Problem: Scaling an Agency in a Competitive Market
From starting a band to starting an agency, Chase Clymer shares his background and knowledge about business, scaling, and partnerships.
The Steps of Scaling an Agency
Running an agency can be difficult but once your agency starts to pick up momentum, it can get even more daunting. To help establish the steps needed to scale an agency effectively, Chase Clymer shares information he has gleaned from his experience, mentors, and resources he’s come across on his journey.
Step 1: Establishing Swimlanes and Ownership of Tasks
Establishing swimlanes and ownership of tasks, especially the tasks involved in operation and sales, are incredibly important as you scale. Not only do you want to avoid stepping on other people’s toes, but it is also important to be able to heighten efficiency as you scale up.
Those were really the keynotes, the keystones that got our business going. I don’t think I used either of those words right: keynotes or keystones. But if you use a word with so much conviction, someone might just look over it.
Step 2: Business Development
Early on, Chase got wonderful business advice from a mentor, which steered him toward business development. Chase’s mentor emphasized the importance of sales and marketing for a fledgling business and encouraged Chase to focus his efforts on that, while delegating other operational tasks.
You need to get everything off of your plate except sales and marketing.
Step 3: Content Marketing
Being able to share content with people in the industry or customers, through different platforms and utilizing various media and formats is important. Not everyone consumes the same type of information the same way and content can be conveyed through so many different formats: blog posts, social media posts, images, videos on YouTube, podcasts, and webinars, for example.
Our goal with partnerships is actually content marketing.
Hiring Contractors and Building a Team
When it came to hiring a team, Chase and his business partner first started by hiring contractors to help with a core set of skills they were not familiar with. They started with Upwork, but in the long run, it was more trouble than it was worth to get over the language barrier, the time difference, and the concept of working with a contractor versus hiring someone to solely work for your company.
We found a great team, they did solid work but it was the language barrier was difficult.
The first hire that Chase and his business partner made was what some people call a strategist or a project manager. Chase just calls him the guy that gets sh*t done. Although he realized, after the fact, that project managers normally come later in the process. However, hiring Andy freed Chase to be able to work on the tasks he needed to spend time on.
QUOTE: If the first hire you make is a project manager, you’ve made a mistake. So we lucked out.
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT: I guess it would be a blend of “Do good work” and “Do honest work.”
A few resources on Scaling an Agency, which Chase suggests:
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman
Pricing Creativity. by Blair Enns
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, by John Warrillow
Mike’s Personal Mission Statement: “Helping ordinary people become extraordinary in all they do so they can live a successful and significant life.”