Is it actually possible to build an agency that feels good? The good news is, yes it is. You can build an agency that feels good, not only for you but for your clients and team too.
In today’s episode, we’re chatting about what it looks like to build an agency that feels good. The truth is that this will look different for everyone, but what matters is that you are defining exactly what it would look like for you so you can work backward to get there.
You’ll hear about the 3 specific things that might be getting in your way of building an agency that feels good and why this is an ever-evolving process to redefine what feels good as you spiral up, grow and scale your agency.
Download the Episode 88 Transcript
Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 88.
You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done for you service based companies. Here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hello. Hey, everyone, Nicole, here today we are talking about if it is actually possible to build an agency that feels good. For those of you who do not know me. Hello, my name is Nicole and I help done for you service providers step into the role of agency owner and really create a great experience for all of the people in their business, including themselves, their clients and their team too. So welcome. Welcome. Let’s dive into our topic for today. So is it possible to build an agency that feels good?
So the first thing that I want you to do is define what does feeling good mean to you? Because that is a very general statement. I really encourage all of you and all of my clients to be very specific around what you mean, because what you may define as feeling good may be very different from what somebody else defines as feeling good. It’s the same thing when we take a look at team goals, revenue goals, really goals, any goals that you have in your business, really defining what does success look like to you? We can very broadly say that we want to grow successful businesses. But again, what success looks like to me may be very different than what success looks like to you. So I want you to just take a minute and think about what does it mean to feel good to you when it comes to growing your agency? What does that look like and really take a minute to define that?
So for some people may define that as giving them the space to be able to step away from their desk throughout the day or take a day off without feeling like they’re coming back to their computer after that day off, having even more work on their plate for other people, it’s being able to focus in on other revenue streams and for other people, it’s having a team where they feel like they have a really great flow and way of doing business and a great culture, and that the team members support each other.
For many, it’s that I mean, some similarities that I’ve heard of from from clients is really the ability to step away from your business, knowing that it will continue to run, that clients will be taken care of and that team has what they need to do their job.
Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just say like au revoir to your business and check out for six months, right? But it’s the ability to be able. It’s it’s not having that constant reliance, right? Being in the day to day operations where, you know, if you were to leave for whatever reason, your business would break.
So a lot of times that’s what I hear when it comes to feeling good. That’s definition. But take a minute and figure out what that what that looks like to you and be really specific about that. So if this is the case, if you are looking to build a business where you’re not as involved in the day to day operations and you can step away while it continues to run, knowing that clients are taken care of and that your team is supported, then it is totally possible to build an agency that feels good.
And usually the reason why it may not feel good, it usually boils down to three specific things. So I want to talk through what those look like, and I would love if you’re listening in or listening to this recording to comment on, first off, what does it actually mean to you to build an agency that feels good? What is that specifically? I’d love for you to share that with me. And then the second piece is that I want you to tell me why you think it doesn’t feel good right now. It usually boils down to three things the reasons why it doesn’t feel good right now.
So the first is that you’re the foundations of your business are not set up for a team to support you. Now, for those of you who are a little bit further along in your agency journey, I want you just because you have a team in place right now. Maybe your business has grown right, and as your business grows, you need to reconfigure your foundations in order to support that growth. So for those of you who are listening who are like, my business is set up to have a team, I’ve had a team, right? I want you to take a look at how your business may have evolved over the course of the past year or two or three or five to see. Are there things that may need to shift when it comes to the foundations of my business? So what that looks like your offerings, your clients, your processes and your financials. Right. So those are really the foundations of your business that I’m talking about.
So some are mentioning I want to step completely out of client delivery. I want to have creative space to market and do other things. Absolutely. I think that’s great. And I think that I’m glad you mentioned the marketing because often times when folks are building their businesses and building their agencies, they’re, you know, they’ve gotten to a point where they have business, they have revenue coming in right and then they need to start focusing in on those operations on client delivery. So that they continue to market and bring in more business, but sometimes it can feel like a balancing act, right? It’s like, Well, I need more business in order to bring on more team, but I need more time in order to take on more business. So when I talk about the foundations and the financial aspects of your business, we dove into that when it comes to planning for what’s going to be needed for the growth that you desire.
