If you want to start delegating more of your client delivery in the next year, this is the episode for you.
When most agency owners or done-for-you service providers come to me, they are usually in generally about the same place within their business. We’re going to highlight exactly what that is in today’s episode.
You’ll also get a deeper insight into 3 strategies that are actually working right now for agency owners who want to delegate at least 50% of their client delivery in 12 months or less. You don’t want to miss this one!
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.
Well, hello. I want to share with you three strategies for those of you who are done for you, service providers who are growing agencies. Three simple strategies that my clients are using right now to delegate at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less.
So. Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Nicole and I help done for you service provider step into the role of agency owners and lead teams that they love that deliver excellent client services and help these business owners get out of their own way and get off of the hamster wheel and the burnout cycle. I’m sure if you are an agency owner, you get what I mean, right?
I was an agency owner myself. I grew up multiple six figure project management agency. And I get it. I’ve been there. I meet a lot of great decisions. I made a lot of mistakes. And these are things that I help my clients implement, really building a team that they love to be able to continue to grow. So hello. Hello.
All right. So service providers, agency owners, they usually come to me when they’re in one of these three positions, and I just want to take a minute and explain these three different positions to you so that you can let me know what you resonate with right now.
So agency owner service providers usually come to me when one they’ve started delegating one off projects to contractors. So this is what that looks like. You’re really great at what you do. You’ve built up a name for yourself. You have clients coming to you and you want to be able to take on more clients. So you see the benefit and having some team support. So you want to delegate client delivery so that you can work more in your zone of genius as you take on more clients. You’ve probably found that there are certain areas that you’re just not great at, and it would be so much better if somebody else would take those areas over. So you’ve probably hired a contractor or two you’re probably staying in probably is the main point of client contact with your client. You’re probably doing strategy, you’re probably doing some of the delivery, but you have some contractors that are helping you with the rest.
You may be unsure as you think about growth, how your clients will react to having your team support them so you may be open and sharing that you have people supporting their account. And you may be hesitant to share that you have people supporting their account and you don’t want the quality of your services to go down as you bring on team.
So I will also say about this this has come up a few times that business owners were in there in this position. Sometimes even though they have some contractors they can reach out to. Sometimes they just take on work themselves because they want to be able to pay themselves their own salary. So let me know if you’ve ever been in a position where it’s like you have some people you can reach out to, you have team that you could delegate to, but you’re like, I want to keep this because I need to be able to pay not just my team, but myself this month.
So the second scenario that I find people are and is that they have a dedicated delivery team, whether that be contractors, employees or a mixture, and you have team members that are consistently supporting you with client delivery. So we’re not talking about one off projects, necessarily, but you have new clients come in the door and you have the team that’s going to take over delivering. So you have now probably replaced the time that you were delivering for your clients with time that’s managing your team.
So they probably have a lot of questions. You have to answer them. You realize that there’s a lot that’s in your brain that you haven’t communicated with them. You wish that they could read your mind, but you know that they can’t, right? You’re probably also struggling to pay yourself and your team right, and the team takes priority, right? Because you’re in agreements with them. So you may find yourself not paying yourself a salary. You might be taking a hit during certain months and then paying yourself or again taking on a project yourself to deliver just so that you can have some money that you pay yourself at the end of the month.
So you now may be thinking that you are not just managing yourself and the work that you’re doing, but you’re also managing your clients, and your managing your team and you’re just like, “Why on earth am I doing this?” I thought this is going to be easier without bringing in a team was going to be helpful. And now I’m just finding myself doing even more work.
So you’re probably if you’re in this position, you’re probably wondering if growing an agency is really for you, and you may be thinking that you should be doing something else that’s maybe more profitable. I say quote unquote, because if you’ve seen some of my videos before, I’ve kind of dived into the misconception that building an agency model business is not profitable and you can check that out. And that’s a topic for another day. But you might be thinking like, you know what? I see these other people launching courses and memberships or coaching programs. Maybe I should do that. So that’s the second area.
The third area and final area that I will share is that you have a dedicated delivery team, you have a operations manager or project manager or an account manager in place, which is fully taken over. Your client and team management, yet you are still involved somehow in managing and client delivery. Anyone raise their hands? Let me know if you’ve been here.
