Top Tips from Pros: Smart Partners of Chris

Profile Chartered AccountantsFINANCE: Kobus van der Merwe – Profile Chartered Accountants

Number Crunching – Let specialised software do the work! Don’t go spending days and weeks building some fancy spreadsheet nonsense. Use the right tools for the job and your agency finances will thank you! Tweet This Tip

Utilise an Expert – Ensure compliance and avoid costly mistakes. You wouldn’t believe the money, time, effort and headaches you can save yourself by finding the right expert for your finances. From payroll to R&D Tax Credits, you need the right person supporting you. Tweet This Tip

Comparatives – Compare past performance & understand the trends to forecast the future. You do it for clients. Many Agency Owners don’t do it properly for themselves though. Don’t make that mistake! Tweet This Tip

Analysis & Interpretation is key – It’s always the boring stuff we miss or pay less attention to. It’s usually the boring stuff that bites you in the ass though. Find the right people across the entire business, especially the finance side. Not all accountants are created equal. Tweet This Tip

Forecasting – Prevention is better than cure. Assess any issues that may come up, save for capital expenditure, large tax bills and unforeseen events. Never wait until your taxes are due to find the money for your taxes. Plan ahead and split your income into the appropriate pots! Tweet This Tip

OPERATIONS: Vicky Simmance – Project Management Consultant

Assigning Tasks and To-Do’s is Not Enough – Just dishing out tasks as ‘to-do’s’ won’t generate the right levels of accountability and may mean the big picture gets missed. – developing systems & processes to maintain traction & ensure tasks are on track are core to success! Tweet This Tip

Utilisation Rates – Know your numbers! This goes for people, not just finance. Knowing utilisation rates means you don’t overload your teams and can keep an eye on performance too! Continually measure team & client utilisation to ensure your agency is running as efficiently & profitably as possible! Tweet This Tip

Think Big, Build Small – When developing agency systems & processes, architect & adopt an MVP before building out to get going quicker & minimise confusion! If you want all the bells and whistles from day one, it may mean a bigger and more complex system… Deploying something so big to a large team will reduce adoption and throw out issues too. Tweet This Tip

Source of Truth – Develop a process for having all comms related to a particular task or project documented in one place to maximise both efficiency & accountability! Keep a single ledger of all comms for one project/client/team in the same place. That way, if someone is off or an issue arises, you aren’t fishing through someone else’s Slack, Teams or Email to find things! Tweet This Tip

Software FTW Monday doesn’t have the same meaning in the PM world! Let specialist project management software do the heavy lifting for you – most have free-to-use versions & quick start tutorials! Tweet This Tip

PEOPLE/RECRUITMENT: James Congdon – Agency Recruitment Consultant

Always Trust Your Gut When It Comes To Personality – If somebody has a 10/10 CV and aces an interview, but something feels like they would have an adverse effect on your wider team, don’t make a rash decision. Explore their culture fit further with additional, honest conversations – they could even meet the wider team – but don’t make that offer unless that initial gut feeling is appeased. Tweet This Tip

Focus On Results Not Papertrails – Don’t focus on years of experience on a CV or LinkedIn, focus on what they have achieved during their career to date. In this market, somebody with 8 years of experience at a large agency, for example, may have actually had a narrower breadth of client/brand experience and may have been given less responsibility than somebody who started their career at a lean startup for example. On the topic of CVs, they really aren’t the be-all and all for a decision and particularly not in this market. If you’re 50/50 on a candidate then have a 20-minute conversation with them, because some people will hugely surprise you when you speak to them. Tweet This Tip

Consideration Goes Both Ways – Realise that ‘slow burn, considered applicants are often the best. Companies can take it personally when somebody takes their time to accept an offer or reply to it with a series of questions. This is a good thing. Consideration is better than a rash job hopper because these are the people who are in it for the long haul – they will want to stay with you to grow and help you to grow. Tweet This Tip

Know What Motivates – Agencies and companies that are best at retaining their talent are the ones that take the time to observe what motivates people. They also recognise strengths and limitations. They understand that not every senior member of staff needs to be a manager of people and that while some people are great with people and delivery, it’s totally fine if somebody smashes project work but is bogged down with processes and people management. Make it easier for them by teaming them with people who can pick that up so that they can do what they’re best at. Not only is this best for your company output, but it’ll make it more likely that they will remain with your company for the larger part of their career. Equally, if you find somebody who is great with process and people. management but weaker on delivery, that’s also fine – strong people management is make or break, and if working to develop others motivates certain individuals then they are going to be more invested and happy to work for you long-term.  Tweet This Tip


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