Tag Archives for " management "

Talking finance with Susan Boles from ScaleSpark

Today, I want to dig deep into some of the decisions you make early on in your agency that can have a HUGE effect on how your business develops in the future. We will be discussing:

Do you charge hourly or do you use value-based pricing?

Do you make sure you and your team use time tracking?

Are you sure you are making the best use of your time?

In this episode I am delighted to be joined by Susan Boles, virtual CFO and owner of organisation, Scale Spark.

We are going to be discussing all of the above and everything else in between to help you be sure you’re running a resilient and efficient agency.

[02:02] What are the common types of challenges most agencies seem to have?

[06:41] Your money mindset will have a HUGE effect on you and how you run your business. You may find that this is something you have to address, in order for you to reach your full potential as an agency owner. 

[09:25] People tend to structure their agency based on their experience as an employee at previous agencies. Why is this a problem?

[14:03] “Why are you doing it that way?”

[16:18] Let’s dig deeper into package pricing and the importance of tracking your time. 

[24:40] When you have data about how long a task takes, you can start to find more efficient ways of doing those tasks!

[27:48] Susan gives her 2 top tips for new agency owners.

[29:38] If Susan could go back in time and give herself some business advice, what would it be?

Resources 

ScaleSpark website 

LinkedIn

Subscribe & Review

Are you subscribed to my podcast yet? If you’re not, please do so to avoid missing out on any episodes!

You can subscribe/ follow on iTunes, Spotify or directly from my website.

I would be very grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too as they will help other people to find my podcasts and it's also great to read your comments!

Thanks so much,

Rob

Scaling and succession planning with Pietro Ranieri

Today’s guest just so happens to be the first EVER employee I hired in my agency CIT, many years ago!

Pietro Ranieri worked at my agency for 9 years before leaving to set up on his own and I wanted to get him on the show to discuss his journey from freelancer to running and growing an agency, and to the point of selling his agency.

He went on to buy his agency back (we discuss why!) and he now has a number of offices around the world!

If you’re thinking of making the move from freelancer to agency owner, or if you’re thinking of scaling and maybe ultimately selling your agency, then this episode is for you.

[05:26] What made Pietro make the switch from freelancer to agency owner? With most of his clients based in the US, Pietro had become somewhat of a night owl which lead to an unhealthy and lonely lifestyle…

[09:37] Ranieri has a clear niche in consumer electronics, which has worked well for his agency as everyone knew they are the “go-to” experts. But what happened when he took on clients from outside of his area of expertise?

[16:22] Are you running a proper agency, or do you just have a bunch of assistants working for you? If you want to scale, you need to be able to step away from doing the client work.

[20:37] If you’re really looking to scale, it’s important you learn to distance yourself from the being the first point of contact, so the clients don’t become attached to you. Pietro and Rob delve into WHY this is so important and HOW to go about it.

[25:59] The process of selling your agency can be a very long and draining process. If you want to sell your agency, you need to know what to expect and how to properly prepare for it.

[35:15] if Pietro could go back in time and give himself some advice, what would it be?

For more info on Pietro's agency, Ranieri Communications, visit the WEBSITE.

Subscribe & Review

Are you subscribed to my podcast yet? If you’re not, please do so to avoid missing out on any episodes!

You can subscribe/ follow on iTunes, Spotify or directly from my website.

I would be very grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too as they will help other people to find my podcasts and it's also great to read your comments!

Thanks so much,

Rob

The Self-Managed Agency

Imagine having an agency that runs itself.

No more slogging over client work day in, day out. No more 15-hour days to ensure you meet the next deadline. No more dealing with multiple clients all wanting to speak only to YOU.

This is something many agency owners dream of yet fail to achieve. However, if you really want an agency that runs itself, it most certainly is possible and I’m going to show you how to do it:


[02:01] If your hourly rate is £150 and you’re doing tasks below that level, you need to start delegating these and focusing only on the tasks that at level of your hourly rate or higher.

[03:51] You need to build your brand to be your agency not just “you”.

[06:23] Why you absolutely must hire the very best people you can afford, and not just a bunch of assistants.

[07:49] How building a management team as soon as possible will make it easier to move your agency forward.

[08:55] There is an art behind being a super effective delegator and learning this is so important if you want your agency to grow to the point of not needing you! Make sure you download my free e-book on delegation HERE.

[10:37] Do you have a plan that you visit every day to ensure you’re always moving your agency forward?

