I had the opportunity to be invited on the AgoraPulse Agency Growth chat on Twitter. I’d like to take their question and answer format to provide a more in depth explanation to the tweet size answers I gave (if you’re curious to see those, follow me on Twitter @rherochoa)
Q2 When you are ready to scale, what’s the first thing you should do?
There are many forms of planning but my approach is to design your business to be profitable as you grow.
The way I do this is to set up what I call “task units”: a team that works on a certain number of client accounts. This team size can vary depending on your:
a) Current company size
c) Your end goal which determines the size of the company you want to run
To make this easy, let’s assume you want to run a lean $1.2m operation.
Here’s how I set up task units for this size of companies:
1- Have a director or senior strategist to support and oversee the strategic plan for your client. This team member “quarterbacks” the unit and creates a deep relationship with all clients in their unit (done right, this leads to longer CLTV and earning more business). If you are a smaller company, or you just love doing this kind of work, this position can be filled by you. It all depends on what you answer in Q1.
2- Account manager: this person runs the day to day operations, activities, and management of a client. Depending on your scope, tech you use, and the skill set of your team, a manager can handle anywhere from 5–12 accounts at a time (without burning out).
3- Project manager: this person ensures the entire unit is meeting deadlines and has clear communications with the client and all stakeholders.
Once you see this structure you can calculate how many clients you want your unit to manage and in turn calculate the profit margin per task unit. You may also have to look at your pricing model to see if it can support your team design.
Setting up task units and designing your team to be profitable from the start, will allow you to manage growth proactively and help you avoid “putting out (unnecessary) fires” as you scale.