How to Grow a Digital Agency – Video

Transcription

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

He might pop up into the webinar.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

All right. We are live.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Oh yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

See now, so cool [inaudible 00:00:09]. I’m so happy to be hosting this webinar with you, Chris, and thank you so much, Anton and Duda, for facilitating this. I think this is amazing.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I mean-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

A lot of fun.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I just told you about 30 seconds ago, I’m feeling playful, so I’m probably going to be animated and…

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That’s cool. Yeah, you make me feel giggly as well so-

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

There we go. See? I felt [inaudible 00:00:34] if everyone else on the other end of the internet and the screen will agree, we just make you laugh for a bit-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Exactly.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Give five stars or whatever it is, or thumbs up on… Is thumbs up on YouTube, do you know?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Yeah. Just bring the popcorn and watch us having fun here.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, exactly.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And then feel joyful yourself. [inaudible 00:00:52] For those of you who just joined… Oh, that’s a cool Duda swag.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Duda gave up really good swag to people who do webinars.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, you should get them. But for those who just join the webinar, just want to let you know that Chris and I will introduce each other in a few minutes, but we just want to give a few minutes for everyone to jump in and join the stream so that everyone can watch us in an orderly manner before we kick off. But [inaudible 00:01:24] I heard from Anton that there’s a lot of signups, around 300 people. So I think it would be amazing if all of you would, say, pop in the chat and say hello, and just tell us from where you are and where you’re watching this from. So-

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Where are you, Ulrika?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I’m in Stockholm, Sweden, where it’s actually sunny right now. So right now, Stockholm, Sweden super sunny.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

One day, your one day of sun.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. It’s almost like the sun doesn’t set so it doesn’t really get dark here now.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Cool.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

So that is the opposite of the winter. In the winter time, it’s dark all the time. And now it’s light all the time.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Wow.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Where are you sitting?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I’m in London. Oh wow. Hans. You win. You’re in Mongolia, mate.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Oh wow.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

That’s amazing.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That is amazing.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I mean, that’s a really long way away.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Oh, Houston. That is also a long way.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. We’re right bang in the middle of all these. Ah, some Michigans.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Michigan. Lots of Americans.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

We’ll all be one united world of love and joy and no politics or anything comes up in this-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That’s true.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

[inaudible 00:02:43] for anyone.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That’s just a webinar. Bring us together. I think that is amazing.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

That’s it. We’re all saying kumbaya. Oh, Ann Arbor. My wife used to work there. She said it was absolutely lovely.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I would actually like to go to more places. I’ve been in San Francisco in the States, but I would like to go more places. I think.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Brandon, Ann Arbor is next to the lake, I think, obviously the lake that is twice the size of the UK, but it is-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

What? Twice the size of UK. What?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Oh, I mean, it’s enormous. It’s bigger than most seas, I think, in Europe.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That is amazing. Wow. That is amazing.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It’s a big old country over there. So we can probably get someone towards the end of the webinar on the far west of the US. We got Texas. I mean, that’s quite far.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. I also heard, Chris, that you’re a gadget geek.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

What, who told you that?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I don’t know. Someone told me that you have all sorts of gadgets.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Some, yeah, a few. I’m just going to join… Can I join the webinar from the metaverse though, for the minute?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

You are welcome. Oh, that is amazing.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I can’t really, I’m not really in the metaverse because that would be silly.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I’ve never seen metaverse goggles. Are those actual metaverse goggles?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, yeah. They’re the Oculus Quest I think. Yeah. Oculus Quest 2 there.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Okay. That is geeky.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I do a lot of SIM racing.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

You win the geek race, or the geek competition.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So far, so far.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You’ve got something which I still can’t find online.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. I actually, when I… So I showed this to Chris and so, you know I’m from Sweden and we have a lot of darkness. The darkness is real. So I have a little gadget that gives me sunlight and let me push this on. And then it’s a sunlight in like an air bolt. And then you put them in the airs and it lights up your brain and it activates it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I really hope that it’s real. And it’s not like some scam.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

It’s not. I’ve used this for a bunch of years and yeah, you do wake up from it, but the light is really, really strong and I’m getting it in my eyes. Darn it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. You better turn them off by the way, if you can.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

You can… If you put them on, they’re on for eight minutes and that’s how long you should light up your brain.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Okay. Interesting.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

All right. So I think that we’ve allowed a few minutes for people to join. So I would like to ask you all to please ask a lot of questions in the chat so that I can bring them up to Chris and ask him throughout the presentation, because I have seen the slides and he will bombard you with information and… But-

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Sorry in advance.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

No, no, there is good information, really good information. So please ask your questions when you feel that you have one and I’ll pick them up and ask, but other than that, with no further ado, I would like to introduce you, Chris. So Chris has worked in the digital industry since 2011 and that was, yes, before the penguin update or the Armageddon. I do remember that one.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It felt like one.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. He has built and exited two digital agencies in the last five years, which is… I see that happen a lot, that people do that.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

