How To Build An Agency You’ll Never Work In

What if I told you that you can have a successful business without knowing how to do the work in your own company? 

Productivity, effectiveness and efficiency are all vital to running a successful business, but the secret to high-value business systems is not being IN them! 

It's all too easy for agency owners to get caught up in working in the business rather than on it… but… now hear me out guys. 

What if you not only didn’t work in your own business, but didn’t know how to? 

What if you could build a team of A-players without actually knowing how to do the work yourself?

Imagine starting a digital agency you have no intention of working in. Well, you don't have to imagine! Because our very own Mavericks Club member Ben Fewtrell from DigiTLC has done just this!

Ben’s intention was to start an agency and then have his team run it without actually being in it himself, he would then just build relationships and make sales. 

So how did he get there? 

Ben’s Journey to Becoming an Agency Owner

Funnily enough, DigiTLC was a bit of an accident that was born when Ben’s other company – a business coaching and training business – required him to start using digital marketing order to grow that business. Through the process of using digital marketing agencies to scale his business, he discovered that there was a lot that was misunderstood about what he was trying to do. 

This resulted in Ben deciding to build his own internal team which led his clients to want him to help them with digital marketing. Over the following 6 to 7 years, as that accidental business started to grow, he realised he needed to separate the two and DigiTLC was born! 

And today, there is a team of 12 in the business. 

Building a Team of A-Players

Most recently, Ben has undertaken the hiring process through our Team Accelerator Blueprint program which gave him the structure for finding a new sales assistant team member. 

There really is just no one answer to recruitment folks. 

We all wish there was but you just need a good solid hiring strategy and on-boarding process to find the right candidate.

Troy’s Pearls of Wisdom 

A little tactical trick that I learnt a long time ago, was to find people on LinkedIn who are interested in a new opportunity, so this way you'll find someone who fits the profile. 

You want someone who looks like they are the perfect candidate for the role on paper.

Now, instead of asking point blank if they're looking for a new opportunity, is to reach out to them and ask them if they have any colleagues that are looking for a new opportunity. 

In doing this, the hope is that they put their hand up and say actually why didn't you think about me? I'm interested in the opportunity. And you approach a potential candidate that you're interested in hiring in that way, which has proven to be very effective. 

Nurture Those Relationships! 

It's important to remember to nurture relationships with your current team members. 

I saw a list recently on why people leave a job and money was number 7. 

It was number 7 guys. 

Number 1 was working conditions

The other main thing that motivates employees is the feeling of working towards a cause they believe in. 

Something to keep in mind when building your A-team! 

How Does DigiTLC On-Board Successfully?

The short answer is that they systemise the role before hiring somebody. 

For example, the new sales assistant that Ben just hired, had video training that she had to complete before starting her role. This training provided a structure outlining: 

  • How to talk to a client
  • What questions to ask
  • How to overcome objections
  • Expectations within the role 

Included is an introduction to the entire team as part of the induction process as well. The entirety of the on-boarding process is systemised because honestly, who wants those types of questions? No one. 

Ben has also now incorporated our job scorecard to give clarity surrounding expectations and outcomes with his entire team. He found that extremely effective and loves the way that the simple laid our structure communicates outcomes to team members.

Stephen Covey talks about one of the reasons that people are dissatisfied in their role, and it is because they're unsure whether they have done a good job or not.  

That is why the job scorecard is so incredibly powerful and such a great tool.

Retaining Good Staff in a Job Seekers Market

If you can make your workplace or your business more appealing than where someone is, they’ll move. 

So you'll need a good recruitment strategy and digital marketing plan to understand how to market your business and what you're offering.  

At the moment, especially here in Australia, it is a job seekers market. It’s hard to find good staff so it becomes even more important to retain them. 

When it comes to keeping them, it's once again remembering that whilst money might be in the top 10 or top 5 reasons for people to stay in a job, it's not number one.

Time and time again, working conditions are so important and it's about the relationship that you have with each of your team members. 

You might be the owner and you might be the one running the ship, but you're still one of the team.

Remember, don't treat people like employees, treat them like team members, like human beings. As we have touched on before, family comes before our business, health is more important than the business. 

When building your agency, what you need to focus on is making sure that you are fostering a workplace and an environment that promotes work life balance. Cause who wants to live to work? 

Wrap Up

Ben has looked at his business from the get-go as an asset that is serving him as a shareholder, and not a job. 

Running your business in this way is a huge mindset shift for a lot of people who get stuck on the tools and are unable to step out of their agency. 

Because really, who wants to do stuff they're not good at? It's just frustrating as hell, isn't it?

So don't. Ben doesn't. 

The Agency Hour Podcast

Check out the episode of The Agency Hour related to this blog.

Episode 32:

Listen to the full podcast episode related to this blog on how to build a team of A-players without knowing how to do the work. 

If you need to grow your team, simply request a call and let's make it happen! Request a call here.

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Troy Dean

I am the Founder of Agency Mavericks. The reason I get out of bed every day is because I love helping people to grow their web design or digital marketing businesses. I do this through coaching, creating courses, speaking, consulting and heading up our awesome community.

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