So once you have that team set up, it’s important that you lead them in a way that creates space for you to be able to go in market and bring in more business. So I think that that’s perfect. And so you talked about marketing and do other things. You have cases, says what feels good, awesome people. Lots of clients, beer and mini fridge. Cheers to you to be on vacation and not need to be contacted. My team is happy and not stressed. Yup, totally. Financials are so important. I want to keep making a profit as I grow a podcast. Everyone needs a podcast, of course. That’s great advice. So we’ve talked about the foundations, right? Really taking a look at the profit of your business and there are times where investments need to be made right. But we’re making those investments with a projected return on those investments, too.
So when we look at the foundations right, we’re looking at your offerings, how your offerings might need to shift to support that next level growth. Your clients might need to shift a bit as you learn more about who your ideal client is and is not and your processes and then also your financials, too.
So the second thing that I see of why it might not feel good is that it’s really interesting, even especially if you have a team right, you still need to probably delegate a bit more or get better at it. So what I have found is that again, you can have a team, right? But if your business is growing and if your business looks different than it did last year or two years or five years or 10 years ago, right, you’re probably going to need to get to a point where you’re going to have to get more off of your plate, right?
And so I talk a lot in my program AGENCY about moving from leading implementers to leading managers, and it’s a different skill set. As your business grows, you’re going to need to continue to offload, you know, areas that are on your plate, right, so that you don’t continue to be the bottleneck as you grow.
And I talk about the concept of spiraling up, and it’s funny because it’s it’s usually the same things. It’s like your foundations, your team and your management and leadership. It’s like you’re constantly evaluating these three things, and it can sometimes feel annoying because you are like, Wait, I thought I had this delegation thing down. I already removed myself at the bottleneck. Why am I the bottleneck again? Right? It’s literally because you are spiraling up. It’s because you are growing and you’re going, if this is a practice, it’s not something that you just check off of the list. So I would love to know for those that are listening or listening to the recording. Do you feel like you need to get you feel like you need to get more off of your plate right now? Do you feel like you need to maybe get better at delegating to the people that you already have? Or do you feel like you need to revamp some of the foundations of your business? And then the third piece of why it might not feel good is that it’s it’s it’s really developing your management and how to manage and lead your team and your business.
So, you know, really stepping into the leadership position, empowering your team to be able to make decisions and to be able to come to the table with new and fresh ideas so that it becomes it’s not just about you anymore. You know, it’s that’s like what can sometimes be challenging is a shift from being like the face and the sole person in the business to really having a team support you and being able to delegate that decision making to encourage people to come to the table with new and better ideas and things that you just wouldn’t have even thought of and really be able to then take your business to the next level so that it feels good. I mean, that’s the whole point of having a team right is to be able to have different ideas and different ways of doing business and that diversity of thought.
And so that’s really what we want to focus in on is being able to empower those people to lead. And that, I mean to me, feels really, really good. And so, yeah, awesome for me is spiraling up. And oh my god, there is something else to delegate. Yeah, totally right. And you know, it can feel I know for myself, I think it’s really great to start getting more. I highly encourage people to become very self-aware of their tendencies. And so I know for me, I get to a point where I start feeling overwhelmed and really frustrated, and that’s when I need to pause as a leader and figure out what is going on. And usually it’s because I need to either give feedback. Or I need to change a process or I need to delegate ownership over something or I need to. I need to get something else off of my plate because I’m usually frustrated at myself because I’m becoming the bottleneck and not getting things done. And I think a lot of people get stuck in that where they’re like, Oh, I’m the bottleneck, it’s on me. I need to figure out how to do this. I need to figure out how to work longer hours. I’m going to stay up all night. I’m going to take the weekend to do this right.
And of course, there’s definitely times where we need to invest in our business when it comes to time to be able to get the return of time back. But at the same time, often there’s usually another solution. And I think that’s what’s important is that you take a moment to figure out, OK, maybe instead of just taking all this on and being frustrated and being the bottleneck and just trying to push, push, push, what’s another solution to this? Like, who can help me with this?