[inaudible 00:06:31] happen, can be done.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That can be done. But now you’re spending your time with supporting other agency owners to grow their agency. Help them on their growth journey. And I think that is amazing. I thank you a lot for that. So from strategy to systems and or people and processes, Chris has seen the good, the bad, the ugly side of running an agency, which is why he’s here today to help us all to think about the future. Yay.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Before we think about the future, we need to… I feel like I should introduce you. Can I do that?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yes. Please.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Because everyone needs to know who you are as well. You’re going to be on this webinar. So I’m going to have to remember all of this. So you started in digital with your first website in 1998.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And then you got into SEO around 2005, 2006, 2007 at some point around then. Yeah?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Seven years.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Way before it was, in any way, Google regulated. Put it that way.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. That’s a good way to put it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But the best thing about your agency, sorry, your services and your agency are fantastic. And everyone who’s looking to buy things from your agency should buy them. But the best thing is the name. Unikorn. You started it, what? 2016?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. But you started it because you had to very quickly start sending invoices for a job.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And then it became an agency later on with… I think you’ve got six people in total now, some full-time, some part-time, but you do B2B, SEO stuff around… Yeah. B2B, SEO?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And e-comms.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

See, I can’t remember days, but I can remember loads of other things.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But yeah, I’m ready to go whenever you and all the lovely people watching are.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yes. So please, Chris, take the scene and let us… Fulfill us with your knowledge about how to run an agency, how to grow the agency.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I will do my absolute best, absolute best. So yeah. Thank you very much for that awesome intro. And hopefully everyone here enjoys what we’re about to talk through. That being said, if there’s anything that I go too fast through or is missed or misunderstood, throw a question in the chat or reach out later, whichever’s easiest at the time, because I know what, if any of you are like me, a question will come to you in about eight or nine hours and I’m not going to be online for that long. So I’ve got to, first of all, give you a bit of a warning. I use lots of pictures of me in this. So Anton said that I needed to put some pictures in it to keep people interested. So I thought, well, what better to keep you interested than having a moving picture of me in the camera and a load of pictures of me on the slides.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So for better or worse, you get to see my beard a lot now. There you go, see? Case in point. So building an agency is super duper hard. If you run an agency, you know it. It’s not up for debate. It’s hard to run an agency. Everything needs attention all the time and you simultaneously need to plan, you need to react, you need to do, you need to prepare, but all at the same time. It’s just, it’s incredibly difficult. And often feel a bit like a hamster wheel though I think, because you win a client, you lose a client, you lose some staff, you win a client, you lose a client, you lose some staff, you lose a client, you win a client and repeat until you either burn out or give up or scale. But at the same time, it’s just exhausting, right?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I think no one can disagree with whether… Best agency or the worst agency, there’s the win, lose, win, lose, win, lose, win, lose roller coaster all the time. And building a plan of how to grow sounds super easy. We’re going to grow. If every agency… If I had a pound, for whatever it’s worth these days, for every time an agency says, “We are going to be a 25-person agency,” or, “We’re going to grow 10 times this year in terms of size,” none of that makes sense unless you have a proper plan. So a plan isn’t where you’re going, it’s how you’re going to get there. And we suffer in agencies as working in the business a lot rather than on the business.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And the reason I say in rather than on is because most agencies start out by the person who runs the agency being the main doer, the main thinker, and you start off as just you usually on your own and you start building your agency over time, but you’re still, essentially not in a derogatory way, you’re usually the smartest person in the room for the majority of the time that you’re running your agency, which means you end up doing quite a lot of strategy and client comms and this is, and that’s the whole way through, rather than working on the business, which allows you to grow it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So the problem, as well, with quite a lot of agencies and agency owners, I fell foul of this as well, is that you don’t often have a long enough horizon, which makes it hard to work in the business rather than… Which makes, sorry, which makes working in the business harder because you’re jumping from one direction to another all the time. You never really get a chance to focus on one thing because you know where you’re going and a long horizon could even be only three years because every, what, week in an agency can sometimes feel like a year.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So long, horizons are really hard for us to have in agency land, primarily because so much happens, so much, so often, so frequently. And if you don’t have a plan at the end of where you’re going, you often get lost along the way, but to build a plan, you really do need to step out of the business and back from the agency. So you need to step out of the way of all the things that are going on all the time. And then you step back away from the agency and you look at what you need. You don’t look at what’s going on at that moment in time or that short period of time. And that’s why the future comes first, but what the hell am I on about? Of course the future doesn’t come first. The future is not first. The future is in the future, is later.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Well, the reason I’m saying the future comes first is this is all quite conceptual and it does take time to do it properly. So please don’t think that at the end of this slide deck, Chris was talking a load of rubbish because I can’t make a three year plan work that quickly. It’s not easy. This is just the conceptual stuff around it. There’s a lot more to doing these individual steps and it sometimes can take a good six months or so to really build a proper plan. That being said, knowing where you’re going really does make it way, way, way easier to focus. It’s incredibly easy to focus on something if you know where you’re going. It makes decision making a lot more intelligent. You’re not just going with your gut all the time and running an agency’s an awful lot of gut feel.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

