There are a couple of points in your agency life when you’ll need to assess how to organize your people and client workload. One of those points is at it your agency’s founding. Another is when you are on the precipice of major growth. And on the Debby Downer side is when you are facing a major service disruption or other client delivery focused disruption.
At these junctures, mindful agency leaders will take time to evaluate the answers to key questions about their present and their future life 10 days from now, 10 months from now, and 10 years from now.
Here is just a sampling of such questions to ask of yourself and your agency:
- How long do I want to be actively involved?
- In what specific ways do I want to be actively involved?
- In what specific ways do I NOT want to be actively involved?
- How many people do I want to employ?
- How much do I want to scale the agency?
- Who will be in charge of managing the people?
- What kinds of partnerships am I looking to step into?
- Who will be in charge of managing the partner relationships?
- What will be the primary source of agency income?
- What will be the passive source of agency income?
- Who will manage each source of income?
- Do any options more nimbly allow for re-structuring should the need arise?
- Are our service offerings commodity or specialty?
- Are our service offerings general or niche?
- Are the roles I’d need to fill entry level or experienced positions?
- How much “tribal knowledge” would need accounted for (and in what ways?)
- How many team members should be involved per client account? (min / max?)
- How much profit per year should the agency grow into?
- What pricing structure would accommodate that profit goal? (Reminder to my beloved creatives that revenue does not equal profit. Profit = Revenue – Expenses)
- What could go wrong with X structure?
- What could go wrong with Y structure?
- To what degree do I want a vertical versus horizonal company culture?
- What kind of company culture do I envision in general?
- Which current positions are revenue generating?
- Which current positions are administrative / managerial roles?
- What is our current utilization rate? (Is it below 85%?)
If it were me, I’d print out these questions and go ponder them somewhere other than my normal workspace without distraction anytime my agency were in need of organizational structuring or re-structuring. This way, you can mindfully solve for the present and future of not only your agency, but for the present and future of yourself and attaining your personal goals as well.
Building a successful marketing agency takes grit, a focus on your value, and sometimes a *loving* kick in the pants.
Needing an ally as you achieve your long-term goals?
I’d be happy to help.