And starting to think about it from that perspective so that you can oftentimes people already have someone on their team that can do some of this stuff and sometimes that sometimes you need to hire someone, or sometimes you’re just trying to do something that you just need to delete because it’s not working. It’s like, Why am I like? Why am I like making this a thing? Right? So getting to a place where my team feels competent to make decisions, you spend the whole day with team mapping out processes and refining things. Awesome. I’m assuming that is to be able to get some more things off of your plate or to maybe help your team gain more capacity, right? Because as we grow right, it’s not just us that has the capacity problem. It’s also going to be team members that have the capacity problem, right? We don’t want to like recreate a problem that already exists with other people. And so really, taking a look at how to be more efficient is something that’s always going to be awesome, not just for yourself, but also, you know, talk about leadership. It’s teaching your team how to do these things, too right? How to do the things that you’re learning, how to do and teaching them how to do the same thing for themselves.
I’m seeing a lot of like getting team to make decisions. I’m letting my team answer questions and not jumping in the client’s Slack. Yes, absolutely. And they come to me. I’m learning to say, What do you think? Yes, awesome, right? Because I find that like, yeah, the whole point of having a team is right, getting the diversity of thought and getting other experiences. And oftentimes it’s like, I always look at a team as they are the ones that are better at their job than I ever could be. And so I think it’s important and this really comes from me being, you know, a manager and teaching people how to be managers. It’s really like asking the team their perspective, right, asking the experts on your team what they think, because a lot of times they come up with a solution that would be way better than any solution you would have come up with, right?
Or maybe it would be great to brainstorm out together. So I think that that’s such a great, such a great question to ask back to them. And then it also kind of trains them to right to come to you with solutions vs. questions as well and say, like, Hey, this is what I’m thinking, I just want to run it by you versus just the question, right? And then having it come back on your plate. So I think that’s excellent, OK?
So to recap right, we need to define what feeling good means to you, and we need to continue to redefine that as we spiral up in our business because it’s OK. If that changes right, it’s very likely, right? We’re human, we’re human beings and we’re going to shift and change. And as our businesses grow, there’s going to be new and different things that come up that need to shift along with it.
So constantly thinking about like, how can I make this feel better? Right? Is a really good question to ask. And, you know, then thinking about, OK, based on that, what are some things that need to shift when it comes to the foundations of my business, when it comes to delegation and when it comes to management and leadership? What can I do? And so these are all things that we cover inside of my program AGENCY, which is designed to delegate at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less. Many people do that a lot sooner, but I like to under promise and over deliver. And so in the foundation’s method, you learn about how to really audit your offerings to make sure that they are really aligned for the team that you are growing and the business that you are growing your clients, your processes and then also your financials.
In the delegation method, we really come up with a strong delegation strategy that you can use over and over and over again to know what needs to come off of my plate next and when. And we take into account a lot of things, including the financials. So that’s something that’s really important because just because you want to delegate 100 percent of client delivery or 50 percent or 75 percent or whatever it is for you, right, doesn’t mean that you need to delegate or should delegate everything tomorrow, right? We want to make sure that it makes sense from a strategic lens.
So that’s what we cover in the delegation method. And we also then give you the tools to be able to implement. What your takeaway is, right, if you have to delegate to someone who’s already on your team, how to do that, if you need to hire someone new, how to do that and then really teaching you how to be great at delegating. And then we also cover management in the management method, which is all about like how to manage yourself and your team to be able to deliver for your clients.
So I want to know from you. Where do you feel like you need the most support right now in the foundations, in the delegation, in the management piece of this? And if you are interested in getting more support with this, check out AGENCY. Applications are now open for October. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to learn more. And if it feels like it might be a good fit for you, apply it. We’d love to chat with you and support you in growing a business and a team so that you can really step in to that agency owner role and feel better. That’s what we’re all about.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you are ready to stop settling for being a done for you service provider and really fully step into the role of agency owner and CEO and lead a team that you love that just delivers excellent client results, then you have to check out my new program called AGENCY, which is specifically designed to remove you from at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less, so that you can have the time in the space to be able to run your business and, you know, to take a tech free vacation, too. That’s always nice, right? So if you’re interested in learning more, head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. You can learn more about the program. If it looks like a good fit, then apply and we will send you before our call. We’ll send you a free business assessment that will really explain more about the framework that we use to remove you from client delivery, and it’ll give you an assessment that you can take to really show where you are now and where you’re going. We’ve had so many people get a lot of insight just from taking that assessment, so I can’t wait for you to check it out.