So you know you want to scale your business, but what’s the best way to do it? By offering new services? Creating a second revenue stream? Hiring more teammates?
It can feel daunting to take the next step towards growth. And deciding which route to take can be the most difficult part. I’ve tried a bit of everything in my own business – offering new services, creating new revenue streams, you name it – and each has helped me grow in a different way.
The good news is, you’ve got plenty of options. The trick is deciding which is best for your business and for you.
If you’re booked out or close to it, your best bet for increasing your profit and decreasing your stress is growing your agency. In today’s episode, I’m breaking down how to know when you’re ready, the different ways you can scale, and where to devote your precious CEO energy.
Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast, episode number 90.
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.
Hey, everyone, Nicole, here, I hope you’re having a great day. Today we were talking about a question that I’ve heard a lot of service providers ask themselves, which is if they should focus on building an agency or focus in on building another revenue stream or offering something else.
So I want to go over a question that you can ask yourself to really figure this out because it’s important for you to know where you’re going so that you can make sure that you’re getting the right support to get there.
So for those of you that don’t know me. Hello, I’m Nicole, and I hope done for you service providers step into the role of agency owner and really create an elevated experience for all of the people in their business, including themselves, their clients and their teams. I love talking about leadership and really being able to get some of those tasks, if not all of those tasks off of your plate, so that you can focus on building your company, running your business, even taking a vacation, not feeling as burnt out, not feeling as overwhelmed. Because when we’re burnt out and were overwhelmed, we’re not able to show up for the people in our business in the best way. And remember, the people are your clients or team in yourself, too.
So I really am focused on helping business owners get out of the weeds so that they can build a business that they love and that all of their people love to. So this talk is for you. If you currently have an agency, but you’re not sure whether you want to continue growing it or start like I said, another revenue stream, maybe it’s another offering. It could be a membership, it could be a coaching program, it could be a product.
So in order to get clear on this? Let me back up a minute. So a lot of times, the reason why people ask this question is because they want to figure out what to focus on next. Should I focus on continuing to make the agency work? Should I focus on building another revenue stream so that I can be able to invest that revenue back into the agency to be able to grow it? Do I really want to continue growing an agency or would it be better to just kind of keep things that way that they are right now and focus in on another revenue stream? I have asked myself all of those questions. As many of you know, and some might not. I started my business offering project management services. I realized that I loved team. I loved people. I like developing and training people. And so I grew a project management agency that served and supported our clients.
Through there, I had a lot of the team members we were working with inside of some of the projects we were working on. Contact me saying like, “how are you doing this? I want to build an agency myself, but I’m struggling a bit.” So from there, I shifted to focusing in on helping other people do this because my big, I guess, probably like my greatest gift is helping people with their people.
So I think it’s important to answer this question for yourself because in order for you to be able to build and really grow an agency, it does take focus and it takes commitment. And there are definitely days that don’t feel great. There’s days that feel awesome. But we want to make sure that you’ve decided that this is a focus that you want to commit to over the course of the next year or two. It does not have to be something that you are committed to doing five to 10 years down the road.
I don’t want that to hold you back because honestly, I think it’s impossible to commit to anything that would be five to 10 years down the road, right? Because as we live our lives, we experience things, we gain new information, which helps us make decisions moving forward. So I want you to feel like you’re ready to make a decision on whether or not you are going to double down and really grow your agency.
So here are some things to think through. The one question I want you to ask yourself is what is your biggest challenge right now? So when it comes to your agency, what is your biggest challenge? So I’m going to give you two two options, so or two categories. So the first is around marketing and sales. So there are typically two different positions that I see folks in when they are having challenges with marketing and sales.
The first is that they are they’ve decided that they want to offer a service and they are struggling to get clients in the door to really be able to confirm and verify that that service is in demand and needed in the marketplace. So they’re really testing their offering. That’s when people are really focused in on getting the sales and tweaking their product or service to make it more attractive, figuring out how to balance doing what they love to do with what the marketplace is demanding.
And so this is one position I see people in who are having challenges with marketing sales rates like that initial that initial testing and conformation of their offering, the second challenge, I see people having businesses having that offer services around marketing and sales is when they have already tested and verified their service. They are starting to pull in team members to deliver. They are now paying, you know, they have their operations totally set. Processes are running. They’ve delegated at least, like I would say, 75 percent of client delivery. And now they’re ready for more business because they have the capacity to be able to serve more clients.
I want you to think about which position you’re in if you have a challenge of marketing and sales. Now I will say, if you are someone who is reliant on referrals, that doesn’t mean that you have a marketing and sales problem. I think a lot of done for you. Service providers feel quite guilty when I talk to them about marketing and they’re like, Oh, well, we’re just referral based. I don’t really have social media up and running. If you are, like, fully booked out and you don’t have certain marketing practices in place and you are relying on referrals and that’s working for you. You don’t have a marketing and sales problem right now.
So I just want to remove the guilt and any shame around that because the reason why you don’t have to focus on those things is because you have clients that are there who are ready to to buy from you. And then they’re having such a great experience that they’re referring other people, right? So a lot of times your focus should be on what I’m going to talk about next, which is your operations.
So we have marketing and sales. The second type of challenge that I see folks running running into is their operations, so they need support delivering client work. They can’t sell anymore until they figure this out. They’re growing a team, but it feels like too much work, right? They know that it’s like, Listen, I don’t have a problem with like the sales piece of it. I have almost the opposite problem where I have more like, we’re either right now serving a ton of clients and we can’t keep up. Or I see like we have more sales calls on the calendar or will be having more sales calls and we need the team in place so that I can comfortably sell or my salesperson can comfortably sell people into our offering.
