Navigating Agency Growing Pains and Building a Cohesive Team

Written By Danielle Fauteaux

Ft. Jim Remsik, founder of Flagrant

How can an agency scale successfully across matters of agency culture, cash flow, and leadership structure?

The reality of changing team dynamics that comes with running and expanding an agency is something you must confront and navigate. Tune in to hear how Jim Remsik overcame growing pains in his previous and current agencies.

In this episode of RecalibrAgency, Jim and I discuss:

  • How to overcome agency growing pains
  • Strategies that Jim has seen impact an agency’s ability to scale quickly
  • How to hire different managers as you scale
  • Safeguarding tribal knowledge loss
  • Mistakes to avoid when scaling your agency

In This Episode

[00:17] Jim introduces himself and his agency, Flagrant.

[01:00] Some of the strategies and tactics that Jim has seen impact an agency’s ability to scale quickly.

[02:15] What it looks like for Jim to play the long game.

[03:09] Is retaining talent actually important for an agency?

[04:16] How to safeguard any tribal knowledge loss as employees move on to other things?

[05:55] Two tools Jim’s agency uses to monitor project health during delivery and assess lessons to be learned after each project

[08:01] The difference focusing on team building and empowering idea creation from across the whole team can make.

[12:36] How to hire different managers as you scale

[16:35] How to help bridge communication breakdowns that can happen as you’re starting to shift from a flat organization into a tiered and structured organization

[19:42] How to evaluate what information to share versus what to withhold, based on the risk tolerance of different groups on your team.

[23:38] If Jim could go back in time, would he scale his agency as quickly as he did?

[26:31] Mistakes to avoid when scaling an agency.

Key Takeaways

I want to point out a couple of key moments from our conversation today. 

The first is that if you intend to scale your agency, you should be identifying leaders early and from within. Who has influence within your team, as opposed to appointing leaders with titles? You want to make sure that you have people that are going to be rallying up other team members as well, especially as you’re growing and introducing new team members into your agency. 

The next thing I want to point out is that when you’re starting to grow, it might be difficult to know how much information to share with your team. You need to navigate that on a case-by-case basis, in my perspective, but you need to communicate no matter what. Remember that an expectation without communicating it is just a thought. 

And finally, be mindful that if you scale too quickly, without that proper structure in place, without enough of a runway, and without enough cash reserves lined up, that you can create a bind for yourself. I don’t recommend using lines of credit for growth. Leverage cash, not credit, and make sure that you’re growing intentionally and take your time to build the right relationships that are going to take you through the long haul. 

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.

Danielle Fauteaux, Agency Coach

Danielle Fauteaux

Hi! I’m Danielle. I’m passionate about helping creatives recognize their value and place in this world, passionate about helping leaders regain control over their responsibilities, passionate about encouraging others to live more meaningful lives; and passionate about doing more with less. I guide creative firms through the Momentum Framework to achieve their revenue and profit goals while falling back in love with the mission they originally set out with.