Episode 80:

Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at Agency Management Institute. For the past 21 years, he has also owned and operated his own agency. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an active agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year, give him a unique perspective on running an agency today.

AMI works with agency owners by:

  • Leading agency owner peer groups
  • Offering workshops for 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 those 250+ agencies every year — he 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 two books and been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune Small Business. The Wall Street Journal called his blog “One of 10 blogs every entrepreneur should read.”



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why you need think long and hard before making employees partners
  • Why partnerships will look different if you’re a C Corp than any other structure (S Corp, LLC, etc.)
  • Why you need to make sure someone actually wants to be a partner before you offer them a partnership
  • Why you need to sell shares and not gift shares
  • Why you should only bring on one partner at a time
  • Why — if your employee doesn’t have the skills they need to be a partner — and they probably don’t — you need to teach them
  • Why it usually takes about 10 years to groom someone to take over for you
  • Why you really need to decide if you’re ready for all of your autonomy to go away
  • How to finance partnerships (odds are they can’t afford it on their salary)
  • How to start having the conversation about funding your buyout


The Golden Nugget:

“There are other ways to keep great employees. Don’t automatically default to partnerships.” – @DrewMcLellan Click To Tweet


Subscribe to Build A Better Agency!

Itunes Logo          Stitcher button

Ways to contact Drew McLellan:

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!