Your agency will fail in the next 12 months unless you embrace this one simple principle.
I’ve surveyed thousands of agencies and the 99% who feel undervalued and overworked all have one thing in common.
But the 1% of agencies who were happy with the money they were making, the time they spent in the office, and the progress of their business all had one principle that they stuck to – no matter what.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running an agency for years or if you’re brand new.
I’m going to show you how to implement this principle into your agency, what the top 1% of agency owners are doing, and give you an example of an agency owner who put this principle to work and it revolutionised her business.
And to start, we need to understand the massive mistake that likely you and 99% of other agencies are making that is holding your business back (and it isn’t what you’re thinking).
What’s interesting is that when you realise what this principle is, you’ll see it everywhere.
Anytime there’s a business you admire or you see as successful, I’ll guarantee that they have embraced this as a fundamental principle.
When I first started my agency I would work my ass off for clients, overdelivering and overworking
At the time, I would undercharge for my services because frankly, I didn’t think I deserved to charge higher prices.
Entire websites would be £500 and even then, customers would complain about the price.
I had three things that told me my business was a failure
- I wasn’t making enough money
- I was working too many hours
- I was working too hard to find clients and keep them
I didn’t feel the business was growing and I was basically stuck
And so I asked my mentor what I was doing wrong.
And I thought he’d reveal some long hidden but powerful marketing technique that would turn my business around.
But instead, he asked, “Do you want to be a marketer, or run a marketing business?”
And I was like “That’s a dumb question. I am running a marketing business. And to do that, I need to be a marketer, right?”
But then he outlined that the DO-er and the OWN-er are two completely different roles.
You see many agencies are started by the DO-er. The SEO person, the designers, the marketer.
And they start a business to do that work for their clients
And their business is judged by their work.
So their business is judged by their performance.
Have you ever looked at a restaurant on Kitchen Nightmares or had a bad experience at a business and thought “How can they get this wrong? It’s not that hard!”
So how can we make that transition within our own business?
Most business owners will refuse to make this transition – that’s why they’ll always be stuck in the 99% of agencies who are unhappy, underpaid, and overworked.
And the best part is that this principle is extremely simple.
So in a second, I’m going to walk you through a real life case study of someone who did this and landed $50,000 of work in just a few weeks, with no cold calls, creating new products, or working herself to exhaustion.
Your business has a very simple workflow.
Even the most complex and massive businesses in the world follow this basic layout.
And what makes a business successful, stuck, or dead is where you (the owner) place your time and energy.
It’s like knowing which lever to pull and which to let go of.
It’s basically a tripod. And each side represents a part of the business.
The two critical measures of success in a business are:
Ask a business owner and they want more of both.
So a successful business, the 1%, they have more time and more money.
And – if they want to increase one of those metrics, they know they can do so without sacrificing or spending the other.
We have S&M . We’ve got D&O and we’ve got F&A.
Money comes in the top via SM and let’s say it’s $100, a certain amount is lost at the top, let’s say $10.
Another $20 might go to FA and let’s say $50 goes to DO.
That leaves us with $20 which is our profit.
The same goes with time, each day we have let’s say 8 hours, and 2 get spent at the top, 2 get spent on the side and 2 get spent on the other side.
That leaves us with 2 spare hours.
This is what a healthy, well run business looks like.
This is what your business looks like.
You have money and time coming in.
But you and other unhappy agencies lose $10 to the top, $10 to FA and $80 to DO.
Same with your time allocation – in fact it’s even worse.
You’re likely getting 8 hours a day and putting it all into the DO section.
And you’re not left with any time or money in the business.
I’m going to use Erin as an example and she was a solo business owner, doing everything from the delivery, admin, and sales of the business.
Let’s see how Erin increased her cashflow, changed her business and kept more money in the business.
The top SM stands for sales and marketing.
This is how you find clients and how money comes into the business.
This is where Erin made a huge change in terms of where she spent most of her time.
FA, is for finance and admin.
Chasing invoices, paying bills, doing taxes. That kind of stuff. Most of the time, that’s not a fulltime job, but it has to get done.
Erin spent time in FA but not enough to make massive gains in the business.
And the DO section, which stands for delivery and operations.
Remember earlier when I said most business owners are actually DOers?
That’s because they spend their time and money on DO.
Erin changed her entire approach and began to move from DOer to OWNer by removing herself from the delivery and operations part of the work
Instead, she would focus on finding clients, making sales, and growing revenue.
Any new work that came in, she’d make sure she had someone to execute that work.
And I asked my mentor “How do I actually make the leap? Someone has to do the work, right?”
And he asked, “If I could no longer deliver or do any of the work, what would I do instead?”
I thought for a while and responded that obviously, I’d hire someone.
“Right…” he replied.
“But I can’t afford to hire someone”
“OK, so what do you need to do then?”
I realised that I probably needed to do something about my pricing.
“And” I said (and Erin said the same thing too) “I’m the only one who knows how to deliver the work I’ve sold.”
But there’s an extremely simple answer to this question.
Luckily, I’ve recorded a video about just that.
So if you’ve decided that you want to look into hiring, removing yourself from the work and increasing your prices, I’ve got a video here that explains exactly how to make sure that you can raise your prices so you can afford to hire someone.