At the beginning of 2018, my agency and I decided to become unstoppable. We wanted to grow — both in team size and in our number of clients and projects — and we were determined to make it happen.
While we had a great year, it wasn’t always an easy ride. Becoming “unstoppable” meant never slowing down. We drove headfirst at our goals each and every day, and sometimes that got complicated.
However, with the start of 2019, I’m looking back and recognizing how much I’ve learned over the past year. Here are the biggest lessons I’m taking away from our “unstoppable” year:
1. Finding the right clients matters.
In order to become unstoppable, we needed to focus on creating the right partnerships with the right people. This meant connecting with clients who we truly enjoyed working with and who we believed valued our time and skill.
When choosing the clients you work with, look beyond just a paycheck. While making a profit is important, if you’re overly stressed, underappreciated or just can’t connect with your clients, you and your team will burn out pretty quickly.
Outline your “ideal” client and try to make connections that fit that image. However, remember to use this outline as a guide, not a checklist.
2. Solidify your brand.
Part of creating an unstoppable agency meant growing an organization we were proud to show off. This meant getting all of our agency’s branding in order, including the messaging about who we were and what we wanted to accomplish.
Your agency needs to stand out within your organization. Whether it’s in offering something new or taking on a different perspective, create a unique brand. Be sure to know what sets you apart from your competition. While your brand should constantly evolve, create a solid foundation you can build on.
3. Organization is key.
Nothing can slow an agency’s growth quite like disorganization. When you’re unsure of what projects are due, where your deliverables are, or when you last communicated with a client, it’s difficult to make solid connections to move forward.
I made organization a priority during our unstoppable year. My team and I identified the tools we needed to enforce a streamlined workflow and added automation systems where appropriate.
Each agency will have different organization needs. Find the right apps, tools or processes to hold your team accountable and keep all of your important information in one place.
4. Have an unstoppable team.
One of our biggest goals for an unstoppable year was to grow our team. We recognized that having the right talent was important for sustainably growing our agency. For us, this meant encouraging our current employees to invest in advancing their skills and interests, as well as hiring new individuals to help complete our team.
An agency’s team has the power to make or break the company’s success. To create an unstoppable agency of your own, you need to find the right people to work alongside. Take a hard look at what kinds of employees you need on your team, as well as what skills can make your agency more efficient. Be smart about your hires and be sure to show your appreciation.
5. Control your growth.
When we first set our “unstoppable” goal, we were eager to get going. It was tempting to grow as quickly as we possibly could. However, we wanted to make sure our growth was sustainable. This meant controlling our growth and being smart about the new projects, clients and employees we welcomed to our team.
Remember not to get ahead of yourself when growing your own agency. Focus on your long-term goals and timeline, not just what is right in front of you. To stay on track, set goals and intentions. Continuously check in on your goals to ensure you’re moving at the right pace.
When 2018 started, we had no idea what was ahead. We knew “unstoppable” was a lofty goal, but it was a challenge we were ready to take on. We’re excited about the accomplishments we made and look forward to continuing our progress in 2019, but knowing what I know now would have been a great help a year ago.
Take my five lessons with you and create an unstoppable agency of your own in 2019 and the years ahead.