If you can see the difference between most agencies, every agency’s got its own individual services, USPs, everything like that, but most agency leaders often drive with their gut. And that’s mostly because they don’t have a plan, not because they’re bad at what they do, but it’s just because there isn’t a long horizon plan. Having a really far distant plan, even three years being far distant, you can make a lot more intelligent decisions that sometimes feel short term, pretty painful, but you know that there’s a long time aim for it. So you focus on the destination at that point and the goal. So that helps you guide in the right direction. Something goes off course slightly, you know how to bring it back on course. You know that there’s a way around it. It is only in that moment that something’s not quite right or that something isn’t feeling like it’s going in the right direction.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So if you’ve got a plan, you can focus and drive yourself in the right way. It feels a hell of a lot nicer whether or not you go through with the plan or not. So the question I’ve got, obviously none of you can talk back to me so I’m going to pretend that you’re answering the question, is where does the future start? What? Yeah. Now, and you, it starts with you. So what I always do is this wheel of life-style thing. It’s essentially a way of understanding you and 10 being the best thing, zero being the worst thing. You’ve got your career, and you’ve got your personal life in here. So if you were to start trying to build a plan for the future, it’s always good to know where you personally are before you even start working on the business.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So let’s say, your career is at a seven. You definitely could be further ahead in your career. That might mean speaking at events, being on awesome webinars and all sorts of cool stuff like that. It might mean earning loads more money and having more staff. Don’t know. Business might be a six. You know you’ve got to grow it, but it’s not in a bad place. You don’t have much of a social life, because you’re focusing on your career and your business, which is probably true. Your wellbeing is also not doing that well because you work all day, you work all night. You think about work when you’re sleeping, but you’ve got bags of money because your business is doing all right and your career’s okay. And you’re not spending anything on drink or partying or doing anything fun or even any medication because clearly your health is all right. It’s not doing too bad, but you probably could be looking at a problem in the future. Depending on how much you love your family, that could be good or bad.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So, if you really don’t like them, a one is probably a good thing. A two is probably a good thing, but just take it holistically and you don’t have a huge amount of fun. Why would you be having fun unless you really love working all day, all night, all weekend, not looking after your wellbeing, not seeing any friends and family, maybe, and all of those sorts of things. You’ve got loads of money, but you can’t spend it. You can’t do anything with it. And you’re just not enjoying yourself. Join all the dots and you should ideally have, whether it’s all ones, you should have a well rounded kind of lifestyle. If you’ve got a skewed shape in any way, you know where you should probably work first in order to start building out a little bit more.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So for example, in this instance, you’d work on having a bit more fun with your family and seeing your friends a bit more. Yes, your career and your business are important, but you’d focus on those things a little bit as well. You need to make sure that that’s the case because if you’re going to embark on a three year plan, you can’t get sick. You can’t go mad. You can’t run away from it all. And you’ve got to be still able to have some money in the bank to drive it. So knowing you means that you know where you want to be, you know where you can go and you know what bits are missing right now. And you can start working on those personally and professionally. Now, you know where you are. You can then look at the agency.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So within an agency, and that’s come out a bit weird, but within an agency you’ve got essentially five segments to it. You have your finance section, your marketing section, your operations section, your people and your culture. Finance is the money in and out, the savings and everything like that. Your marketing isn’t those stuff you deliver to people. That’s your own marketing and sales. That’s you generating money for the business that allows you to do operations, which drives the finance. The way you do those three things is by having good people and an excellent culture in the business. So you benchmark your agency and I do a little thing like this. So every agency that I work with, we start off by, similarly to the wheel, but we work from 10, how’s your finance? How’s your marketing? How’s your sales? How’s your people? How’s your culture? How’s your operations? What’s your current score? And then every time we meet, we do the same thing again. And things will fluctuate up and down.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You might save loads of money in the bank, but actually you save loads of money in the bank because you’ve got less people because you fired some people or lost some people or whatever. So you take everything holistically, but you try and look at each of those lines. The three main things that we’ll talk about in this regard though, because the people and the culture piece is quite complicated, is the finance, the marketing and operations. Finance, if you don’t have good financing, you don’t have good cash flow, the agency stagnates. If it stagnates, it goes. You need marketing and sales in order to drive new leads because you’ll lose clients over the course of time, no matter how good you are and you need great operations to back up the great marketing so that the finance can grow and you can build a cash flow.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So when you’re benchmarking your agency, you need to think about what’s really important to you as an agency. So from a finance perspective, it might be something. You pick a few of these, you wouldn’t pick all of them because otherwise your dashboard is massive and then you lose loads of sleep again anyway. So you might look at your turnover or your revenue. You might look at your gross profit or you might look at your liquidity. You might even look at things like the debtor days, the amount of days it takes a client to pay you. If you’ve got a lot of clients that don’t pay very quickly or they’ve got a 90-day turnaround, you need to plan that in your cash flow because otherwise it could cause you an awful lot of problems.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

