Episode 275:

As we celebrate the most anticipated New Year’s Day in any of our lifetimes, we also find ourselves planning, goal settings, and making resolutions for the new year. Whenever I ask an agency owner what goals they’ve set for their shop, without exception, the first goal (and often the only goal) they can come up with is a revenue goal. I absolutely want you to set revenue goals for this year but you shouldn’t limit your thinking to that one metric. There are other growth goals that are as important, if not more so, than what your gross revenue is for the year.

One of the fallacies that plagues agencies is that the only way to have a successful year is to get bigger (gross billings) but that’s a short-sighted and incorrect notion. There are many ways you can build and expand your agency that have nothing to do with your revenue. And depending on your agency – several of them could be even more fruitful and put more money in your pocket.

In this solocast episode of Build A Better Agency, I’m going to walk you through ten metrics worthy of consideration as you think about your agency’s growth. I’m not suggesting you try to tackle them all, but two or three might be the right number to consider as you plan your way to a good dose of growth for 2021.

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.

Growth goals for 2021

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Reasonable expectations for AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) growth goals in 2021
  • The right way to think about growing your team
  • How to think about client growth in a different way
  • How certain employees block growth
  • The power of focused goals
  • The growth potential in specialization
  • How a gorilla client impacts your ability to grow
  • Taking care of the clients who got you this far
  • The powerful satisfaction metric that can impede or fuel growth
  • Why you need to take some time to think about your life goals, and not just your agency goals, and an AMI mini course to get you started
“Level up your employees so they show up as leaders.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “Surrounding your A-players with mediocre players only diminishes the entire team.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “Client satisfaction is such an important part of an agency’s health. Unfortunately we are often drawn to the new prospect and under care for the existing clients.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “Having employees that are happy absolutely means you are going to have happier clients.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “Your agency is supposed to exist to help you as the agency owner, as well as your team and clients, build the life that each of you wants to live.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet “There are more important growth goals underneath any revenue goals.” @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

Tools & Resources:

About the Author: Drew McLellan

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.

  • Leading agency owner peer groups
  • Offering workshops for agency owners and their leadership teams
  • Offering AE Bootcamps
  • Conducting individual agency owner coaching
  • Doing on-site consulting
  • Offering online courses in agency new business and account service

Because he works with over 250+ agencies every year, Drew has the unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits (both good and bad) that happen over and over again. He has also written several books, including Sell With Authority (2020) and been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”

Speaker 1 (00:01):

If you’re going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn’t you get the benefits too. Welcome to agency management institutes build a better agency podcast presented by white label IQ tune in every week for insights on how small to midsize agencies are surviving and thriving in today’s market. We’ll show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. We want to help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable. And if you want down the road sellable with 25 plus years of experience, as both an agency, owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host Rue, McClellan. Hey, everybody

Speaker 2 (00:39):

McClellan here with another episode of build a better agency, super glad you’re with me today. And I’m excited to talk to you. This episode is one of my solo cast. So unlike a typical episode of build a better agency, I have no guests with me to dance just you and me. And I just want to talk to you about something that is top of mind for me that I think is super relevant for you as well. Before I tell you what we’re going to talk about today, I have a little housekeeping to take care of. So as you all know, uh, one of the things we do here at, uh, the podcast is we invite, uh, in fact, we can Joel and ask and maybe maybe bad gun occasion. We, uh, gently encourage you to leave us a rating and review on whatever site you use to download the podcast.

Speaker 2 (01:35):

And we ask you to take a screenshot of that review so that we know it to you, because a lot of times your username does not match who you are, uh, does match your name and, um, and then send it to me. And when you do that, when you send me the screenshot of your rating and review, uh, and it doesn’t even have to be a nice review or a high rating, although obviously, um, that would be lovely. Uh, and I hope if you’re listening regularly, you would think that we’re doing a pretty good job, but anyway, send me the email with the review attached and we will put your name in a drawing and every solo cast. So an episode like this one, every solo cast, we will announce the name of one of you, lucky, uh, reviewers, who will then win a seat at either one of our live workshops or, uh, access to one of our on demand courses.

