you want your agency to be and the goals you have. Then place guidelines to help you achieve the desires you have for your agency. “It starts from understanding what you want to be as an agency.” 
  • Have a bigger purpose. By giving your agency a bigger purpose than just a 9-to-5 job, you can inspire your employees and eliminate any staleness within your business. “You gotta have a bigger purpose for your agency outside of just making money. And if you can get your employees to really understand the value of that, then they're more apt to really enjoy what they're doing”
  • Know your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Discover your strengths and weaknesses in order to structure your business around them. Then find people who gain energy doing your not so favorite tasks. By doing this, you can streamline and strengthen your agency and prevent burnout and exhaustion. “If you have enough self awareness to identify and take the time to plug in the people around you that are better at that, it's a game changer.”

 



For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:



About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from 2000-2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently, that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 

 

Show Notes:

[0:57] Bob opens this week’s episode by chatting about the triangle offense of the Bulls.

[3:14] Bob continues last week’s conversation about scalability.  

[3:57] Brad asks how to efficiently manage transitioning from one project to another.

[4:31] Ken talks about how he uses scheduling to promote focus and smooth transitions between projects.

[5:16] Brad asks how many people an agency should have to have more layers of project management.

[5:34] Bob says that having someone who focuses on time management is essential to scale.

[8:10] Brad talks about how in order to manage your agency’s size, “it starts from understanding what you want to be as an agency.” 

[9:26] Ken asks what guidelines the guys use to practically manage their size goals.

[9:56] Brad discusses the importance of understanding your pipeline and your relationships with your clients.

[13:36] Bob says that it is vital to “have someone that is invested in the business on some level that has a really good gut about people.”

[17:46] Brad asks, “How do you scale, like we talked about and not see your revenues or your profit continue to go down?”

[20:47] Ken uses an analogy of Apple to illustrate that catering to the clients preferences- billing, for example- creates inefficiencies, unscalability, and low product quality. “Why die over something so trivial, that can be solved so easily.”

[23:44] Bob dives into the dark side of success. “There's a dark side of success that no one really wants to acknowledge.” “there's collateral damage. You don't want multiple marriages, your kids that they don't have relationships but you have to sacrifice something, and people will always be the collateral damage.”

[23:52] Bob discusses the importance of defining what you want for your agency by creating healthy boundaries that achieve your goals.

[24:59] Brad considers the motivations behind scaling.“why do businesses have to scale and grow and continue to grow every year after year after year? Like, it's almost like a shame thing.”

[25:41] Brad talks about the importance of having outside goals for your business. “You gotta have a bigger purpose for your agency outside of just making money. And if you can get your employees to really understand the value of that, then they're more apt to really enjoy what they're doing”

[28:01] Bob discusses how essential culture is to scalability.

[28:46] Brad talks about a friend of his who runs a mid size agency. He started an orphanage for 20-30 kids and his agency is actively involved in it. Brad says that at the “end of the day, I would rather scale that kind of mentality and culture than just scaling a business just to grow a business.” 

[30:08] Brad asks, “is money really what I want?” 

[31:02] Ken touches on other motivations behind scaling. “It's less about the size, or the numbers. It is to be able to have, more predictable, more sustainable, more consistent business success,”

[32:01]  Ken talks about the importance of having a healthy business.

[35:00]  Brad asks if the guys have a team member that manages and runs processes. He also asks for suggestions to help him find a person to do that in his business.

[35:59] Bob discusses how essential it is to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and things in between. He also talks about having people in your weak spots to strengthen your agency and prevent burnout and exhaustion. 

[38:04] Ken has a conversation about his experience, methods, and tools he uses to systemize his agency. “you have systems, you just may not be aware of them. I think the first step is identifying them” “How I figure out how to systemize it is by trying to identify things that could be done smarter, and then saying, Okay, if I had to teach this to someone, how would I do that?” 

[45:17] Bob talks about personal discipline.

[46:42] Brad discusses how people, especially new hires, want more processes as confirmation that they are doing their job correctly.

[47:45] Ken wraps up with a chat about teamwork and picking your poison. “Would I want to do this? No. Do I want to live in a house? Yes.”