There’s a specific area here where you look at your non fee earners as well because you need people who don’t actually earn money by delivering services to drive the business forwards, to actually drive the sales, to drive the back office things as well. They don’t actually earn money by delivering services, but they’re essential to the running of the business at the operational level. So then on the marketing side of things, you’d look at how much you’re spending on marketing, the sales effectiveness. So if you’ve got a 50% conversion rate, but you’re only getting two leads in a month, then that’s terrible, but you need to have the right marketing spend that drives the right level of leads that are the right audience size and you’re reducing your client churn. You need to have people who perceive you in a good way. And that’s really hard to measure unless you’re a large business, but looking at your marketing spend against your sales effectiveness and your customer churn, just those three numbers across a long period of time, give you an idea of really where you are.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Like, where am I right now? I’m spending loads on marketing, the sales isn’t converting and we’re losing clients, is a big red flag for future finance problems. If you’ve got not spending a lot of marketing, selling loads of stuff and client churn is really low, you might have a really big operations problem. It’s a balance, but you’ve got to get it right over time. And on the operations side of things, things like user utilization is really, really important, but from a cultural perspective and from a big, big red flag and a risk, is absenteeism and staff turnover. If you’ve got people who have absences at the last minute or book a holiday at the very last minute, or you have people coming in and going out all the time in terms of their employment, then it’s a red flag for potential future finance problems because you have to hire more people and hiring these days, especially in the digital marketing industry, is very expensive.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So if you’ve got really good high utilization, that could be, if you blend high utilization with absenteeism, an indicator that you’re overworking your people, and then that’s a problem potentially for the future of your finance and that will impact your marketing opportunity, which impact your operations. Am I making sense? Not if you can hear me, all of the people. Not if you can hear me, Ulrika, and everything is good. Awesome.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I hear you.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So when you’re building a strategy for your business growth, you need to start with the end in mind, which is why the future comes first. You start with the end in mind for a good reason, because you need to know where you want to be. You need to know where you want to be personally in your personal career and your business. Your business is separate to your career. Your career is CEO or… Thank you for the nod. Your career is CEO or whatever it might be. Your business is separate to that. Your role in your business is different. So if you start with where you want to be in three years, then in one or two years, and then where you are right now, you know where you’ve got to go and what you’ve got to do along the way in order to get there. So conceptually you’d work out where you are right now on a personal level, where you want to be in three years on a personal level and where you need to be in one or two years on a personal level, in order to achieve what you want in three years.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Then you do the same on your career. Right now, I am running… I’m the managing director of an agency of four people. And as a career, I’d quite like to be the chairman of the board of an agency of 15 people in three years’ time, obviously that ties to my business goals. But in one year I need to be building the sales and marketing machine in my agency in order to be able to do that and hiring these people so my career can grow. That then ties into your business. Right now we have five people. We have £30,000 a month in revenue. Our net profit is 5%. We need to improve our net profit margin. As we improve our net profit margin, we can then start doing more marketing or doing more sales or bringing in more clients or hiring better staff, things like that.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But just the headlines, early doors. You do the headlines all by yourself in your own space at the weekend or wherever you want to do it. Don’t do it in the office. Take yourself away from the business. Go on a little mini retreat for a day. If you do just the headlines, that’s the things that you really want. They’re the things you’d stick on the board in front of your desk or something that is the things that are driving you to those places, not the details.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Can I ask you something Chris here?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

So in that, if you back one, in that, is there anything specific that you should think about to have answered the specific questions you would like to have answered in all these boxes?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, so something like, for example, in three years, time for a business, you’d say €3 million turnover, 15 staff, or €3 million turnover, 20% net profit.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Personally, you might say, “In three years’ time, I want have a house with no mortgage.” And those are the things you want… I mean, these days, maybe not, but be realistic people, but you need to start thinking if I want these things in three years, they have to be realistic. Those are the headlines. So the headline for three years’ time for personal might be have a nice house in the countryside and two dogs. That [inaudible 00:25:13]-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Does it have to be money, or like-

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

No.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Could it also be able to take vacation for example?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

The personal piece specifically is about personal stuff. If you want to have an agency that, in three years, as a business can do a revenue of, say, €3 million or pounds on 15% net profit, and you still want to be able to have holidays and you want to have four weeks, four or five weeks off in a year, you need to build an agency that allows you to do that.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. So we have a question here from Han… I’m sorry for the pronunciation here, but I think it’s… In Swedish, this would be Hans Knapp, but I don’t think that is how you pronounce it. So I say Hans, not [inaudible 00:25:56]. I say Hans, “Should I be over optimistic or under optimistic when I’m planning where I want to be in three years?”

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Neither. Be realistic. I know it sounds silly, but over optimistic would be 10 million pound agency, under optimistic would be a million pound agency, but you know what you can achieve because you know the market you’re in, so realistic would be something you know that is possible, but it’s also not going to be something that’s easy. So if you think it’s really… What I need to do in the business in three years’ time is going to be really difficult, but it’s still achievable if all of the other things happen, then that’s the realistic answer.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

