How to Calculate Your Buyback Rate and Maximize Time and Revenue

By Jason Swenk on February 22, 2023

Are you running your agency, or is your agency running you? Are you lacking the freedom you thought you’d have in your agency? Many owners start growing their agency, getting more clients, and hiring more people and quickly find they’ve built a prison for themselves. Today’s guest went through this and came up with a method to regain freedom and buy back your time. He now helps clients set up systems to identify their buyback rates and delegate tasks so they can maximize time and revenue.

Dan Martell is the CEO of SaaS Academy, the largest coaching company for software CEOs. He has owned and sold several agencies and continues to invest and buy companies through his company, High-Speed Ventures.

As a troubled teenager, Dan discovered his obsession with computer programming while serving time in a detention home. Many years later, he started and sold several companies. He has two venture companies and has been an angel investor in about 50 companies. He is currently CEO of SaaS Academy and is further developing his personal brand as an author. Today, he talks about his new book, Buy Back Your Time, where he details the method he created to help business owners regain their freedom.

In this interview, we’ll discuss:

  • How to calculate buyback rate and conduct an audit of your time.
  • 3 mistakes entrepreneurs make when they reach the pain line.
  • 5 key hires to help you delegate and reclaim your time.


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Sponsors and Resources

E2M Solutions: Today’s episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by E2M Solutions, a web design and development agency that has provided white-label services for the past 10 years to agencies all over the world. Check out and get 10% off for the first three months of service.

How to Calculate Your Buyback Rate

The “buyback rate” is a concept that many entrepreneurs are embracing to avoid the “pain line.” This is the point where they can no longer balance their personal and business life. Dan’s book explores the buyback rate in-depth and discusses how it can help you build a successful business while enjoying your personal life.

Dan, the author of Buy Back Your Time, teaches entrepreneurs to calculate their hourly revenue value to determine their buyback rate. To do this, divide your annual income by the number of hours you work per year, then divide that amount by four. The result is your buyback rate.

Calendar Audits to Identify Tasks You Can Delegate

Once you have your buyback rate, it’s time to audit your calendar. Dan advises clients to audit their calendars for two weeks, highlighting tasks they enjoy in green and tasks that drain their energy in red. Each red task should be rated on a scale of one to ten based on the cost to outsource it. Tasks rated as one will cost ten dollars to outsource, tasks rated as two will cost twenty-five dollars, and so on.

After classifying tasks, Dan suggests that you work through the $1 tasks, the ones that will cost the least to outsource. While this might not free up a lot of your time at first, it’s important to build the muscle of delegating.

Dan warns that buying back your time isn’t about going to relax. It’s about using that time to generate more revenue for your agency. It’s important to avoid the “pain line,” the point where people start making rushed decisions.

The “pain line” can cause entrepreneurs to stall, sabotage themselves, or sell their business, even if it’s thriving. Dan has developed a replacement ladder with five levels to help you buy back your time gradually. The levels are Executive Assistant, Delivery, Marketing, Sales, and Leadership.



The Five Steps in the Replacement Ladder

Dan suggests starting with an Executive Assistant, who can help with scheduling and administrative tasks. Next, hire for Delivery, so you can delegate client work. Marketing and Sales come next, where you delegate lead generation, conversion, and follow-up. Finally, when you have a team in place, you can focus on Leadership.

Dan emphasizes that buying back your time isn’t a one-time event. Instead, it’s a loop that you should continually refine. It’s essential to solicit feedback from your team to prevent stagnation.

In conclusion, the buyback rate is a useful concept for entrepreneurs who want to balance their personal and business life. By identifying the tasks they can delegate, entrepreneurs can focus on generating revenue and avoid the “pain line” that often causes them to stall, sabotage themselves, or sell their businesses. The buyback rate allows entrepreneurs to buy back their time gradually, building a team that can take over their day-to-day tasks, and create a successful business while enjoying their personal life.

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