Scaling a digital agency is a challenging task, but doing it doesn’t involve any magical formulas. You just have to know to take the right steps at the right time.
Digital agencies that have scaled very quickly in the past have some underlying common thread amongst them. The people who lead these agencies have taken calculated and conscious actions to setup the framework for the growth of the agency.
I would like to share a few lessons I’ve learnt in the way via personal experience and also from people who operate in these fields. These might look easier said than done, but they are all actionable goals and not just word wizardry and can have a tangible impact on your businesses.
#1: Formulate your agency’s vision and mission and build your values around it.
Clarifying your vision and mission statements would help you position your agency better in the market. It’ll help you clarify yourselves as to where your energy should be spent on. It’ll also help your internal teams take proper decisions a these act as guiding factors.
Vision and mission statements are of course different from one another. Though there are numerous definitions for the same, I’ll share the definition quoted often.
A vision statement is a declaration of an organization’s objectives, ideally based on economic foresight, intended to guide its internal decision-making.A vision statement provides strategic direction and describes what the owner or founder wants the company to achieve in the future
A mission statement describes an organization’s purpose and answers the questions “What business are we in?” and “What is our business for?” [source:Wikipedia]
Clarify this by engaging with your teams and this in turn would set the values and eventually the culture of your agency.
#2: Be clear about your core competency and engage with client based on that
The difference between freelancers and agencies is the expertise of the agency and the client-agency relationship that you nurture over the years. Your agency will have to be clear about the agency’s core competency and how it would add value to the client’s strategic requirements.
By being clear yourselves and then transforming that clarity into actual opinions that can help the client make important decisions would be the most crucial in scaling the agency to higher levels. This would help you in establishing credibility.
#3: Make active investments to improve time and efficiency.
Time is as crucial a commodity as money when it comes to digital agencies. You can’t take yours or your employers time for granted. The strategic investments you make in your agencies should be focused on improving the time and money factor that is efficiency and profitability respectively
There are two different aspects to running an agency. One would be the actual billable working hours that bring in money and satisfies the client needs and the other is the administrative tasks and the business development tasks that you need to get done to improve the business. Its a fragile balance and the ideal way would be to employ different people for exlusively different work without compromising on any.
When you can automate task such as project management for marketing teams etcetera using software, you are increasing the efficiency and would be considered a wise investment on the time scale.
#4: Create replicable processes for higher productivity
The most important task when it comes to scaling is the ability of the core team to delegate important processes. Otherwise valuable time would be spent on stuff that could be done by one of your team members while you can focus on bringing in more business to your agency.
Delegation starts by mastering a replicable process for dealing with a particular thing and then teaching your employees about the same and then you should move on to building further processes. This would enable your entire agency to engage with the clients.
When your agency is scaling, it should be able to function without you micromanaging every aspect of it. Everyone should be able to take in higher responsibilities and push the firm towards its growth and it should be embedded in the firm’s DNA.
Do let us know if you’ve any doubts in the comments and we’ll help you out.