AMI’s Drew McLellan talks about the unique role of the agency owner and how their days should be spent.

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Hi, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. I am here in Santa Fe on a very chilly morning. Today I wanted to talk to you about the role of the agency owner. The reality is there are some things that only you can do, that you are positioned to do the skill set to do, that you have the gravitas to do, and if you don’t do these things because you’re too busy quagmired in client work they don’t get done. So let’s quickly look at how you should break up your day. And these are obviously ballparks and every week is not going to play out this way, but in general here’s how you should spend your time. About fifteen to twenty percent of your time should be spent running the business—that is running a financially sound shop, making sure the finances are in order, making sure operations are working well. But ideally once you have those systems set up—and they do require systems—once you have the system set up, it shouldn’t require the lion’s share of your time. So 15% to 20%. Then you should spend another 15% to 20% of your time mentoring your leaders, your team. If there is one thing I hear over and over again from agency employees is they want more of you. They want to learn from you, they admire what you have done, what you have built, and they know that the best way for them to grow in their skill set is to spend time with you. So make sure you’re doing those one-on-ones and some of the other things that we’ve talked about in the past. And then about another 15% should be spent on what I call “client love.” And what I mean by that is you’re not in a meeting with a client, you’re not doing daily work for a client, but you are spending time with your clients—really talking to them about their business, you’re taking them out to drinks or lunch or maybe to play golf or to the theater—whatever their thing is—baseball game—but you are spending time getting to know your clients on sort of a CEO to CEO level kind of conversation. And in those meetings, it is not your job to sell. But what happens many times is you do get new opportunities because you have a great conversation, and so they’re drawn into that conversation and next you know they’re saying, “Well you know what, you could probably help us with this thing or that thing.” But the lion’s share of your time, about 50% of your time, should be spent on business development. There is no one in your shop who is better at selling the agency than you, and if you don’t keep your eye on that prize, there is no one else in the shop who’s going to do it. Now that does not mean that you’re AE’s don’t have to keep upselling and growing the business that they serve—because hopefully what’s happening is you’re doing such a great job that your clients have new opportunities, and of course they invite you to participate with them in those opportunities—but you should be out selling the agency, finding new clients, growing the business. And that should be where the lion’s share of your time is spent. In the next video, I’m going to talk a little bit about how to make that happen, some hacks and tricks to actually carve, out enough time that you really do have half of your work week to devote to Biz Dev. But in the mean time, 15% to 20% running the business, finances, ops; 15% to 20% mentoring your leadership and your the rest of your team; 15% loving on your clients, letting them know how much you appreciate them, valuable they are to the agency, and getting to know them better, building a relationship with them, and then 50% on Biz Dev. If you can do that, your agency is going to keep growing and building, and it’s going to be everything that you want it to be. I’ll see you in another video soon. Thanks.

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