Speaker 2 (02:31):

So this month’s winner is Alex Osterley, Alex, I hope I’m not butchering your last name, uh, from blue bear, creative Alex. I will also shoot you an email. So in case you’re not listening to this real time, uh, I will make sure that you know, that you are welcome to join us for a live workshop or, uh, grab a seat, uh, of virtual seat in one of our on demand video courses. So there you go, Alex, all yours, thank you for the review and thank you for being a listener. All right. So let’s talk about, uh, what I would like to chat with you about. So if you were listening to this in real time, it is early January. We have just celebrated, uh, the turning of the clock to a new year. Uh, probably the most anticipated, uh, change of year in any of our lifetimes.

Speaker 2 (03:26):

I think, um, I think everybody has been eager and ready for 2021, but as always, uh, with the beginning of a year that tends to lead to planning and goal setting, uh, and resolutions. So not going to chat with you about resolutions. I am sure you all have done that on your own personally, and I, I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing whatever’s important to you on the personal side of your world today. What I want to talk to you about are the goals that you’re setting for the agency for 2021. So when I say to an agency owner, Hey, tell me about, uh, what is your goals? What are your goals for 2021? Here’s what I always hear, Oh, we’re going to double in size or we’re, we’re going to take our revenue from a million to a million and a half, or we’re going to take our, whatever it is, but it’s always about growth.

Speaker 2 (04:23):

And it’s always about revenue growth, almost always. And you know what? I absolutely want you to set growth goals for 2021. Absolutely. But I want to suggest to you that we might broaden our definition of growth goals. It’s not always about the revenue. And in fact, if you’ve been to any of our workshops or you’ve talked to me, uh, in other settings, you know, that sometimes what I will say is growth is awesome, but it’s also really dangerous. And especially if you grow too fast, it is very hard on the infrastructure of the agency. So I’m not saying don’t set a revenue growth goal. What I am saying is I want you to set other growth goals that are as important, if not more important than the revenue growth goal. First of all, as you know, in the agency world, at least in the us privately held agency world in the big box, holding company agency, world, they talk about revenue because it’s a vanity number and they love that.

Speaker 2 (05:28):

They like to say that there are 3 billion or $90 million agency when you, and I know that most of those millions or billions are simply pass through, uh, media expenses. So that’s not really how big the agency is. That’s not really how significant they are. It doesn’t mean anything. And I do want to remind you if the only goal you’ve set is a vanity goal, which is a revenue growth goal. I would like you to set some more meaty and meaningful goals. And so I want to suggest to you, uh, throughout the, throughout the show that, um, there are other goals we can set. So let’s talk about what some of those other goals are. So we’ve already talked about a growth goal tied to revenue. I would much rather see you talk about a growth goal if it’s going to be about billings in AGI.

Speaker 2 (06:16):

So just refresher, gross revenue is everything. We bill a client. We have to take out our cost of goods, which include contractors. And what’s left is our adjusted gross income. And that’s the money that we get to spend on running the agency so that the adjusted gross income gets spent in three ways, loaded salaries. So we spend it on our people, our W2 income, if you’re here in the States, but our Sal, our employees, not our contractors, we spend it on overhead and then we spend it. Hopefully we have some profit leftover. So it’s people, employees, people overhead, and then profit. So I think a very worthy growth goal is an AGI growth goal. And for most of you, you know, if you can, if you can grow your AGI by 20 or 25%, that’s a significant growth goal. And it’s more significant than you think because you have forgotten in many cases to include attrition.

Speaker 2 (07:17):

Most agencies lose about 10 to 15% of their adjusted gross income every year, uh, clients, shrinking budgets, clients going away, murders, losing business, whatever it may be. But you can assume that whenever you finished 2020 with, in terms of adjusted gross income, if you gain no new clients, which of course is not going to be the case, but if you gain no new clients in 2021, at the end of 2021, you’re going to be 10 to 15% lighter, have less AGI than you did in 2020. So obviously now I’m saying is if you have a growth goal in AGI of 20 to 25%, you need to add 10 to 15% to that number. So on the small end, we’re talking 30% growth and on the high end, we’re talking 40% growth, right? So be mindful when you set those goals that you make sure you factor in attrition.