If you look at it and you go, we could do 10 times that, probably you could, but you probably can’t. It’s over optimistic and unrealistic. So the being realistic is key in this regard, because when things don’t go quite to plan, you still know that where you want to be in a few years’ time is realistic. And the next piece, excuse me, the next piece of the presentation, I’ll explain why and how you can sense check that realism at the end. So there’s a lot of pieces here where it’s hypothetical. You can’t prove what’s going to happen in three years, but if you do the mathematics around that, you can say, okay, it’s definitely realistic as long as these things happen.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Right. I think that was a really good question because… Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It really was. Yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And in most cases, people will either be under optimistic or over optimistic, but the realistic bit is the thing that if you know it’s rational and it’s realistic, then you know when things go off course, that you can bring it back. If it was unrealistically under optimistic or over optimistic, it’s very easy to just throw the plan out the window and leave it and move on.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Well, you do also have to know what you’re doing to do to have this picture.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yes. If you’re building a three year plan and you’re on your own and it’s day one, and you’ve got €5 in the bank, it’s unrealistic to say in three years, we’ll have €10 million in this agency of 100 people. And so realistic would be in three years’ time, €500,000 or something. I don’t know. Then what you do, once you’ve done that headlines, the headlines are the specific things you definitely want to achieve, then you plan on paper where you are now on a finance position in terms of revenue, net profit, gross profit, your marketing, how much you’re spending, how many leads it’s generating, your sales, how many leads you can convert. But first of all, how many of them are qualified? So marketing can generate 100 leads. Sales get 50 of those are actually qualified because they fit your agency’s requirements. And then 10 of them convert. That’s pretty good.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Your people are how many people you have to deliver the services you’ve got and how utilized are they? And then an operational perspective, you would be looking at things like office space, software, utilities, the boring stuff that keeps the agency moving. Okay? It can start looking like this. I know this is probably quite hard to see on YouTube. So I am sorry. I tried to make these bigger, but when I did make them bigger, they looked even worse. So just pretend that it all makes sense, everybody. So on the left here, you’ve got what the agency looks like right now. And at the very top, you have your finance, then you have your marketing, your sales, your people and your operations. And at this point, you’re looking at exactly what you are doing right now.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So this much revenue, this much net profit, this much cost basis, then you’re looking at how many leads we’re getting in a month. How much those leads are costing us? How many of those convert? How many clients do we lose in a month takes away from the amount that you sell. And then what’s the cost of losing those clients is proven by how much it costs to get new ones in. Then you have the people that you are having in the agency, including yourself, to deliver that and rough utilization rates. But you should be tracking all of your people’s time against all of the things that people are selling, which is another whole webinar. But if you are tracking utilization, it isn’t about tracking people and waving your finger when they’re not doing their jobs. It’s to make sure that you’re not over or under servicing clients in the first instance, but it makes this strategy a hell of a lot more simple to work out.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Because if you can prove that your team is on 50% utilization and you want to get them to 70% utilization, you know you need to sell another five new clients in the next six months before you even start the hiring process for someone else, because you’ve done the maths. Then you go to the third year and you say, this is the headlines for the business where I want to be in year three. And you can see how messy it is because you’re doing all the mistakes on paper. At this point, you’re doing all the maths in your head, maybe with a calculator, but it’s very messy because you’re going, okay, I want to have this much revenue with this much net profit, but I need to have this much gross profit, which is realistic. And you then look at what you need to have in terms of clients at that point.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So to have a million euros revenue, you need to have maybe 1,000 clients. Is that reasonable? Well no. Maybe 100 clients? But what’s the average client value if you want to have a million euros revenue. So if you look at the average client revenue you’re making now, then extrapolate that over time with a little bit of added increase in terms of how much you’ll charge, you can then say, 50 clients at €2,000 is €100,000 a month, which is €1.2 million a year. Done. Everyone’s done. Everyone’s happy, but you work it backwards from there and go to year two. So in order to get to the year three, in year two, you need to have this revenue, this profit margin, this many staff catering for this many leads, which the marketing team have delivered at a cost of with this new office, because it’s going to be too small for the 30 of us now to get to the 60 of us, to have our million clients.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Then you go through to year one. Year zero, which is now, moving into year one should mathematically align. If we are generating five leads a month and converting one lead a month, we have 12 new clients. But if we lose two clients in a year, we end up with 10 more clients in year one than we have in year zero. And then you look at what you will do and the marketing and sales aspect in year one. And it will generate the maths of how many clients you have in year two. And then the same for year three. And if the average client value in the cost base is correct as you go, you get to your number at the top, which is why at the very top right on that screen, you can see lots of scribbling out because by the time you go from year three to year one and zero and work your way back again, you realize, okay, that was actually a bit unrealistic. We’re even richer now or maybe not, but you revise as you go so you’ve got a plan.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Once you’ve got your plan, it may end up looking like this. This is the hardest day of my life. Too many people in the room, as you can tell by the amount of Post-it notes, but it was one of those conversations, one of those strategy days, where you really needed to have a bit of a messy day, and this was only a six month plan because there were a lot of things going on in this agency. But as you do these things, as you grow your agency, you need to break those plans down, those years and those months down. But you know where you want to be in three, you know how you get there because when you’re in year two, you are here. In year one, you’re there. In year zero, you need to be here.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So example, if I want a two million pound agency with 20% net profit in three years, and I am a £500,000 agency now with 20 clients, an average client is £2,000. I need four execs and a manager and an office to serve those 20 clients. That means I need to get to 84 clients at €2… £2,000, I’m doing euros and pounds. £2,000 per client, I’ll need 15 execs, three managers, and a larger office and so on and so on, which means I need 25 clients per year, assuming I lose two per year, over three years, this means… That’s the wrong way around. This means I need to do this amount of marketing to generate 250 leads per year. So that marketing might be speak at this event, write this article, go on this webinar, set up my own meetups, cold calling, whatever it might well be, to generate 250 leads a year and to hire one exec per every seven new clients.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

That means I need to build a process to do all of these things. I need to upscale the leaders through the right training. And, and, and, and, and but you know what those ands are and you know how that works. And you know roughly when you should start even looking for new staff, because your sales pipeline and your NPS score, which is a net promoter score of how well your agency is received by clients, gives you an indicator that we should be starting to hire in the next three months. So we start now. So we have someone in the door in three months time in order to take on the next seven clients that have come through the door as well. I told you it was conceptual.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

