How to Scale Your Agency from $2 to $5 Million
Roger is the Founder at Enfusen. He was #40 on Entrepreneur Magazines Most Influential Digital Marketers in 2016. His past companies have made INC Magazines Fastest Growing Companies in 2011, 2012, & 2013.
When the business starts to become bigger than you as an individual you start to look at taking yourself out of the business. It is important to know when is the right time to do this. This video discusses the steps in order to get your business here.
How to Scale Your Agency from $2 to $5 Million Video
0:26 Problem of doing this too early in their business.
1:41 Make a road map of every single activity you do
3:48 Working ON your business instead of IN your business
4:10 The 3 things you need to do today
Hi, this is the 3rd video in our series of How to Scale Marketing Agency. Today, we’re going to be talking about scaling from 2 million to 5 million dollars a year in revenue. This is actually my favorite part, because this is where the business starts to become bigger than you as an individual, but before we get to that, let me talk about the one caveat to this that we see that most people struggle with. The problem is that they try to do this too early in their business.
“How do I get to that range where I start taking myself out of the business?” It is pure hustle.–Tweet This!
I had one of our students in our program recently come to me and say, “Hey.” It’s like he’s in that 6-700,000 dollar range. He asked like “What is the one thing that I need to do to get from 1 million to 2 million? How do I get to that range where I start taking myself out of the business?” It is pure hustle. If you take yourself out of the business too soon, you fail to realize that no one is going to find your business as interesting as you.
You’re not going to hire someone to help you make millions of dollars. If they were capable of doing it, more times than not, they would do it themselves. What you need to understand at this step is when we start to talk about systems, procedures, documentation and taking you out of the business, that there needs to be a certain foundation to the business that shows the individuals that you’re bringing in to manage, that you’re bigger than what they could go do on their own today. Also, that gives you the ability to be able to pay them the wages that are justified with somebody that can do that.
As of today, you have 2 million dollars in revenue or 1.5-2.5, you’re right in that range, and you’re starting to think to yourself that the 80 hours a week is killing me. Yes, it does take 80 hours a week to get there in the service side of the world. Not for everyone, but for most, so be willing to dedicate that. That’s in a previous video. You’re sitting here and you’re trying to figure out “What do I need to do?” You need to make a road map of every single activity that you, the owner, do from the moment you wake up to the moment you stop working, or go to sleep, whichever one happens first. As you document that starting at the very beginning, you need to start building systems and procedures on a step-by-step basis. There’s a lot of great tools that you can do this. Some basic ones, just a Google Doc and start building different documents. I’m a big fan of using Confluence from Atlassian. It’s more on the developer side, but for 20 bucks a month there is no better way to build like a wisdom tree of all of the things that you do inside your organization and integrating that into Slack, Trello, or whatever you use from a project management standpoint. As you start to build that documentation out, you need to understand that this is not a 30-day project, it’s not a 90-day project, it’s not even a 6-month project.
When I did this in my last agency, it took me about 2 years to do this successfully. Now, the reason that it took me 2 years is I had no real guidance. I didn’t really buy into the whole coaching model at that time because I hadn’t been introduced to it. I was going through the trials and tribulations of taking a three and a half million dollar a year company to the point where I wanted to be able to sell it. I finally got a business coach, pre early 2011, late 2010. He started helping me with the documentation of systems and procedures. The goal is … and I’m not saying that you do this so that you can go on vacation every day. That’s not how you grow a business, but the goal is that you should be able to come in on Monday, first thing in the morning and look at a set of reports that tells you everything that’s going on with your business from a financial perspective and everything that’s going on with your business from a client success perspective, i.e., and your own internal marketing. You should be able to analyze that in one day and then you should be able to have one meeting per week where you work with your management team to layout the strategy of what you’re going to do next. This is the perfect model if you want to sell your marketing agency. It’s not necessarily exactly what’s going to get you from 5 to 10. That is still hardcore hustle working, and in the next video we’ll talk about using branding to get there, but the systems and procedures will take you out of the business. There’s that saying “You need to be working on your business, instead of in your business.” If you’re the one that’s still taking every client call, if you’re the one doing every client report, if you’re the one managing all of the workers that are doing the work, you’re never going to scale a service-based business beyond the 2 million dollar a year mark. In fact, it’s really, really hard to get to 5 million dollars a year without that.
Here’s the 3 things that you need to do today. Figure out where you are and if this video applies to you. That’s number 1. Because there’s other videos that might talk to you more about where you’re at. Don’t skip steps. That’s part of number 1. If you’re at 500,000 dollars a year, don’t be building a model to take yourself out of the business. Be building a model to dial in your offer and fucking hustle until you’re ready to do the next step.
Step 2 is build that individual documentation of what you, the owner, do on a daily basis, every single activity. When I did this, I even wrote down when I ate breakfast, when I went to the gym. It had everything in there, because I was trying to define what it looks like to own a business that is exactly like mine.
The 3rd step is pick a technology platform to make your life easy. Again, Confluence, look it up. 20 bucks a month for a basic package. Then start to document everything that you do on each individual step. Write everything that you can think. It’s better to put more out there than less. Then as you start to define all of this into one system, you can start going through and chunking pieces out, improving them and starting to find people to fill the holes. You’re not going to find one person that’s going to sit down at your desk, not in most cases, is going to take a basic salary and is going to go run your business and help you make millions of dollars. The barrier to entry into what we do from most perspectives is not that high, from a sales perspective. Implementation is a little bit harder.
The reason that this video is longer is I’m trying to drive in the point that you need to be over 2 million dollars a year to start implementing this, and living and breathing this. You do it too soon, you miss the other things that you need to do. On the other end of this is one of two things will happen. You’ll have a sell-able business which I wager to say that more than half of you are thinking about that right now: “How am I going to sell this thing?” Or, you’re going to have a business poised for explosive growth through the 5-10 million dollar and beyond range. I’m Roger from Enfusen. This was Part 3 of our video training series on How to Scale Your Agency.