Speaker 2 (08:16):

It is, uh, it is a healthy pace for an agency to grow by 10 or 20%. Now, if you’re, if you’re a super young agency or you’re a super small agency, like under a million dollars, then doubling your AGI in a year or two is certainly doable. But that, that pace of growth is not sustainable. Once you get past the million dollar Mark, uh, for, for very long, you just can’t keep doubling is not possible at that rate of speed because you have to reinvent the agency, everything, everything breaks, and you have to rebuild it again. And so again, 20 20% growth I think is a really aggressive cause. Remember, that’s a minimum of 30 to 35% really with the attrition. I think that’s a very reasonable but aggressive growth goal for your adjusted gross income. You also can look at, um, I think sometimes we think of growing as I have to grow the top line or I have to grow AGI because the only, the only growth that actually matters is if I grow in the number of bodies, but I am hoping that all of you are beginning to realize that the number of employees you have is not necessarily a sign of how profitable you are or how well run an agency you are.

Speaker 2 (09:40):

I have had a lot of agencies that have actually shrunk in size in terms of the number of full-time equivalents. The number of employees they’ve had over the last year or two, but other key metrics have grown so growth. Doesn’t have to be, I have to grow a top line number so I can grow the number of employees because there’s lots of other ways to grow that actually may benefit you even better. So for example, uh, another growth goal that you might set is it might be a percentage of profit goals. So let’s say right now, your agency at the end of 2020, your AGI yielded you a 7% profit. There’s nothing wrong. And in fact, I’m, I’m a wholeheartedly encouraging you to think about setting a growth goal tied to that percentage of profit. So I would like you to get more, more, a larger percentage of profit out of the AGI.

Speaker 2 (10:36):

So ideally the sort of the gold standard is that the way EGI gets divided up is 55% of your AGI is spent on loaded salaries. So salaries and benefits, 25% is spent on overhead, which leaves you 20% for profit. So if you’re at 7%, there’s lots of room for growth. So I would love to see you look at your year, end profit at the end of 2020, and set a goal for increasing that percentage of profit for 2021. And I assume it goes without saying, but setting these goals without then putting a plan in place to accomplish the goals is a complete waste of time. So I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna fill this podcast up with all of the ways you could increase all of these different growth areas, which I’m going to keep going through, but do not misunderstand me to say that setting the goal is what I’m actually suggesting you stop at.

Speaker 2 (11:37):

I’m saying set the goal and then get your leadership team together and say, if this is our goal, if our goal is we want to move from 7% profit to 15% profit, then how do I do that? How do I, how do I, how do we move the needle that way? So that’s another place that growth can be very important is in profitability. Another place where I would like you to consider growing is the quality of your clients. I am a huge advocate of grading your clients on a quarterly basis. So putting together a report card, uh, which we teach in several of our workshops, putting together a report card and then grading every client on a quarterly basis and clients to get an a or a B they’re fine clients to get a C, have to have a improvement plan to move them up to a B same with clients that are a D they need an improvement plan within a quarter to move them up to a C and then ultimately you’d have another improvement plan to move them up to a B.

Speaker 2 (12:35):

And if somebody gets in half, you need to have a long conversation about why they’re still at the agency, why they have not been fired as a client. But one of the growth goals you can have is if you start, if you begin this, uh, grading of your clients, one of the growth goals that I think could be really significant for you is more a client. So more clients that sit that routinely, get the letter grade of an, a based on your own criteria to trade up and get better clients. Clients who appreciate you, who pay you on time, who are giving you meaty projects that are fun to do that. Don’t micromanage the entire process. All the things that we know, make a client, a great client, having more of them makes life a whole lot easier and more profitable for the entire agency.

Speaker 2 (13:28):

So that’s a, that’s a worthy growth goal. Another goal I’d like you to think about is having more a level employees. So just like you should grade your clients, you should also be grading your employees. How are they showing up? What are the, what have they learned in the last month or two months that they didn’t know before? How do they, how calm are they in a crisis? How do they deal with clients? Uh, how willing are they to pick up the ball and run with it, whether it’s their job or not all of those sorts of things. So if you have a bunch of client or employees that are C-level employees, they’re fine, but they’re sort of mediocre, or, you know what there’ll be, there’ll be employed. Like they have flashes of brilliance now, and then, but mostly they’re just a steady Eddie and they’re never going to go above and beyond.

