Early on in your agency, you likely wore a number of different hats, working tirelessly as finance officer, project manager, account support, business development lead and professional development supervisor.
Well, your long-days, sleepless nights and absence of a weekend have started to pay off. Your agency is experiencing its strongest growth to date, and yet with this growth have come new challenges.
In this post, we’ll explore three of the most common challenges you’ll face, and offer some tips on how to address each head on.
1. How Will I Remain “In the Know” On The State of Agency Operations?
In the past, the biggest tradeoff agency owners made when delegating some of their many hats was an up-to-date understanding of daily agency activities across all departments and clients.
Cloud-based technologies, including project management, time tracking, accounting software and CRMs have changed all that. When adopted by agencies and consistently used, agency owners can check in on aspects of their agencies at their convenience. In addition, real-time and daily notifications can be set up to make timely review easier.
However, the greatest level of insight into agency activity is available when all of these systems are connected through APIs or housed under one platform (like WorkflowMax). This way you can see how activity in one part of your agency affects another.
2. How do I make sure internal agency processes are carried out?
According to Bizmanualz.com, there are five core business processes for small businesses:
- Sales and marketing
- Accounting and technology
- Quality and product / service delivery
- Management, HR and finance
- Product development
Over the course of building your agency, it’s likely you have your own processes defined for each of the above. But as you relinquish some control, how do you 1. Make sure your processes are followed through with, and 2. Give the person now in charge of each the freedom to improve.
Try using the following tips:
- Ensure all processes are well defined and documented in a central location so there is no confusion as to what’s expected.
- Educate employees as to why these processes are in place and necessary, and how they will make life easier.
- Monitor employee activity (i.e. time sheets, reports, technology activity streams) to make sure employees are carrying through with your processes.
- Measure their effectiveness. Identify what each process is intended to do (i.e. reduce time commitment), and on a weekly, or monthly basis, generate reports that compares the current time period to the previous.
3. How do I maximize my agency’s profitability?
The most important part of maximizing your agency’s profitability is to maintain consistent cashflow. According to Agnes Cserhati of AC Powercoaching, “If your cashflow is in order, your profits will be in order. A lot of businesses do not make it past six months. They might have been a profitable business eventually, but they need to have good cashflow to survive.”
The Guardian offers the following tips to keep on top of finances:
- Agree to clear payment terms with clients.
- Invoice quickly—the longer you wait, the longer it is till you get paid.
- Use cloud-based account software.
- Make payments easy for customers.
Simple Steps to Gain a Perfect Pulse on Agency Operations
Remaining in touch with the state of agency operations, processes and financials doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the best methods to accomplish the above is to explore technologies that can streamline and consolidate these efforts.
One technology to explore is workflow management or agency management software. With these tools, you can combine all different aspects of your agency (i.e. lead management, project management and invoicing) under one roof, allow for the seamless flow of data, and give yourself access to unlimited access to reports, project status and contact databases. Click here to learn more about WorkflowMax’s agency management system.
What operational or managerial concerns are top of mind as your agency grows?
Image Source: Chris Potter under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic