How to Grow Your Agency to an 8-Figure Revenue in Under 5 Years - Smart Agency Masterclass: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies

How to Grow Your Agency to an 8-Figure Revenue in Under 5 Years

By Jason Swenk on August 8, 2018

Want to grow your agency to 8-figure revenue? Thinking of growing your team but worried about the overhead? Hoping for a moment of clarity, where it’ll all come together? Then it’s time to put your foot on the gas and push through. Acquiring quick agency growth is achievable when you’re focused. Find out how one agency owner got to $1 million in under 6 months and 8-figures in under 5 years!

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • A different agency structure.
  • 2 attributes for quick agency growth.
  • #1 thing to achieve constant agency growth.
  • The 8-figure revenue a-ha moment.
  • Overcoming the small agency hump.

Today I talked with Jake Baadsgaard, founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising, an agency built on results-based relationships. Jake grew his agency to the $1 million mark, run-rate, in six months and was able to exceed 8-figure revenue in under five years. Today, Disruptive Advertising boasts over 100 employees and continues to grow. He shares some thoughts on agency growth, pivotal moments for his company and advice on how your agency can overcome that plateau and accelerate growth.

A Different Agency Structure

Jake’s agency has an interesting structure. Disruptive separate out the account management from the execution. He brings in employee and continues the face-time with the client, to ensure the agency is moving in the right strategic direction for the client. He then provides a list of what needs to get done. This develops into the employee taking over the face-time and owning the relationship as well as the execution.

2 Attributes for Quick Agency Growth

Always be in a hurry. Jake always felt a need to be in a hurry and get things done. He attributes their quick agency growth to two things:

  1. Cash
    • Having a physical software that he could sell, Jake started with no debt.
    • Keeping his monthly expenses low, he didn’t have to worry about making money the first two years.
    • Having cash on the table allows your agency to focus on growing.
    • Cash on hand can shave 2-3 years off what typical agencies will go through to achieve growth.
  2. Hustle
    • Network and get good at bringing in business and selling.
    • Build relationships to help build your agency and attract top talent.

#1 Thing To Achieve Constant Agency Growth

Don’t give up ~ push through!

There are always bumps in the road. Jake thought about quitting all the time in the first couple of years, but he didn’t. After successfully navigating some difficult relationships and figuring out the direction of the agency, he chose to push through.

There is no magic bullet. Don’t quit today, quit tomorrow.

The 8-Figure Revenue “A-Ha Moment”?

There were different things that pointed Jake in the right direction, but his true “a-ha moment” came when he realized he was trying to make decisions before he needed to. This approach creates a lot of unnecessary pressure.

It comes down to this:  What is your agency’s end game? Do you ultimately want to sell your agency?

Once you establish this decision, then you can build something exciting to come to work on everyday. It’s all about clarity, vision and communicating direction.

–> See related articles to sell your agency.

How To Overcome the Small Agency Hump

It can be scary to bring on more overhead, knowing that it will cut into revenue. If your agency has multiple partners, that brings the challenge of keeping everyone satisfied while still having room left to grow the financials.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes you have to take a hit on your bottom line, by investing in sales and marketing, to feed the pipeline and encourage growth.

It’s important to recognize when it’s time to move past founder-based selling. To do that, carve out a percentage of revenue to invest in a sales team and marketing team. That’s the best way to grow.

Always be building your agency pipeline… and, don’t take your foot off the gas.

Don’t forget the value that comes from collaboration with other agencies. Strategic partners can be lead to major growth.

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