Episode 360:

When you’re running an agency, you know you will not have it forever. While your goal could be to sell it eventually, you must consider retirement, career pivots, or plain old ownership fatigue as part of your succession planning strategy.

Most of us aren’t thinking about what’s happening 3, 5, or even 10 years down the road in day-to-day agency operations. But, it’s very important to understand how your decisions today could impact the future value of your business. Today’s solocast covers everything you need to know about what you should focus on to increase your valuation and why it matters to start thinking about your succession planning strategy right now.

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops and more.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev, or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.
Succession planning strategy

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Why your agency isn’t as valuable as you might think
  • The importance of thinking toward the future when making current agency decisions
  • The recipe to increase your agency’s valuation when it’s time to sell
  • Why profitability and where it’s coming from matters
  • Why you should be making yourself irrelevant as your agency grows
  • How agency culture plays a role in your succession planning strategy
  • Why you should avoid “gorilla clients” that make up too much of your AGI
  • Where else you should invest your money outside of the agency

“If you want to add value and for your agency to be worth more, you must have intentionality around culture. Because you're going to have a culture whether you intentionally created it or not.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet“Every agency owner is surprised and, honestly, disappointed at their valuation numbers. We've yet to show an agency what their agency is worth and have someone say, ‘Oh, that's better than I thought it was going to be.’ ” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet“Longevity matters in an agency. So, start to pay attention to how many of your employees stick around for more than three years. Or are you literally a training ground for other agencies?” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet“For you, as the agency owner, you are actually the reason why your agency is or isn't worth more down the road.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet“Better choices today mean a better valuation tomorrow.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

Resources: