One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is that they have a high level of determination to succeed. When your back is against the wall, you respond emphatically and you will never be easily beaten. As a leader, the ability to stay determined and believe in the cause, when everyone else is losing hope, is vital.
Problems arise when that determination leads you to try to do it all alone. Business is very much a team game and unless you build a team of hungry, commercially savvy professionals, you will never be able to truly scale your agency and achieve your potential.
Many agency owners are aware of this but still fall into the trap of not involving their team in key conversations or decisions. They then become frustrated when no-one seems to care or “get it” as much as they do.
If you’re tried involving members of your team in these key conversations or decisions before and been put off by their lack of valuable input, they may just be lacking in some of the skills and resources that would help them to be better prepared and therefore become highly valuable to the businesses growth.
Some of the skills and resources that equip senior agency professionals are:
The ultimate measures of a company’s success show up in its financial performance. Everything else is a driver of that financial performance. If your team understand your finances, they can start to understand how any particular activity in the company affects the profit and loss account and balance sheet.
Many people in business have not had this fundamental grounding in business finance and now need to catch up in order to progress in your company.
Once they have the knowledge of how to read and interpret financial statements, they can then take it a step further and learn how to keep the day to day finances in shape and run useful reports from the accounting system. We run quarterly workshops for agency owners and any senior members of your team who you would like to have a better understanding of the numbers that they can influence day to day.
Using Your Accounting Systems
Not everyone in your company needs to know the ins and out of your accounting systems, but for anyone who needs to record transactions or run reports, they need showing how to do so most efficiently and accurately.
Xero has a vast amount of insightful reporting available that very few people make the most of. You can track revenue and profit on each client, service, activity, department, region, etc if you get the set up right and you know how to use the reports.
There are also some incredible low-cost apps available to integrate with Xero to streamline your expenses, credit control, time tracking and more.
Fostering a High-Performance Workplace
Once you’ve got the right financial model in place and you’re winning the right type of work, your ongoing success all comes down to your operational systems – people and processes.
When your team is operating at their best the work gets done efficiently and to a high standard. The team are proud of the work they do and always have one another back.
Having documented processes gives you consistent methods to deliver your best work time and time again, no matter who joins and leaves the business.
Network with like-minded people
One of the fastest ways to break through challenges and make decisions that you are mulling over is to ask others for advice.
Network with other people in agencies who have been, or are going, through the same journey and they will be able to share knowledge on which software apps you should go for, how to price, hot to handle a difficult client, marketing, recruitment, etc.
Register your interest for the next Digital Roundtable and apply to join the Agency Community group on Facebook where ideas are shared and challenges are solved.
Tools and Resources
Equipping your team with the tools and resources to grow your agency is ultimately what allows you to get your life back and your business to scale.
In addition to the senior management training above, make sure they have access to the following tools to aid in the running of the business:
5 Year MAP
Xero “How To” Guide
Receipt Bank “How To” Guide
Chaser “How To” Guide
All of which are available for free download in the Agency Community facebook group.
The most successful agencies are run by people who are commercially savvy business professionals first, hungry to build a profitable and predictable business. Their creative, marketing or technical passion comes second. They have also surrounded themselves with an internal team, external advisors and a peer network that understand the mechanics of business and help them to be the very best they can be.
Educate yourself and your senior team on how to build a truly successful agency, whatever size that may be, and equip yourselves with the tools and resources above to make it happen.