So you may also have an operations challenge if you’ve delegated to a team, but you can’t step away for more than like a day. And if you do, you probably have like a ton of work waiting for you, right? Because it just keeps piling up. So I want you to really identify for yourself what is your biggest challenge right now? Is it that you are just testing the service to see if people even want to buy it? Are you in the this kind of a phase one of really growing this business? Are you at a point where you have more clients than you know what to do with or you have a certain number of clients that you know that you in order to get more clients in the door, you really need to firm up the operations. Delegating more client delivery is an operational thing? Have you already done all of that? You’ve delegated like 100 percent of client delivery. It’s moving super smoothly, all as well. And now you’re like, Yep, I just need to ramp up my funnels because we have the team to deliver and I’m not going to be involved. So that’s like the second level of marketing and sales challenges.
So where are you right now? You know, what I recommend is if you’re in a spot where your services are in demand, right? So you have a proven service and you have a team that you’ve delegated to, but you still feel like you’re in the weeds, right? You still feel like even though I have a team delivering, I’m still in. I have to be around every single day or else something is going to fall apart. Or if I do step away for a day, it means I’m going to have double the work tomorrow, right? If you’re in this in this spot. I think that it’s absolutely time to double down on building your agency.
Oftentimes, I see business owners get to the spot where they’re like in this position, right, where there’s there’s demand and they’re feeling like they’re in the weeds and they’re taking that as a sign that, like it’s it’s not worth it to grow, are done for you service based company. It’s not worth it to grow an agency because it feels hard. And I’ve seen people quit too soon and look towards like other revenue streams is kind of like a shiny object, and there’s nothing wrong with having other revenue streams. It’s totally fine. I’ve had plenty of clients who have done this. I’ve done this myself, right?
But I I think it’s important to know that like what is the intention behind the other revenue stream and if it is like only to avoid the pain that is inside of your agency right now? I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason. Or just ask yourself, is that a good enough reason? Because maybe it is for you, but I know for a lot of people that I work with, it’s not. And so when you can spend more time and focus on really getting the agency set up to where it’s not reliant on you and where you can have new clients. Come in and there’s processes and there’s team members in place and it’s running smoothly, like it makes such a difference because you may find that you know what? Now this kind of feels like a passive revenue stream because I’m not having to be so involved in client delivery anymore. It actually makes more sense for me to go sell another agency package than it would for me to create a completely new revenue stream.
Or you may just then have time and space to be able to focus on creating that ever the revenue stream and really giving it the attention that it needs to be able to succeed. So you can, like you can totally do both. I’m not saying like only focus on growing your agency because that’s not true for all people. I know people who don’t want to have an agency and they end up doing something completely different, and that’s great for them.
But I know a lot of people who know that, like the service area is for them, it’s what they’re good at. They’ve had success with delegating to team, but they’re still not completely out of client delivery, and they know that there’s some things that they’re missing or could be doing better and feeling really frustrated and stuck. And so what I want to share with you is if you were in that position right now, I can help you and I can say that I’m always hesitant to commit to things because I really want to make sure that I can help people before saying. But I have been serving and supporting Done For You service providers for over five years now. I’ve had an agency of my own and I’m a people person, so if what you’re really looking to do is be able to create an elevated experience for the people in your business, including yourself, your clients and your team, and really empower your team to be able to handle client delivery so that they’re feeling good about what they’re doing. They’re feeling empowered. They’re not feeling like they constantly have to like, wait for you to make a decision like they feel good and they have momentum too right? Because then that really moves the business forward and it’s not always on your shoulders, right? It’s can feel so heavy when it’s like you have to make every decision and you know, your team members are waiting for you, but you just don’t have the time and you probably feel like I know I felt like guilt and shame and all of this stuff, right?
We want to do some of the work to be able to create that team culture and that environment and that business that is really going to help and serve and support people so that you can decide what you want to do. You can keep it running. You can keep it about the same size. You could grow it if you wanted to. You could create another revenue stream, right? The point is that you have some options. So with that, if you want support in doing this, I have a program. It’s called AGENCY. It’s specifically designed to focus on removing you from client delivery. And so if you’re interested in that, head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/Apply. Read over the page. If you any questions, just DM me, message me if you’re on Instagram, I’m Nicole Jackson Miller. Happy to answer any questions that you have, and if you feel like it’s a fit apply.
We would love to hear from you. Have a conversation and support you in being able to provide your services to more people and to allow you to feel a little less burnt out and overwhelmed and in the weeds and really kind of step into that confidence as the leader of your business. So again, you can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to learn more, and I will see you in the next video or the next podcast episode or the next Instagram story. Just never know. All right. Bye, everyone.
Thanks so much for tuning in today, if you are listening and know that you are committed to stepping into the agency owner role, whether you are a done-for-you service provider that’s working with a few contractors right now or you have a full team of employees and you’re ready to up level your leadership and make the changes in your business that’s needed to create a better and more enjoyable experience for all of your people, your clients, your team and yourself. Then, I invite you to check out my program Agency. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to look at the details and apply if it looks like a good fit. If you are accepted, I will send you a brand new free private training only for people that we’re accepting into the program to share with you the details of how we work and how we help remove you from client delivery and allow you to step into that leadership role of your agency again. The link is NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. I look forward to seeing your applications.