Speaker 2 (14:19):

They’re not really pushing to learn and get better at their job. Um, you know, after a while, having a lot of sort of that BC, and hopefully you don’t tolerate D and F clients or employees, but having a lot of B and C employees, employees who are always complaining, who are always talking about how stressed they are, employees who can’t seem to rise to the occasion, employees who are not interested in helping you delight a client, having a lot of employees that are like that is a weight on the agency. You want employees who behave like you do, who are in excited about serving the client, who understand that, making the clients happy and helping them be successful and having success metrics that demonstrate to the client, how you’re moving the needle for them, how you’re giving them a return on their investment with you, having employees that care about that sort of stuff.

Speaker 2 (15:21):

That’s what makes owning an agency fund. That’s also what makes owning an agency profitable. All of your employees take up a certain amount of space, a certain amount of salary. And so the more A-player employees you could have the better. And one of the things that happens when you have more a players is that they feed off of each other and they all keep getting better and better. But when you mix a bunch of employees with a bunch of B and C employees, rather than them being motivated and pushing to get even better, they look at these mediocre employees all around them and they go, well, if my boss is willing to tolerate that, then why am I busting a hump? Maybe I don’t have, maybe I should yabba dabba do out of here right at five Oh five. Maybe I should, uh, complain every time a client asks for a change.

Speaker 2 (16:13):

Maybe I should be ungrateful for the opportunities that working in a small agency gives me in terms of being able to try lots of different things. So surrounding your A-players with a bunch of mediocre players just diminishes the entire team, but surrounding a bunch of a players with other A-players makes everybody want to get better. So I’d absolutely worthy growth goal for you is to level up your employees so that they show up as leaders, they show up as engaged. They show up committed to the clients and to the agency. So that’s another, a worthy growth goal to consider. And by the way, I’m going to be walking through a bunch of growth goals. I am not suggesting. In fact, I am not suggesting that you set all of these for, uh, 2021, because if you scatter your attention amongst all the possible growth goals, I’m going to give you today.

Speaker 2 (17:14):

You’re not going to actually get any traction on any of them. So pick two or three that are most important to your business and let those be the drivers for your efforts in 2021. So another place where I would love to see you grow is in your position of authority. As you know, if you are a regular listener of the podcast, if you’ve read the book that Steven Western I wrote called cell of authority, you know, that I believe that the way agencies sell the way agencies grow, the way agencies attract right-fit clients is for them to step into a position of authority or expertise, a thought leadership, call it whatever you want, but that you really are known as an expert in your area of specialty. And for some of you, it’s going to be an industry niche for others. It might be an audience for some of you.

Speaker 2 (18:10):

It might be around a methodology, whatever it may be, but I want you, Oh, another worthy growth goal would be for you to grow in your position of authority. So what that might look like is that you get invited to speak at more conferences that you get published in more articles that you create some cornerstone content, like a book or a podcast or a video series, or you do some research, but that you are really stepping into and becoming better known as an authority in your area of expertise. So that would be another great growth goal for you is to become known as an authority and to increase your position of authority, uh, tied to that would be, uh, another, uh, worthy goal for consideration is that more of your clients are actually in the niche that you specialize in. So many of you are embarking on a goal of getting to be more of a specialist rather than a generalist.

Speaker 2 (19:15):

And as I have told you many times that is an evolution, not a revolution. So it’s not like you decide, Hey, we’re going to be the agency that is an expert in pharma products for women over 50, that’s going to be our whole specialization. And so we’re going to fire today. We’ve made that decision today. So we’re going to fire all the clients that don’t fit that in that category. And we’re just going to go out and find a bunch of new clients, or, you know what? We already have one or two clients in that space. So we’re going to fire everybody else who doesn’t fit. That’s not how that works, but a, a good goal to have, if you have defined a specialty or a niche is then a larger percentage of your clients fit inside that niche. Meaning they’re going to be great for case studies.

Speaker 2 (20:02):

They’re going to be great referrals. They begin to further enhance and prove that you truly are an expert in that space. So going from 25% of our clients are companies that have deal with pharma products for women over 50 to 35% or 40%. That would be a great shift for you. So give that some thought, all right, I’m going to take a quick break. And then I’m going to come back and give you some more ways. You can grow your agency that are not revenue tied. All right, I’ll be right back. Hey there, do you have an up and comer inside your agency? Who’s become like your right hand person. How are you investing in them? Who are they surrounding themselves with? And who are they learning from? You might be interested in taking a look at our key executive network it’s built to help you groom the leaders in your agency.

