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Agency Growth Series: Intro – How to Grow Your Digital Agency for a Multi-Million Dollar Exit

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How do you attract clients today, but also plan agency growth to prepare for the end goal of a successful exit?  

A crucial part of it is defining how your agency will think about strategy in order to find your agency’s unique positioning, but that will only get you so far. 

Building a marketing agency is hard, especially if you’re just getting started, but with the right planning and roadmap, you can build and scale your agency from a one-person team to a multi-million dollar business poised for exit. 

We know because we’ve done it, and pivoted to focus on Morphio, which was one of our crucial technologies to increase profit margins while helping our team reduce manual work and ultimately be happier. 

This article will be the first of a series that summarizes some of our key learnings of how we grew from an entrepreneurial dream, to one of the fastest growing companies in North America, to ultimately successful exit…all in less than 10 years. 

Our agency growth series will cover each critical business function of the agency, such as: 

  • Gone Fishin’: How to start finding clients
  • Keeping Clients Happy AND Creating Margin: Goal-Based Account Management
  • Results, Rinse, and Repeat: Creating Repeatable Processes 
  • Finding technology that works WITH you: Selecting the Right MarTech stack  
  • An Accountant Walks Into an Agency: Managing Agency Finances
  • “What makes us different is our people”: The Talent Lifecycle 
  • “From Me to We to Them”: The Founder Journey from Inception to Exit 

Agency Growth Basics – What You Want To Be When You Grow Up 

Before we dive into each of these topics it is important to levelset the realities of what it means to own an agency. 

There are so many benefits of starting your own agency or consultancy. You can work when you want, from where you want. Set your own hours. Hand-pick your clients. Determine what type of work you do and don’t want to do. It’s why so many people move away from working for other companies and start their own.  

But starting a new agency—one that’s resilient and grows—isn’t easy. It requires a full commitment and partnership with both your business and your home life. 

Upon getting started, and at least once a year, give yourself the space to think about these questions to gain clarity: 

  • How do you want to grow your business?
  • What’s your end goal?
  • What are you committed to do to grow this business?
  • What are your time constraints?
  • What obstacles might you encounter?
  • How will you work through them?

Be sure to share these responses with business partners, agency leadership, and your family to align expectations. 

Partnerships

While some agencies start out as a one-person do-it-all, at some point, you’re likely going to want to bring on a partner to help you strategize and grow. Selecting the right person for this role may be one of the most important decisions you make for your business.

Get into the nitty-gritty early on. Once you’ve discussed roles, goals, and expectations, get signed agreements in place. Don’t enter into your future just on good faith. Don’t forget to talk about a possible breakup. Most good relationships come to an end at some point and you don’t want it to be a messy split. Focus on your strengths and weaknesses and build an offense/defense strategy with your partner(s) that sets the tone for everything you do going forward. 

Your Journey 

Does this sound familiar to you? Where are you in your agency growth cycle? If there is any topic in this that resonates with you, we’d love to chat with you. Reach out to us at hello@morphio.ai or connect with us on LinkedIn

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