Is outsourcing the best solution to scale your agency?

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Before we get started you read the title right, I am questioning whether outsourcing is the best solution for you to scale your agency. I haven’t gone mad, nor have I given up, I’m simply answering one of the many questions I’ve received from polls, interviews, emails, live chat and other communication channels from potential customers over the past 2-3 months.

In the past I used to dig a hole in the sand and put my head inside, hoping the question would simply go away. Nowadays, I’m answering the difficult questions head on. Yes, for those of you who know what I’m referring to I recently read “They Ask You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan. If you haven’t read it I suggest you do it asap.

This book changed my viewpoint on content marketing. This is the first in a long line of question answering blog articles I intend to write.

I hope you enjoy it.

Yes, that is a picture of a cat “scaling” a tree, and badly by the looks of it.

Scale your agency, a walk in the park… right?

Let’s spend a few moments addressing just how freaking hard scaling an agency can be.

You want to go from one to many, or maybe just from your lonesome to a duo. Regardless, the transition from a single person to others is a difficult one with many roadblocks.

Letting go of the tight grip on your agency is just one of the roadblocks.

Take training for example. Whoever you get onboard you’ll need to teach them what to do and how to do it. After all, if you’re like many entrepreneurs, myself included, you have a way of doing things and you don’t want it done any other way. It’s your way or the highway. No exceptions.

This is fine and all, I mean you are the business owner. However, there are many agency owners who are opposed to the idea of giving up their precious time to train new people. In fact I hear this all the time – “I could do it myself in half the time”.

Now this may very well be true, you most likely could do the job quicker than you can explain it. The problem is how can you expect to scale your agency without sharing your way of doing things and getting the help you so desperately need? Scaling requires you to take on help, in one form or another.

You have to learn to let go and spend some time briefing your aid.

Outsourcing may not be the best solution

Getting help in order to scale can take many forms. There’s outsourcing work, hiring new staff, becoming better and more efficient at what you do or writing processes so you can at least do things the same way, and reduce waste.

There may be a bit of a cross-over there, but I think we can all agree that scaling a business requires the correct solution, and that solution may very well not involve outsourcing.

It’s vitally important to do your research and identify your agencies scalability roadmap, before you jump into outsourcing or hiring staff. It’s also a lot less risky to start with something like processes and being more efficient. Heck, even starting with some simple automations can free up your time and give you more scope and mental bandwidth to take on additional work for a while. These are bandaids though – remember that. Scaling requires extra hands and at some point you’ll need to make a choice.

Does scaling an agency require a single approach?

No one said that it was outsourcing, hiring, processes or efficiency that would singularly enable you to scale your agency. You may find that hiring a single employee on a part-time contract, whilst working on processes and improving your efficiency is the best approach. Then again processes and outsourcing could work.

I think it can be all of them combined that enable you to scale. A carefully considered mixture of all these approaches, working in harmony and moving your agency in the right direction sure seems like a sensible solution to me. Though that’s just me, and I’m different to you.

Make the right, informed choice for your agency

As was hinted above the right choice is yours to make. I think you need to do what you feel is right but make sure you do your research so you can make an unbiased and informed decision. Take that research and plan out your scalability roadmap, which should help you to identify the best possible solution to scale your agency.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it has inspired you to think carefully about how you scale your agency. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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