It’s a lot though.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Now again, big, hard to see on YouTube, apologies, but this is essentially what you end up with out of all of those horrible pieces of paper. You prove the maths works by building it into a beautiful spreadsheet, probably more beautiful than this. Unlikely, because this is beautiful.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I think this is pretty nice. Neat.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. So what you can do then is you’ve got this one year, you can see where your profit margins go into, where it’s coming from, how many people you have, what you’re doing with those people, how many of those people you have and what it’s generating, what your marketing will have to be in order to do those sorts of things. If you’re going to networking events, how much they’ll cost in the year, so on and so forth. And those are the sorts of things which, when you look at a year, you then split that spreadsheet out. One year is then 12 columns and you can then mark off as you go, which allows you to know where you are along the way to get to your three year period.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It’s that boring in a sense. I love doing this, but it’s that boring. It needs to be this fastidious in order to build an agency that grows at scale. It’s a lot, but with a plan you can manage it all. You really can. So to keep track of those leading indicators, you need the right thing in place. You need to be able to track as you go and course correctors needed. If something’s not looking right on every quarter and it looks like it’s getting further and further away from where you need to be, then you know what you need to do because you know which thing it is that’s not quite right, which is where you build a dashboard of the leading KPIs. A lagging KPI is too late. You measured it at the end of the quarter and too late. It’s already low.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You can’t undo that. A leading KPI is something which is red, orange or green. If it’s red, fix it now. If it’s orange, watch it. If it’s green, thumbs up, everyone’s happy. So on a finance side, marketing side, people, growth, culture and operations side, you’d look at things that are indicators to you based on your strategy, so these are just examples, based on your strategy, which allow you to know we’re on track for this quarter to have the right amount of leads come in with the right profit margin and the right people in the right places doing the right thing at the right time. And people are happy because we have a high morale inside the business. If any of those things are slightly off, for example, no one’s got a personal development plan in place and it’s all red. That’s a chance that’s going to hurt your operations.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So in a couple of months’ time, if you don’t fix that, you’re going to have higher amounts of complaints or you’re going to have less people on spec or on target, which means you have less clients and therefore you have less cash in the bank, which means you can’t spend on marketing. And if you have those leading indicators, the things that you can course correct before it’s too late, then you can keep on track. Especially makes it easier, it makes it so much easier if you know where these numbers are and if you get them in place. It is so important. I sound like a broken record now. If you know where you are going and you’ve got the leading measures that prove that you’re on the way there, it’s so much easier to sleep at night. You can shut your laptop down and go out with your friends and enjoy your family and do what you want in life

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Because you know it’s in the right way. It’s going in the right direction. You’ve got three year plan, not a month’s plan or a quarter plan. Massively ugly, but these are examples. And I suspect that you want to watch this back and pause here, but these are all of the different types of things that you could measure on a dashboard, but don’t go dashboard crazy. There’s a picture that’s not popped up there, which is strange, but it doesn’t matter because it’s really, really bloody ugly. But I’ve seen an agency before with 64 measures across the four different areas of the business and graphs for each one of them. And you have to click into a graph to see all of the numbers and then click into that to see all of the stuff. Very clever, looked brilliant, but none of them knew where they were going at any point in time.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Once you’ve got your plan though, it’s all well and good having a plan that looks lovely in a spreadsheet or looks lovely on your wall. If you need to keep traction, you keep traction with two things. Apart from the people and the morale and the culture of the business, you keep traction with processes. Processes are your, if this, then that. That’s the process that people have to follow to do the deliverables, the onboarding, the everything, and then more importantly, people need to be able to explore and exhibit critical thinking. Critical thinking is absolutely… Blip. I was going to swear, blooming essential in an agency because there’s not a huge amount left in SEO anymore, apart from thinking and automation. Thinking is the thing that is the superpower that gets the best agencies growing and critical thinking is the so what, the then what. If I’ve done a migration plan, the then what is deliver the migration process, but quite a lot of the time, that’s a basic example, but quite a lot of the time, if you don’t exhibit the right levels of critical thinking, stuff gets dropped.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

How many people, how many of you guys running an agency right now have those… I call them oh shit moments where you have your daily standup, or you have your meeting with your team. And someone goes, “Oh no, I didn’t do this.” Or something pops up, a client sends an email. And when your inbox goes ping or a slack message does that tick tick noise and your heart stops or your heart drops, or you’re feeling a little pit in your stomach, that’s because somewhere, at some point, you know that people aren’t thinking far enough ahead and thinking of the next consequence of next actions. So there’s some really cool ways to keep traction. Excel spreadsheet, if you’re a small enough agency, don’t over complicate things, an Excel spreadsheet of how to do a process, how to tick things off is fine, but don’t expect it to last forever because it’s really easy for those sorts of things to fall down.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You can use things like Asana and loads of people use Asana. We used to use it. It was great. However, as you grow, you find it’s really hard. It’s a bit like a rabbit warren of nested tasks, knowing what you’ve got to do. If you look in your to-do list piece in Asana, you can see thousands of things, but actually it’s only two tasks and there’s loads of nested subtasks. It’s quite hard to follow. Then you’ve got monday.com and ClickUp. ClickUp, I personally love to bits. It’s really, really good. Monday.com’s brilliant. You can do a lot of integration with that you can’t do with other things. ClickUp I think’s brilliant for agencies, or if you want to be a massive nerd and you already know how to code things, use Coder.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I know a couple of agencies that use Coder. It’s a bit like Notion, but on steroids. You effectively code your own CRM within its own ecosystem. The good thing about it is you make it exactly how you need it to be for your agency and your agency’s strategy. The bad thing about it, the terrible thing about it is if something doesn’t work quite right, it either takes you months to realize it’s not quite right, because the maths eventually doesn’t end up working out, or you constantly think that something is wrong and it’s not. Or it takes you months and months and months to fix the problem, which was actually a semicolon instead of a colon in a formula somewhere.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Hans is using Monday and used to hate it. I also use Monday and used to hate it. But yeah, while you’re getting used to it then, but nowadays I use ClickUp. I love ClickUp. Coder sounded a bit like next level then. Do you need to be a developer to…

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Coder’s like that kind of God level style thing, but the best thing about it is it you make it exactly how you want it.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Oh yeah. So you hire someone who can create it as you want it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. It’s supposed to be like no code, but it isn’t no code. It’s called Coder, for God’s sake.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, exactly.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It’s essentially lots and lots of formulas that you can put together that pull everything from different places. So it’s a bit like having Excel formulas within a webpage and things. It is great, but it’s God mode, no agency realistically needs it. If you can use ClickUp or monday.com, it’s fine.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And like Hans said, with Monday and ClickUp, I hated them when I first ever used them because they just… You don’t know where everything is. But there’s four stages to any of these things. You have your discovery, what do we need? Then you architect what you have and you build your monday.com solution or your ClickUp solution. Then you’ve got this kind of deployment where everyone moans and groans and says that it’s terrible. And then you have this adoption stage where it sounds like you are at now, Hans, where everyone’s using it, or you’re at least using it or getting used to it.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I would have like three Mondays or three, yeah, Mondays in a row where I would say then, “Okay team. I rebuild ClickUp.”

