Recently someone asked me about scaling their agency. And this can be tough because a lot of people who try and scale their business, start not enjoying their business. So here’s my answer.
Yeah, I think it comes down to what you want, what makes you happy. There’s this discussion around comfort levels and growth. Too many people scale for the sake of scale, ridiculous. If you’re asking me, could you make more money? Could you have a bigger business and still not be hating it? I think it’s possible. Agencies are pretty hard wear-and-tear on business owners, but I have a few clients who are at the $5 million mark, and they’re loving their business. And they do very little in their business now. And they’re global. So I think it’s possible, I’ve seen it. And I’ve been involved in that operation.
It’s usually the struggle of being the expert and letting go of the functions. The easy things to let go are those things you’re not actually any good at, or the low hanging fruit, you know. Things like support, content, etc. are much easier to find people for, even website development. It’s much harder to find skilled sales people or SEO technicians. It is possible though, as I mentioned a little earlier.
I’ve been able to transplant a few people into my friend Gert’s business, who have got, you know, 6, 7 ,8 years’ worth of experience in the field. And it’s allowing him to scale and to actually decrease the amount of things he’s doing. I’ve also helped him do things like get off telephone calls and start making short videos. So change of the way you do things can also find you a lot of space.
So if I was helping you scale, but still love your business, I would want to identify what all the things you’re doing. And then I would question each one of those things. Does it need doing? Could it be done a different way? And if there’s no change there, then we might have to look at other things. Who are you serving? For how much? Where’s your sweet spot of clients? Do you feel like you’ve got enough diversity to a national financial crisis in the state your business is now? Could you expand globally, virtually, with really minimal effort?
For Australian businesses, for example, it’s as simple as buying a .com and charging in US dollars. That’s how you have an international business and two-thirds of my business are outside Australia. And I was able to develop that external market initially, also by traveling and speaking at events and meeting people. But the very first thing I had in mind was I’m going to sell globally. So I was a .com, US-dollar company from day one.
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