Speaker 2 (20:56):

It’s designed to surround them with other AMI taught agency leaders, and it’s facilitated by one of [inaudible] top coaches, Craig Barnes. They meet twice a year and they stay connected in between meetings with calls, zoom, get togethers as an email. And my agency owners call it one of the best professional development investments they’ve ever made head over to agency management, institute.com and look under the membership tab for key executive network. All right, let’s get back to the interview. All right, welcome back. We are talking about setting growth goals and looking beyond a revenue growth goal as an option for you as you plan for the 2021 year. So another, another area where you can work. And by the way, all of these growth goals that I’m talking about that are not, I want to grow my revenue will absolutely influence and grow your revenue and will absolutely influence and grow your AGI and will absolutely influence and grow your profit.

Speaker 2 (21:58):

But we’re just talking about different metrics that all contribute to the health of your agency. And certainly part of the health of your agency has the financial health of your agency. But in other ways, some of these other goals that we’re going to talk about in the back half of this episode are also going to contribute to your agency’s growth in other ways, other than money. But one of the ones that is absolutely financially based is one of the ways you can grow and improve your agency for 2021 is to balance out your client load. So we have talked many times on this podcast about the danger of having a gorilla client and a gorilla client is any client who’s more than 25% of your AGI. So one of the, one of the goals that would be an excellent effort for you and would provide stability for your agency and really marginalize your financial risk would be to even out that client load.

Speaker 2 (22:59):

So to earn either more clients or a larger client that reduces the percentage of your AGI, that your current gorilla client occupied. So, uh, landing another client of that size or landing a cup of clients, um, or figuring out a way to surround that gorilla with other like sized clients so that you are not as exposed in terms of risk. If that client decides that it’s time to break up, you know, if you have a client that’s 40, 50, 60% of your AGI and they go away, as many of you experienced during the pandemic, when a big client goes away, the ripple effects are very deep. It cuts very deep. It impacts every aspect of your, of your agency, cashflow, staffing, you name it credit. And so the more you can balance out that client load so that no one dominates your AGI and everybody is at 25% or less of your AGI, that is a very healthy, uh, target to shoot for, you know, ideally you would, all of your clients would be between five and 10% of your AGI that’s.

Speaker 2 (24:18):

That would be beautiful. That’s you know, so that means you’re going to have between 10 and 20 clients. If everybody is between five and 10%, now that’s an ideal. That’s probably difficult to achieve. Most agencies either have a ton of tiny little clients, so everybody’s one or 2% or clients have one big gorilla, and then a bunch of small clients sort of surrounding the gorilla, but we’re moving towards everybody being in that five to 10% range would be a, uh, a goal worth pursuing and planning towards a couple other things that I’d like you to think about. As you think about the goals that you want to set for 2021, uh, the next one is, uh, an increase in your client satisfaction. So that obviously assumes that you already have surveyed in some way, shape or form either you’ve done it yourself, or you’ve hired someone like us or somebody else to do a client satisfaction survey, but that you’re able to grow that number.

Speaker 2 (25:19):

You know, client retention is such an important part of an agency’s health. And unfortunately we are often because we are such shiny object people. We are often drawn to the new client or the prospect, and sometimes we underserve and we under care for the existing clients and we don’t really give them as much love and attention as we should. And so they’re, they begin to grow disenchanted with us. And that satisfaction number is a great way to see how we are doing in terms of how much do they love us? How, how likely are they to refer us to someone else? Uh, how often are we delighting and surprising them? And so a client satisfaction survey is a Jew in general, a good idea, but a goal and a strategy about improving your client satisfaction score over the course of the year would be a worthwhile effort for you to put a fourth on for the agency, a related a growth goal for you, maybe an increase in employee satisfaction.

Speaker 2 (26:29):

So, uh, just like it hurts when a client leaves, it also hurts when an employee leaves and all that tribal knowledge goes out the door with them. We lose the consistency that we’ve been able to give a client because that person is in place and knows their job and sort of functions within the team very well. And so having employees that are happy, absolutely means that you’re going to have happier clients. So Walt Disney said it probably better than most, which is, um, if you focus on your, what he called cast members, if you focus on the cast members, if they’re happy, they make our guests happy, which rings the cash register. And so he believed that a happy cast team, happy group of employees meant that the clients were going to be loved and served better. And that ultimately that would produce revenue for the business.

