Scaling an agency can be difficult and many agency owners find themselves in a “chicken and egg” scenario, where the amount of work they take on is limited by their staffing but their staffing is limited by the current work quantity’s revenue.
Of course, it’s a given that in most situations like these, it’s necessary to speculate in order to accumulate. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t a variety of ways that a savvy agency owner can intelligently scale their business while keeping the cost of doing so low. Read on to find out what you can do to scale your marketing agency, easily and efficiently.
1. Keep track of staff, processes, and tasks
If your staff (or their methods of working) are inefficient, then the resulting loss will immediately be putting the brakes on your business’ growth.
Assuming you’ve handled any staff who aren’t team players and who are having a negative effect on your bottom line, your next step should be to review how your team allocates and monitor tasks.
Consider implementing project management or team collaboration tool, many of which offer restricted (but still useful) functionalities for free. Just a few benefits of using such a tool include:
- Ease of collaboration
- Better communication
- Easy task delegation
- Better scheduling
- Document sharing
All of which improve efficiency, thus maximizing revenue and releasing capacity for additional work.
2. Use industry-specific tools
In addition to generalized project management tools (such as those mentioned in the previous section), you should consider employing tools that have been developed specifically for your business.
A good marketing management tool can help to minimize (if not eliminate) repetitive and mundane tasks, which (again) allows your team to focus on the parts of the process that demand their skills and attention. Using a marketing management tool can:
Reduce tedious jobs:
- Schedule social media posts
- Send mailshots with ease
- Organize client data
- Reduce the need to access multiple programs
- Collect data in one place
- Reduce keying error due to system fatigue
- Provide more accurate and quicker reporting
Simplify customer management:
- Schedule campaigns
- Manage leads effectively
- Provide better insight into customer behavior
Improve overall agility:
- Give insight into multiple, overlapping and/or simultaneous campaigns
- Provide real-time reports in order to ensure the correct decisions are made
There are a variety of marketing-specific management tools available and you’ll want to look at a few to find the one that’s the right fit for you, your team and your business. Do your research and compare a few different tools, such as Domo vs Looker vs TapClicks.
3. Hire once, hire right
You might have got lucky with your hires up until this point (and that might just be because the staff you’ve hired can handle the current workload!), but reviewing your recruitment process can pay dividends in the long run, paving the way to growth.
Your interview process should be rigorous and in-depth, in order to ensure that the candidate that becomes a colleague shares the company’s vision, possesses the skill set to push the company forward and is a good fit with the existing workforce.
Poor hiring choices can have a very negative impact on your business, not least because of the expense associated with the recruitment and hiring process, but also because of the pernicious effect on the existing team; The destabilizing effect of departing (even short term) staff can significantly damage a previously productive environment.
Minimize staff turnover, stabilize the team, improve efficiency and grow.
4. Forecast for resources
Your team aside, there are other expenses to consider when scaling a business, such as equipment, real estate and a multitude of other overheads.
It’s important you take time to map your growth and forecast what resources will be required and when. For example, it’s no good to hire a whole new design team and then find they have no office space, let alone desks and computers, to work from.
Start budgeting for growth now and you can be proactive, rather than reactive.
5. Step back
You started the business and you’ve brought it this far, but that’s not to say that you’re the right person to scale your agency and take the fight to a new range of bigger and better-organized competitors.
Find a manager who has the full package:
- Management experience
- Marketing expertise
- Leadership skills
Your newly-honed hiring process should help you to separate the wheat from the chaff, exposing the pretenders and the inexperienced to find the right person to lead your company, guide your staff and grow your customer base.
Once you’ve found that person and they’re in post, let them do their job. Do not micromanage them! Let them do what they’re good at so that you can focus on what you’re good at, and watch your agency grow.