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yes. Right.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

They would be like, “No, not again.”

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Exactly. Exactly. And I think you’ve got to make sure you stay consistent with quite a lot of these things. So it’s easy to weather lots of storms in an agency if you’ve got focus and a direction. I’ve hit that round the head a lot. If you’ve got a plan for three years and you lose five clients you weren’t prepared for, you know what numbers you need to hit in terms of marketing in order to hit the sales in order to do the rest. So you know that you need to do this instead to fix that. Before, lose three clients, you lose a load of sleep and you just call up people and say, “Hey, you’ve got any SEO work you need?” And things like that. There’s a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, lot more to this. But like I say, 45 minutes of going through this is not… It’s all conceptual. So hopefully I’ll be invited back to share some more. I can imagine that Anton’s already nodding in the background, really happy about everything.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But like I say, this is concept at this point. It’s something you should workshop. It’s something you should do with someone else as well who knows you or knows the business and you, so you can go through lots of conversations together and talk about things. But it’s really, really important that you do this work in advance.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Thank you. I obviously have a lot of questions. I am an agency owner that has no clue what I’m doing. I earn a lot of money and clients want me, and we actually have clients. We put clients on a queue because we can’t take care of them. I know however that there will be one day when that stops, the happy days will end. And that worries me out a bit.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Also what you are talking about, being in and on, that sounds very much like me.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. So for example, you shouldn’t be delivering standup meetings and saying that you’ve rebuilt monday.com.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Someone else should be in a meeting saying, “I’m going to rebuild monday.com.”

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

You hear that stuff on Unikorn? No, it’s getting better. It’s getting there. But yeah, I can imagine. It is hard to trans… Getting there from being the… I don’t know, the one person or the one plus one person, and then suddenly you have grown and then you’re… How do you make that transition from a freelancer plus one to an actual agency?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So I’ll tell you something someone told me a long time ago, and then this hit me in the head. And that’s what changed everything in my mind. Who is the main shareholder in your business?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Me.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Therefore, who does the business work for?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Me.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

How do you get to build that business for you?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I don’t know, give them shares?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

No. With the great people that you have, you trust them because you’ve hired those people to deliver the great work for their clients so that the shareholder gets the ultimate benefit, which is obviously the business growth. Everyone wins because they get paid for their time, they get their bonuses, the clients get their results and everything like that. But when you start thinking as you’re, in your mind, as the main shareholder of the business, the figurehead of the business, the leader of the business, you stop thinking about the doing, and you start thinking about the leading.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Oh, yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And it’s like a watershed moment where you realize it’s not like elevating up or… But in the hierarchy of your own thinking, you start thinking as a leader, not as a doer. And you’ll see a balance shift over time, because you’ll start to delegate differently and you’ll give people tasks which you know they could do. And it would take them three hours, but you know it would take you 45 minutes.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You’re going to give them three hours to do it. You’re going to give them the feedback because you’re a good leader, which helps the business, which helps the main shareholder, which is you.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I actually seen that happening the last couple of months and I’m doing, I’ve had my business since 2016. So… But is exactly how you describe it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. As soon as you start thinking as a leader, you stop thinking as a doer and you help people do the doing best because you found the right people to do that job.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. I also had the opportunity to peek on your slides in beforehand. So, and those assessing your agency, it was a lot so I thought that I’m not going to be able to do this. Do I need to hire a money guy or a money person? Or can I do this by myself? Can I learn this?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

You can, you can absolutely. I mean, yes, I always say that running a digital marketing agency is the most expensive MBA you’ll ever have, ever, because of all the mistakes you make, but also because of how much it costs to do. So from a finance point of view, depending on whatever package you use for your accounting system, for the most part, those three numbers that you need are your revenue, your gross margin, and your net margin and you get that from the cost of goods sold and the operating costs within your profit and loss statements.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

All right.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And when you know those numbers, you obviously take the bullet point out at the end and the full stop at the end, because you don’t need to worry about the pennies, you need to think about the whole numbers. And then you can see, okay, well, in my monday.com, I’ve got 15 clients and we’re taking this much money and we have this many people and they cost this much. And then you’ve got the start of it.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

The thing that’s… And everyone works differently. The thing I find ironically is to start writing things down physically on paper and then put them to one side. So I’ve written down my financial bits. Now I’m going to write down the operational bits. Now I’m going to… Then I’ve got them all there. And it just compartmentalizes things a little bit easier because otherwise, say, there’s just a lot. There’s so much to pick up on. There’s a lot of risk of getting some of those numbers wrong as well. So you really don’t want to guess. You want to look at what you know to be true and take the time to know it.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. We have a question here, but I don’t really get it, from SEO Basa. There are some agencies in the USA that introduced minimum salaries, like $75,000 a year, I guess. What do you think? I think that is a lot of money, isn’t it? Or that is a nice salary, isn’t it?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I think the South African immigrant in America called Elon Musk said that you get paid in proportion to the problem that you solve.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