So you feel like all of your time is being spent creating processes and that you have like processes for processes, for processes. And it feels like it’s just way too much. And you know that there’s more that you can hand off. But why? And every time you hand something off, it seems to create more work for you. You feel like you’ve kind of already delegated client delivery, but you’re still involved in day to day operations, and it’s very frustrating.
I’ll just recap, you started delegating one off projects to contractors. The second is that you have a dedicated delivery team, and the third is that you have a dedicated delivery team and a manager that’s handling both client and team communications. Yet you’re still involved and day to day operations.
All right. I have been mentoring done for you service providers and agency owners now for about five years. And no matter where you are, this one thing seems to be true for everyone. Your business relies too much on you. And so some of you may know that I launched a new program this year called AGENCY, which takes all of my strategies and frameworks and lessons from managing teams when I worked in television to running my own multi six-figure agency to mentoring agency owners like I said for about five years now. And I’ve taken this all and really focused and on this program that helps business owners delegate at least 50 percent of client delivery in 12 months or less.
And I want to share with you what I see working right now to help my clients remove themselves from client delivery. So this is what’s helping them continue to move forward and spiral up. Spiraling up is a concept that I talk about where it’s like every spiral you hit some obstacles that you need to readdress in your business in order to go to the next spiral. And sometimes it can look like you are failing or that you’re starting again from square one or you’re taking a few steps back. But it’s not that it’s actually what’s necessary in order for you to be able to spiral up to the next level.
So these strategies are what are helping my clients move through those spirals as opposed to just staying stuck on the hamster wheel, which is no fun at all. So here we go. The three things the first is revamping their numbers and taking a look at their package pricing. They’re doing this for a few reasons, and they’re looking at a few different things.
One is to make sure that the numbers that they have work for paying a team. So oftentimes when business owners are starting their business or starting to grow with team support, their numbers are based on paying one person. And that is themselves because they are really the only ones operating in their business, and it has never been audited or revamped or restructured to be able to make the numbers work to have team support. Now I am not saying to just increase your pricing that a lot of times that’s like kind of blanket advice that’s given. I do not believe in blanket advice at all, which is why I have frameworks and strategies and also give customized feedback to all of my clients and members inside of the AGENCY program.
So we want to make sure that, however, based on the number that you have, you know that that number is going to be able to support a team and support yourself, too. So the second thing that it does is it helps them figure out how much to pay their team. So as they’re looking through the numbers, a big question that I get asked is like, “OK, I want to hire for this position. How much? How much should I pay for it?” I always have my clients go back to the numbers exercise that I give them inside of the program to say, “Listen, run the numbers for your business. I’ll take a look at it. But that is how you’ll figure out how much you actually pay your team. You’ll actually get a number that’s not just based on what everyone else is doing or based on what you know, an online rate average rate calculator is telling you for that position. I’ll find information, right, but we ultimately need to make sure that’s going to work for your business.”.
So the third thing that they’re doing when they’re revamping their numbers is they’re shifting and moving themselves their own pay from being a billable expense or a direct cost to being an overhead expense. This is the biggest mistake the business owners make when trying to grow an agency is that they don’t calculate what needs to happen in order in order to actually remove themselves from client delivery and still pay themselves. They have to change the way they pay themselves. They have to change a strategy for paying themselves right. So this is something that we take a look at and make sure that it’s happening. And this information is what is going to help you remove yourself from client delivery knowing your numbers.
So just to recap revamping your numbers, make it work for having team support. And this could be whether you are kind of in one of the three positions I was talking about before. If you’ve just started working with team members or maybe you’ve been working with team members for a while and you’re still like not paying yourself enough, you’re wondering why it’s OK. Right? You probably have to go back and revamp your numbers again. And when I talk about the concept of spiraling up, your numbers are one of the things that you will look at over and over and over again. So it doesn’t mean anything bad. It just means that you have to examine it again to see what might need to shift and change in order to be able to pay yourself what you desire as your own personal income.
