06 Jul 6 Important Questions to Ask Before Your Agency Grows
Written by Jami Oetting
Many agency leaders think the path to success is through growth. Grow bigger, grow faster, and don’t look back.
But do they have the right business practices in place to actually achieve this? And are they prepared for the inevitable changes that occur as a company gets larger?
6 Questions to Ask Before Your Agency Grows
1) How do you want to grow?
What do you want your agency to look like in a few years? There are two main approaches to growth, and they look very different.
For one type of firm, you can grow through increased sales — or growing by volume. You bring on lots of clients, and hire more people to service those clients. Client accounts will most likely be smaller, and the firm will be more concerned with productivity and the profitability of projects.
You can also grow through the size of your accounts, taking on fewer clients and focusing on longer engagements and less tactical or project-based work. For this type of growth to occur, the agency needs to be committed to a strong positioning as well as be able to showcase its value to obtain more revenue from clients. The agency may only need to win a few key accounts each year to replace leaving clients.
2) Are your current hiring practices in line with your future agency?
As you grow, your agency changes. Your clients’ needs evolve. And you need more people to manage, train, and lead different teams. While some might rely on hiring for the role when they reach that size, most owners want to develop leadership skills in the people who have been with them when the team could easily fit in one room for a meeting. A key external hire — someone with a specific skill set and experience — can benefit the agency’s growth; however, you’ll have a hard time retaining people in the long-run if you fail to create a path of advancement for your current employees.
That means that you need to begin developing a bench of future leaders, and that requires a different approach to hiring and training. In the past, you might have simply been concerned about whether or not the candidate can do the job or be trained to complete the work. Now, you need to consider other qualities in top performers, such as emotional intelligence, interest in long-term career growth and management, and if the person has skills that challenge the team. You’re looking for someone who will add to the overall talent of the team, rather than simply fit into a vacant seat. View Full Article >>