If SEO is really that complicated and you’re a junior getting 70,000, $75,000 a year, brilliant, good. But I think a minimum salary… It depends on what that role is. It really does and how many clients you have and what you’re doing because you could be… In London, say, £75,000 a year would be a Head of SEO in an agency of, say, 20 or 30 people maybe.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Okay.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But equally in another country that could easily be the owner. Yeah. We’re all technically immigrants actually, very true.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

That was a good one. That is very true.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Salaries are often a difficult subject primarily because, especially in digital marketing, because especially after the pandemic, there’s an overinflation of salaries and role titles, because so many agencies are really keen to get loads of staff in, to take a hold of some of the new clients. So introducing minimum salaries or introducing special perks, or you can be the Head of SEO, but you’re the only SEO in the department, that’s fine because I’m going to steal you from another agency so then I can get someone in through the door.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And across everywhere, I think… So South Africa, I work with some agencies, UK, US and in Europe and the same kind of trend is happening where people who’ve been in SEO for a year or two will elevate because they’ll either move to another agency or the agency themselves will elevate them and give them more salary to keep them, which is totally reasonable because you want to keep your good people. But if the market is demanding more, then that’s probably why 75,000 a year sounds quite high.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. I’ve actually noticed that in Sweden. I don’t know the salaries are in other countries, but here, it’s elevated a lot.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

The last couple of years, ridiculously.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. But I mean, everything’s expensive in Sweden.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. They say, but it’s actually not.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

To get ourselves back on track.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

I wanted to ask also if you could give me… I know this is a silly, stupid question, or it is a very high level and something that you often ask, but then if you are like me and you’re not knowing what you’re doing, what are the top five things that you need to start with? If all of these things in this deck is a bit overwhelming, where do you, where do I start?

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Start with the money, because the money is the thing that drives all the rest of it. You can’t spend loads of time working on your systems and your processes and your people and your culture if you don’t know where and how much money there is in the business. And it’s all brilliant to say, we’ve got a million euros in revenue a month, but if you’ve got €1 million in one cost a month, then you are losing money every month. So start with the money first and get that right. And work out what that means. And not from a greed perspective, not from a desire to make loads, but so you know exactly where that is. Then when you know that, okay, I’ve got a handle on the money bit, and that’s where you might hire an interim CFO. And that’s usually someone, in the first instance, someone freelance who comes in, or if you’ve got a really good accountant, the best accountants that you can find nowadays will do management accounts for your business for you.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So they’ll do your tax filings, but every month they’ll send you a management account that says, “You took this much, it costs this much. This is how much is left. This is the forecast.” So when you know your cash flow forecasting, then you can start focusing on other things. In terms of the five things that you do, apart from the money thing, it’s really, really important to know whether you are ready to grow. And I don’t mean that in a facetious way, but quite a lot of people really want to grow and they want to grow really fast and they want to do loads of cool stuff, but you’ve got to be willing to learn. And it’s not just about growing, okay, I’m going to sell to all this stuff to all these people. You’ve got to be willing to learn it.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

And that’s not just reading articles and reading business books. That’s learning from your peers, whether that be group mastermind sessions, whether that be through a community, whether that be with agencies that are in your local area, just to meet up for coffee and things, but you have to be willing to learn in order to be able to even make any impact in the future. So that would definitely be the second thing. And all of the… My podcast here…

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. [inaudible 00:57:20].

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Almost every single one of the agency owners that I’ve interviewed on that podcast has said something along the lines of some kind of therapy. Not a therapist necessarily, some of them have, but some kind of outlet outside of the agency to either talk or act or do something that isn’t that, because you live and breathe your agency for the majority of its life. And if you think about it, if you exit your agency and you only get $500,000 or £500,000 or something like that, that’s five, six, 10 years of your life that just is for 500,000. You’ve got to have something that isn’t isn’t work.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

But I didn’t have to have a boss. So that is the key for me, at least.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

I think most good agency owners are unemployable.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

But the reality is, I think, everything after that comes from being willing to learn. Personally, I don’t work with any agency leaders that don’t come to me. People have to come to me because they want to learn rather than me go to you and say, “Hey, you need to learn these things.” It’s a bit like being at school. You don’t… I’m all right, I don’t want to [inaudible 00:58:37]-

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. Yeah. You need to be open for it. I actually, as soon as I sit beside someone or find a person at the party or dinner or lunch or whatever, that says that, “I am coaching,” or, “I have built companies before,” I’m like, “I have 10 questions for you. Can I please buy a beer or something?” Meanwhile, and can I just your brain? And I learn something every time. You know that I met you, Chris, I think it’s three years ago.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Oh, really?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

At Angharad London. And that changed my perception of my agency.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Me?

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah, yeah, you-

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Cool [inaudible 00:59:15].

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

And actually… What’s his name? Robert.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Oh, yeah.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. So you guys helped me a lot.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Oh, good.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Thank you for that.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

It definitely works. I’ve been talking about it for ages and it definitely works.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

It does. Yes.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Thanks everyone for listening throughout this entire webinar, because I think I’ve hit with some heavy facts and heavy things.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Yeah. They were heavy.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

So feel free to shout any questions in the next few days or get in touch or go through Duda at Anton and he’ll fire the questions over to me or whatever. But if there’s anything anyone wants to know in the next few days, please give me a shout.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Right, thank you so so much, Chris, for letting us or sharing this amazing knowledge with us. And I think I’m not the only one who has my mind blown a bit right now. It’s been very, very pleasant to do this with you.

𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 (𝗚𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁):

Thanks so much. Thank you.

𝗨𝗹𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗴 (𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁):

Thank you. Thank you guys.

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