Speaker 2 (27:27):

And I think he’s right. And so doing an employee satisfaction survey, uh, once a quarter, and working on improving that score would also be a healthy pursuit for your agency. Now, I will say, you also have to, with both the client satisfaction survey and the employee satisfaction survey, you have to be realistic and you have to be ready to hear hard things, because when you ask people for their opinion, they give you their opinion. And by the way, you’re never going to get a perfect score. So I know, I know you guys, I know you’re type a, I know you like perfection, but when it comes to other people’s opinions, when you’re asking a group of people on a given day, for their opinion, someone’s going to be mad about something. So you are never going to get a perfect score. In fact, I tell agencies, if you get above, if you’re doing like a, um, net promoter score, kind of employee satisfaction test on a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend to a friend or family member that they come work at the agency?

Speaker 2 (28:27):

If they’re looking for a job, if you get on average above an eight, that’s a miracle because there’s just a certain amount of disgruntle meant. If that’s a word amongst your employees on any given day and you know, it’s a job. And so that it’s not perfect and it’s not what they always love to do. And you know, no doubt the day you send out the survey, somebody had to work late or a coworker spoke to them, unkindly or something is going to have their undies in a bunch. And so, uh, if you’re going to do the client satisfaction survey or the employee satisfaction survey, just go in knowing that you’re not going to get the perfect 10 that you’re looking for, that you’re used to all you valedictorians and salutatorians out there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t look at the score and figure out how you can improve it, to make the clients and the employees happier and stickier.

Speaker 2 (29:23):

And so that you create that consistency for the agency. And then the last, um, growth goal I want to talk to you about is a little different than I suspect that the way your brain is thinking is I would love for you to set a growth goal for you, the agency owner, getting closer to your life goals. And obviously what that means is you have to know what those life goals are. And I believe that the agency exists to serve you, the owner, the team, and the clients. And so often you guys think about the team and the clients, but you kind of forget about that point, that the agency is also supposed to serve you. It’s supposed to help you build a life that is the life you want to live. Why in the world would you take all of this risk? Why in the world would you work as hard as you do it as many hours as you do and lay in bed, sweating, payroll and all the other things that come with owning an agency, if your agency also does not serve you and your deepest desires for the kind of life that you want to live.

Speaker 2 (30:35):

So obviously this starts with you understanding what is that life that you want to live. And so I have, um, I’ve put together a little mini course and I priced it super inexpensive. Uh, I put together a mini course that will help you craft. If you’re willing to go on this journey with me, we’ll help you craft sort of the, this, this future life. I want you to have a really clear picture of what this future life is and what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it smells like, because once you know what it is, then you are able to say, okay, what’s the Delta between my life today and what I want five years from now. And then how do I get there? So if you are a game, what I would suggest is you go to agency management, institute.com/my future self.

Speaker 2 (31:33):

And you can read about the mini course and decide if you want to take it. Or you can just with a pencil and paper dream about what, what you really want your life to be like in three or five years, and then set a goal for moving from where you’re at today to closer to that life that I think maybe the most worthy growth goal of all. And then maybe when you want to share with your team, it may not be one you want to share with your team, but I absolutely think every one of you should set that growth goal for you and the agency every single year. So why not start this year? Why not define what that future self and that future life looks like, and then begin to have the agency move you closer to that vision every day of 2021.

Speaker 2 (32:30):

I think that would be a great way to kick off 2021. And I think it will be a lot to celebrate at the end of 2021. If you are willing to do that, introspective work and explore what you really want your life to be like, and then let’s get you there. I think that’s a great goal. All right. So, uh, those are the growth goals I want you to think about. So please cherry pick the two or three of the, I don’t know, 10 or so, I gave you and make those, the goals that you guys are measuring against on a monthly and quarterly basis as you go through the year. And again, most of these are ones that you would share with your leadership team, or maybe the entire agency, maybe the life goal. One is something you’re going to keep a little closer to the vest, but all of them will ultimately build an agency that is stronger.

