At whatever stage you are in your agency growth whether you are starting scaling or getting ready for sale it is never an easy journey. If you are doing it all on your own then it can be a very lonely place. However it does not need to be. 

You have to accept that you don’t know everything – nobody does, nobody has all the answers, nobody has all the creativity, nobody has all the ideas, nobody is always right. 

One option is to try different things and see if they work. If they don’t then try something else and see if that works …… and repeat, again and again.

Yes, it is great to learn from your mistakes and I totally condone not to have a fear of failure, however this method of growing your business can get you down and (worse of all) can take a very long time to find the formula that actually works and moves your business forward.

The reality is that you will always have challenges at whatever stage of development your business and your agency is at. 

Is it not better to find a way that will move your agency’s development forward faster and in a more efficient and effective way?

I have identified three key journeys you, as an agency owner are on: 

Journey of Creativity 

We are always coming up with new ideas for our business however we are never sure if they are good ideas or bad ideas, or if they’re going to make the difference that we want them to make.

On this journey it is invaluable to have the sounding board. someone that you can talk to,  bounce ideas off, to explore alternatives, to build on an idea to make it better. to sanity check if it’s a good idea or not if it’s going to work or not.

In order to get the most out of these discussions it’s best to have somebody that really understands your business, your sector and what you are trying to achieve with your agency.

This person will listen, they will question, they will put forward alternatives and they will give their opinion. Based on the outcome of these discussions you will have a much more informed and a much better solution than if you would have gone ahead with your initial idea. 

Journey of Discovery 

Open Your Mind to  unearthing New information and new ways to look at things. Being an agency owner is always a journey of Discovery and you can either do that on your own or you can do it with others. 

When you’re doing it with others then they can help guide you on this journey of Discovery. They will identify areas where you need to develop both personally and in a business sense: they can point you in the right direction: they can provide alternative views which help you uncover new realities. 

Looking at your business differently, expanding your thinking and discovering new and better ways to grow and develop should be a daily task for any agency owner. 

Journey of Learning 

It will not surprise you to know that whatever challenges you are facing in your business, these challenges will have been faced by other people at other times before you.

In the agency world it is very common for the owner of the business to have particular skills and training in what that agency focuses on delivering e.g. design website photography etc. The business, commercial and leadership training will often be at a minimum and will often be learnt on the job. 

The journey of learning is to leverage knowledge and information that others have gathered by solving the same challenges and by having a wider and broader understanding of the business skills knowledge required to grow and develop an agency.

Look for education, ask for advice, ask for what you should from those that know, those that have the experience and those that want to help. Learn from others, develop a mindset of continual learning.

Coach, mentor, teacher … What do you need?

I wrote a post on LinkedIn last week asking for help as to what I should call myself that accurately describes what I do to help agency owners. Why was I asking this? Because people want to put you in a box – “He’s a great agency coach”, “a wonderful business mentor”, “you will learn a lot from him – he’s a great teacher”.  So I asked for help.

A colleague from another community I am part of very generously (and brilliantly) took the time and suggested a response. I could never have come up with this (creativity), it made me look at what I do differently (discovery), and taught me that there are people who have a much better command of the English language than me (learning). 

He said:

Chris Bantock, your Guide.
I know where you want to go, it is a place I am familiar with. On our journey together I will pay attention to your needs and desires, the ones you are aware of, and others that you’re not, and I will coach, train, mentor, advise or educate depending on what is needed at the time. I am YOUR guide and YOUR business confidant with many hats. My most important one is curiosity, my job is to also learn on every journey”

Ultimately you will make your own decisions.  However I would hope that you would agree that it is better to make a more informed decision once you’ve explored the creative options, discovered alternative views and learnt more about the challenge. You don’t need to be on your journey alone.

If any of the points here resonate with you and you think I can help in any way then please get in touch. I would be honoured to perform the role of ‘guide’ with you.