OK, so the second thing that’s working really well right now for my clients who are removing themselves from client delivery is they are auditing their ideal clients. So understanding this was a big lesson that I had to learn as I was growing my agency. Tell me if this sounds familiar. So I was working as the project manager for other clients, and I realized that as I brought in a team, there were certain clients that I had no problem bringing in team support and having the team handle, and I was in communication with the client. Everything worked really well. There were some clients it just didn’t work well for, and I felt like I had to stay as the sole project manager.
I’m just like, like, you know, what’s my team maybe like, this isn’t working. I really, you know, was trying to figure out what I needed to do on the team side when I ultimately realized the reason why I was so hesitant and handing the clients over to my team is because they weren’t ideal clients for where my business was headed and where my business was going. And so auditing your ideal clients, this is an exercise that we do almost immediately as we take a look at out of all of the kinds that you’ve worked with. What are the qualities and characteristics of your ideal client? This is not like an ideal client avatar thing. That’s not we. None of that this is really examining, OK, like based on the data and information that I’ve gathered, what am I finding works best for the company that I am growing, right? Maybe not for me when I first started my business or, as we’ve like, kind of slowly grown but are feeling stuck, like what is the ultimate vision for the clients that are best supported in the way that we’re operating now and where we’re headed as an agency?
And then developing a transitional strategy for clients who are not ideal. So right now, you know, you may be working with clients who are, you know, a few clients who aren’t ideal. Does it mean that you need to go and release them tomorrow? Absolutely not, right? We need to figure out, OK, well, what is the plan based on your revenue? What would it look like to replace those clients? Do we need to replace those clients? And then let’s create a strategy and plan to be able to do that in a way that’s not going to completely break your business.
So the other thing that this does auditing your ideal clients is it helps you know exactly how to vet new leads that are coming in to ensure that they will be ideal for your agency. This is so important because we want to make sure that we’re setting our team up for success and making sure that we have ideal clients Coming in is the big way for us to make sure that that actually happens. So we talked about two strategies so far that my clients are currently implementing revamping their numbers, auditing their ideal clients.
And this is the third one. And this may seem obvious, but it’s it’s not. And I’ll explain why in just a minute. So the third strategy is that my clients are revamping their processes, their their standard operating procedures for their business. And what they’re finding is that they’re creating processes for just about everything, and it mainly falls. The areas that have moved the needle. The most has been, you know, onboarding new clients, new clients coming in and then onboarding new team members as well. And then in addition to that, for, you know, my clients who are working with ideal clients already creating some processes for each of their clients and having their team create these processes for these clients.
So it’s so interesting because like I said, I’ve worked with agency owners now for five years, and I have found that the most successful agency owners have really focused in on their processes and that they feel like processes are like the secret weapon to removing themselves from client delivery. Because and actually one of my clients mentioned this the other day is that what she realized is that she didn’t want her agency to just not have her in it, right? She didn’t want to just be removed from client delivery, but she didn’t want her agency to rely on any single person.
Really creating some systems and processes so that anyone could come in and anyone could leave, right? We are working with humans, and some humans are going to work with you forever and some are not. And that’s just the way the world works. So if you can create systems and processes so that anyone you know there can be that movement and allows for so much, it’s just it’s like the sigh of relief, right? Knowing that those things exist.
So what’s so interesting is I had a client mentioned to us the other day that she actually had processes set up in her business. But after becoming a member of an agency and going through our SOP resource that we have, that she was able to create them so much faster. And I had another client who said, you know, there are actually so many things that I had on my plate processes that were like half finished. I took some time to finish them up and actually delegate it, and they were able to completely offload a client onboarding as well as some other areas of their business, which I just think is so cool.
So if you want support in doing this, I guess let’s just recap for a minute. I know I’ve covered a lot. So the first is revamp your numbers, right? That’s what my clients are doing right now. It is helping them completely move the needle when it comes to delegating client delivery. The second is auditing ideal clients and coming up with a transition plan for clients that are no longer a fit. And the third is processes, processes, processes, processes which can feel like a lot of time invested. And it is. There’s such a payoff to it. All right, everyone have a great rest of your day. I’ll talk to you later.
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.