[13:00] You can’t build an extension on your house without foundations as the extension will fall down. Similarly, you can’t grow an agency without getting the fundamentals right.

Subscribe & Review

Are you subscribed to my podcast yet? If you’re not, please do so to avoid missing out on any episodes!

You can subscribe/ follow on iTunes, Spotify or directly from my website.

I would be very grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too as they will help other people to find my podcasts and it's also great to read your comments!

Thanks so much,

Rob

You looked too busy so I didn’t bother you

time management

I seem to have a consistent theme during many of last month’s coaching sessions – lots of conversations taking place about prioritisation and protecting time (so that you can get on with the stuff that really matters).  The flip side of this is being approachable.

I have one client who is leading a great many strategy projects in her business, let’s call her Jane. This means that quite a few managers are indirectly reporting to Jane regarding the delivery of their part of the project.  But it turns out that sometimes they are bypassing Jane and going instead to their manager for queries.  When challenged about this, they responded by saying ‘you looked busy, so I didn’t want to bother you!’

There is several things wrong with this situation so let’s just take a moment to explore 2 of them:

  1. You have to wonder if it really is the case that Jane seemed too busy, so the team member didn’t want to interrupt her, or was it because they knew they wouldn’t get the answer they wanted so went to someone else?
  2. If it is true then Jane needs to make herself obviously more available to give the support to the team members to deliver the projects

If case number 1, Jane needs to work with her peers to ensure they direct staff to her rather than try and answer the questions themselves.  All managers need to ‘sing off the same hymn sheet.’ No one wants a divisive culture in their business!

In case number 2, then Jane firstly needs to communicate with everyone that she is the main point of contact (and have this reiterated by her manager) and she also needs to make time to check in with the teams and create time when she can be available to support them.

Whatever the actual reasons, it is never acceptable for someone to say they didn’t bother you because you looked too busy.  It’s not their job to be a mind reader and make decisions based on their psychic abilities!  It’s your job as a manager to be available at times to support them whilst also protecting your time to work on your own projects.

Do you have similar experiences or stories to share?  Please get in touch.

 

Is good enough good enough?

perfectionist

Many people struggle to delegate because they believe other people won’t do the work as well as them, the want the job done the way they would do it and they want it done perfectly. This may well be true (that others won’t do it as well as them) but they are asking themselves the wrong question. It shouldn’t be ‘will they do it as well as me?’ but ‘ will they do it well enough?’ Those who don’t delegate become bottle necks, and if they are the owners of their businesses (like many clients I work with) then they stop their business growing – which is the exact opposite of their intent.

Many people brag about being a perfectionist – they think it shows the quality of their output and that they are better than your ‘average Joe’ but the truth is perfectionism is unhealthy; it stops us doing things, its focuses the attention on failure rather than success and it stops us delegating.

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” Harriet Braiker

We often equate being a perfectionist as a good thing. Yet perfectionists rarely complete task, or don’t ever start tasks – for fear of not being able to do it perfectly. Perfectionism often causes procrastination. Perfectionists are terrified of making a mistake, and consequently find themselves stressed, anxious, and desperately focused on not failing. They maintain unrealistic expectations of themselves and of others and consequently, don’t delegate.

Doing something ‘good enough’ (….for the client to be happy….to represent the brand well) is what we should strive for instead. This level of excellence focuses our attention on what’s right and working well, rather than what’s not working – and this keeps our attention on the positives and how things could be even better. Excellence is limitless and progressive, since you can always reach for greater and greater excellence. Whereas perfection can never be achieved.

Breaking the cycle

Here are my 4 tips on breaking perfectionist tendencies

  1. Focus on progress, not perfection – Get a clear sense of the purpose in everything you do. Then it will be easier to know which things deserve that extra time to get things “just right,” and which things don’t.
  1. Set your minimum standard, and stop when you meet it – Get clear about your minimum standards – and once you find an answer that meets those minimum standards, choose it. Stop searching for more options.
  1. Get organised – Create your daily/weekly lists and do the hardest thing first
  1. Get unstuck – When you get stuck and find yourself procrastinating, JFWDI (and if you want to know what that means, drop me a line!)

I run workshops on delegation and being a great leader and this is a topic that is discussed with more detail on strategies to overcome it.

So the next time you think ‘I can’t delegate because they won’t do it as well as me’ or ‘ I don’t want to tackle this because I don’t think I can do it perfectly’, ask yourself ‘will they/I do it well enough?’

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