Solving Sucky Agency Staffing Issues with Ryan Crozier

By Jason Swenk on February 1, 2017

Solutions for Staffing Issues

Are you trying to grow your agency while keep a tight lid on staffing? Busy chasing freelancers, all the while worrying they might go rogue or MIA? Over and understaffing can cause a ton of stress, but so can relying too heavily on freelancers. Today’s podcast guest has a solution for those staffing issues and more.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Solutions to common agency owner struggles and staffing issues.
  • #1 staffing mistake agency owners make.
  • One service that makes agency owners’ lives easier.

Today’s guest is Ryan Crozier, founder of Agency Boon – an agency that provides creative agency talent to U.S. agencies. In other words, it’s the agency that helps agencies.

Like many agency owners Ryan stumbled into the agency business. However, Ryan’s story has a different twist. He was a U.S. missionary in Romania where he started a nonprofit. He discovered his team’s creative talents and started farming out those talents to make ends meet for the nonprofit. They began assisting U.S. agencies on a project-basis and used all their profits for their charity work.

That was three years ago… today Agency Boon is a team of 20 with a variety of talents. One thing that has not changed over time is Ryan’s vision for the agency. They’re still in existence for nonprofits and they reinvesting all the agency profits back into Romanian charities.

Common Agency Owner Struggles

Ryan says his goal has always been to add value and serve his clients. The problem is that he has ZERO agency experience. There’s been a massive learning curve and a lot of second guessing himself, like:

  • Feeling isolated. Running an agency can be very lonely. Prior to founding the agency, Ryan worked at a church and managed volunteers. Being an American leading an international agency has a completely different set of challenges. Mixing cultures with different work styles and work ethics can be really difficult.

  • Growing a team. Under and overstaffing is a concern of every growing agency. You want to keep people busy enough but not too busy or overworked. Ryan says he has tried to grow smart. Starting out with a small team of 1-2 is one thing but knowing when, how and which people to add is always a difficult decision.

  • Growing the agency. Finding new business can be challenging. Finding new business in the States when you’re in Romania is a completely different set of challenges. Since outsourcing to international companies has a certain stigma and a reputation for delivering shoddy work, . Overcoming these preconceived notions about his Romanian-based agency has been a major struggle.

Overcoming Agency Owner Struggles

1- Engaging in communities. Online communities and networking organizations can be a great resource. Ryan says advice and guidance from other agency owners is a huge help in solving some of his agency’s issues. It’s also reassuring to hear that other agency owners are experiencing similar struggles and facing the same challenges. If you’re a digital agency owner, you can request membership in our Facebook community with over 2,000 other agency owners.

2- Adding structure with systems and processes. There are resources and programs like our Agency Playbook that can provide a framework for running your agency. Ryan says he learned that having systems in place to streamline his business left him with time to concentrate on growing it rather than dealing with the day-to-day stuff.

#1 Staffing Mistake Agency Owners Make

You know there’s a saying about putting all your eggs in one basket. The same is true for relying too heavily on freelancers.

There are benefits to using freelancers – no employee overhead, schedule flexibility, etc. However there are staffing issues and also risk involved. There’s not much accountability. And, if you’ve got a lot of work tied to them and then you can’t track them down, it’s a nightmare. Every agency owner has or knows a “freelancer disappearance” story, right?. It happens. You can’t scale and grow an agency under those circumstances.

It’s also really difficult to juggle multiple freelancers. Managing projects gets really pretty tough when you’re bouncing work between a couple different freelancers with different skill sets. That alone can create major issues.

Working with Agency Boon is the best of both worlds. They make agency owners’ lives easier without the commitment of a permanent employee. Agency partners that work with Agency Boon find the experience an improvement over working with freelancers. Their Project Managers work with the talent, oversee projects, and can even integrate into the client’s PM software (Asana, Slack, etc.) Plus, since they’re in Romania, they’re working while the U.S. market is sleeping, so turnaround is often less than 24 hours. BONUS!

Check them out at or hit up Ryan on Twitter @RyanCrozier and tell him you’re a friend of mine 🙂

Becoming a Better Agency Owner

I hope this has provided you solutions to your staffing issues as well as any other struggles you are experiencing. Through my experience running my own digital agency and helping other digital agency owners, there are many topics I can offer guidance whether you are experiencing challenges as an established agency or a new agency unsure of what the different phases of growth you will experience will look like.

As you continue to grow your agency team, I can show how to recognise when it’s time to hire a sales manager or expand your sales team to perfecting your business strategy with creating a process for performance based pricing and how to keep your big name clients happy.

Are you ready to create something cool and want more advice? Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Check out more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself and other agency experts.

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