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The Four Stages of Agency Growth

The agency business model is demanding; it causes you to shift from being a solopreneur and take on the mantle of leadership, which means letting go of some control.

When you begin to see yourself outside of your business identity—when you realize that you are not your brand, but the person behind it—you may experience a feeling of uneasiness.

If you want to increase your income, you must work through the fear that comes up when you let go of control over client delivery.

The model can be implemented gradually, allowing you to set up the systems and processes necessary for quality control as you hand off certain aspects of delivery.

You don’t go from being a solopreneur to hiring a whole team in one step. That’s how you hear about agency horror stories.

Whenever a business tries to make that kind of transition too quickly, here are some examples of what can happen:

→ Client blame game of poor results 

→ Leadership blames support staff

→ Support staff disengaged without proper training or support 

Poor quality work, unhappy clients & disengaged teams are what often scare people away from agency models. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, there is a better way.

You can grow your agency by working through the 4 stages of agency growth—and building a team culture that supports sustainable business growth.

Stage 1: Booked out, Income capped

You might be here if you are booked up with leads who want to work with you but don’t have the time or capacity. You are considering hiring a team to help implement your work so you can accommodate more clients.

Stage 2: Have a team, sort of

Things are getting a bit messy and overwhelming. You want to take things to the next stage, add your next set of implementers, and double the team’s revenue-generating potential but how could that be possible when you feel like your business is a beat-up Honda instead of a Ferrari?

If you establish your business on solid foundations and develop leadership skills, then this will help to make a transition less messy and overwhelming.

Stage 3: Teams are established; implementation is outsourced and have teams interfacing with clients without you

With your growing book of client work and a well-trained team, you are ready to turn over all day-to-day responsibilities while you focus on the business.

Stage 4: Growth cycle – you have it figured out. 

When you know how to grow for more capacity and then scale, you’ve reached the ability to grow exponentially. You either stay here—keeping your business growing smoothly— or go looking for the next thing new thing because you have the time.