Speaker 2 (33:27):

That is more stable, that’s more sustainable. And if you want down the road, uh, that you can scale it and even more. So if you want to, you can sell it someday if you want. So all of these goals will get you closer and closer to the ideal sort of Bulletproof agency that we all want to have. So don’t get stuck on the revenue, just the revenue. There’s nothing wrong with having a revenue goal, but don’t stop there. There are more important and more valuable growth goals underneath that revenue goal. And hopefully I’ve given you some ideas that you can implement inside your shop. So, one last thing before I let you go, I want to remind you that we have an amazing workshop coming up at the end of January. So January 21st and 22nd in Orlando, it is called build and nurture your agency sales funnel.

Speaker 2 (34:25):

So you notice that, uh, I didn’t talk a lot about your new business growth goals, because I think that biz dev is baked into a lot of the goals we talked about today, but I know for a lot of you, one of your goals for 2021 is to actually have a new business plan that you’re going to actually execute. So this workshop build a nurture. Your agency sales funnel is one that we created last year. So we taught it for the first time, January of 2020, and it got great reviews and even more so the agencies that were at the workshop and this workshop is a little different than some of our others. This is very much a hands-on workshop. You’re going to roll up your sleeves and do some work during the workshop. So it’s not you don’t blah, blah, blah, me talking. It’s really me talk a little.

Speaker 2 (35:13):

And then Steven, talk a little, and then you get down to work and us walking around the room and kind of helping you, you’re going to leave with a fleshed out business plan. And, you know, when we reached back to some of the agency owners that had taken the course last year consistently, what we heard was I walked out the door and I knew what to do. We implemented it in the next week two, by the time COVID hit, we were up and running and you know what? We barely slowed down. We just kept plowing through the pandemic. The BizDev program kept people in the pipeline. We kept getting new clients. And in fact, in many cases we had one of the best years ever because our dev program was on autopilot. We just knew what to do, and we did it. So I would love for you in a year from now to be able to say to me, drew, when did the workshop and had the exact same results.

Speaker 2 (36:10):

So if you are interested in that workshop, just head over to agency management, institute.com and under how we help, you’ll find the workshop, uh, tab. And you can find the build and nurture agency sales funnel, and register. If we still have room we’re, we’re capping it at 25 people. So, uh, we’ll, uh, we’ll put it on the website if it’s sold out. So check it out, join us if you’re interested. All right. I hope this was super helpful. I hope this got you thinking a little more broadly about growth goals and the goals that you’re setting for 2021, because I want this to be the breakout year for you. I want this to be the year that you look back and go, Holy buckets, how do we get all that done? That’s what I want for you for 2021. So let’s set some goals and make it happen.

Speaker 2 (36:59):

All right. So in the meantime, um, I’ll be back next week with another guest, of course. And as always, I hope that you will reach out if we can be helpful. I do want to say thank you a big thank you to our friends at white label. They are the presenting sponsor of the podcast. And, um, if you need a partner to do PPC or web dev or design, they are an amazing white label partner. They’re owned by, uh, they’re sort of the sister company of an agency that has been a part of the AMI world for a long time. So they totally get our world agency, world, cause it’s their world too. Uh, they totally are in tune with the fact that they need to stay in their lane and to respect your client relationship. And I’ll tell you every day I get an email from somebody that’s thanking me for introducing them to the folks at white label.

Speaker 2 (37:53):

So head over to white label iq.com/ami, because they have a special deal there for you. Uh, and also just let them know that you appreciate the sponsorship of the podcast. That would be great. And in the meantime, you can always reach me at drew at agency management, institute.com. Thanks so much for listening. I can’t tell you again how much it means to me that you’re out there and that you’re listening and that you reach out to me that you, that you connect on LinkedIn, that you join the Facebook group. If you’re not a part of the build, a better agency podcast, Facebook group, come join us. We’re having some great conversations there and I would love to get to know you and your agency a little better. So, uh, however we can interact in 2021. I am to it. So I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 3 (38:39):

That’s all for this episode of AMI, build a better agency podcast. Be sure to visit agency management, institute.com to learn more about our workshops, online courses, and other ways we serve small to mid-sized agencies. Don’t forget to subscribe to date. Don’t miss an episode.