There have been many times in my agency career when I was surprised by the extended planning cycles of clients.
Let me give you the setting. It would be a cold January morning (sub-zero temperatures in St. Paul, Minnesota), and I would be booked-solid with client calls.
One call would be planning a halloween campaign, while the next would be brainstorming back-to-school promotions.
Say what, now? We’d be in the dead of winter, already planning for fall. It seemed a little early to me for a business to be planning so far ahead. It was totally different from how we were running our agency; which I can best describe as flying by the seat of our pants.
Of course, these clients were corporations with billions of dollars in revenue. So they must have been doing something right.
Clients always come first?
My agency prided itself on our customer-first mentality. We would do whatever it took to make our clients happy. And it worked; we retained clients for 3-5-10 years at a time, at a time when most clients would dump their agencies every 6 months.
But customer centricity can lead to its own set of problems. Working too much inside of the business. Never finding time to work on your own business. Except for those two weeks a year when the clients had taken off for Christmas vacation. That is when a customer-first company can finally reflect on the year behind them, and plan for the year ahead.
See where this becomes a problem?
If you wait until the last minute to plan for next year, you’ve already fallen behind.
Maybe you don’t need to start planning 9 months ahead like some of my more ambitious clients. But you should definitely be planning right now for where your business will see growth in 2018. Or if you haven’t started your business yet, you should decide whether next year is your year to take the leap.
If you wait until January to develop a plan, it’s going to be difficult to hit the ground running with your initiatives. You’ll spend the whole first quarter trying to build momentum, and might not see meaningful results until half-way through the year. If you don’t get ahead of your plan, you’ll find yourself in the exact same position next year. With a few more grey hairs, and a much shorter fuse.
Time for a reality check
It’s officially November, and only two more months until the year ends. Know what that means? You have two months to right the ship.
Don’t treat your business like a new years resolution. Because only 8% of New Year’s resolutions succeed.
In the agency world, how many of us have said, “I want to grow and scale my business this year by 2x”, only to look at our progress 12 months later – unsatisfied by the results. We’re juggling everything from sales, finance, client management, etc.
With multiple priorities, how do you focus on the activities that will skyrocket your business to the next level?
You have two months to figure it out.
Nobody said growing an agency would be easy
Growing an agency is hard!
And a lot of you have been emailing me with the same question, “When is your Agency Jumpstart Course opening?”
Well.. Agency Jumpstart is opening this November!
So, if you want to truly grow and scale your one-person consultancy or agency business in 2018, then you will not want to miss the upcoming details about Agency Jumpstart.
Next Tuesday is when it all begins.
If you’re not already registered for our Agency Sage list, now is the time. Register here.