When I started System.ly I hired someone to help me with fulfillment from day zero.
It was only a few hours a week.
But, those few hours allowed me to go out and get more business while NOT having all of the delivery rely on me.
What seemed obvious to me in the beginning, the very thing that I see most agency owners and freelancers struggling with.
They get a handful of clients and they are responsible for all of the fulfillment/delivery…
Very quickly things get hard.
New client comes in.
Sales and marketing stop.
Client project finishes.
Back to manual hunting/prospecting.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Maybe you’ve felt or maybe you feel it now.
Getting help in delivery is ONE of, if not the smartest thing you can do in your business.
But, it’s scary, I get it.
Hiring someone to help eats into your profits and early on you’re not really sure “how” it will all work out.
So in this episode, I break down the numbers on how you can make more money and grow your business while actually doing less of the delivery work.
Transcript / MP3
If you want to grow your agency, you have to stop doing all of the work.
For three years. My agency built funnels and automation systems for the biggest names in marketing today since then have transformed that agency into a hyper profitable training and consulting business. While everyone is out there and talking about scale like it’s some sort of destination, we’ll be asking the real question. How do you transform your business into a more scalable model using the knowledge, skills, and expertise that you already have? This podcast is here to give you the answer. Join me in following along as I learned, apply and share the strategies I’m using to build my multimillion-dollar business. My name is Greg Hickman and welcome to Scalable.
What’s good? Everybody?
Welcome back to another episode of Scalable and in this episode I want to talk about how you can really start to grow your agency or your service business by doing less work. Now, when I first started my business, we grew up kind of quickly through word of mouth and a lot of referrals and I had way too much work on my hands that I didn’t have the, the full help on the fulfillment side to be able to really deliver everything that we had right now that’s not always the case, especially with clients that come to us. You know, they don’t have like this rush of demand and already, um, you know, a fulfillment, fulfillment problem out of the gates. Typically they’re just jumping back and forth from, uh, from fulfillment into marketing and sales. Thus when they get a new client, marketing and sales stop. So like if you think of like a lever, right?
And on one side you have marketing and sales and the other side you have delivery, right? When you get a new client, you jump over to delivery and guess what? The scale gets tipped and marketing and sales stop, right? But you finished that client project and then you’re like, oh crap, I need more business. So you jump over here and now you’re back into marketing and sales. And the scale tips back, right? So you might be familiar with this in your business or your agency. And that’s really the matter of fact is that you’re the bottleneck in the business, right? You’re the one doing the sales and marketing, you’re the one doing the fulfillment. Now without me necessarily knowing that I was doing this, so this was the right thing to do. It was really beneficial for me to go out there and hire help unfulfillment early on so that I could continue to sell.
So when we jump back to this model, we had Greg on the marketing and sales side and we had Lisa on the delivery side, right? And so we were to keep that situation balanced where Greg can go add new clients. He can give maybe like 25th, 20 to five to 50% of his time over to fulfillment when needed. But we had Lisa who was doing the bulk of the fulfillment and we very quickly added some other people on fulfillment, um, shortly after. But the reality is, if you’re the owner of the business, you’re going to free up your capacity a whole lot faster if you offload the, the delivery side. Now there’s a lot of people that will probably argue sales first. But here’s why I believe that you shouldn’t offload sales first. In most cases. For most agency owners that we deal with, they’re already too much of generalists.
So the sales process isn’t clearly defined and you’re not selling a clear product or a clear core service. You’re selling kind of going out after RFPs or sending out proposals, which makes having an effective sales person a little bit more difficult. So this is why we always recommend developing a core service, productizing that service, um, adding on more profitable revenue streams, like coaching, training, et Cetera, which we’ve talked about in previous episodes. But when you sell a specific outcome, it’s going to be a lot easier to hand off some of that fulfillment, right? So in my example, um, we were building out a infusion soft campaigns, marketing funnels, webinar funnels for online influencers using infusion soft. So like my core, uh, need was I need someone to help me with infusion soft implementation, right? And so by having someone like Lisa, I was able to continue going out into the market, creating content, um, having conversations, doing the actual work required to bring sales opportunities in the door.
Now here’s the thing, a lot of agency owners that we speak with, like they tend to do the fulfillment way too long because like we always say like if we want it done right, I might as well do it myself. Right? But that’s that, that won’t get you to the type of business that you actually want to have if you’re always the one doing the work, right? If you want to take a vacation, your business stops, right? And so really you’ve created a job for yourself, not a business, not a machine, not something that works for you when you’re gone. And so I wanted to break down kind of how you might start to think about offloading some of the delivery, right? And I think this conversation of, well it’s easier for me to just do it, then go find someone to pay them to do it because then I’m, I’m paying out some of my profits.
Well, more likely than not, that’s a problem with your own, your own pricing, right? Which we’ll talk about in another episode, but I want you to think about this and I’m going to use very arbitrary numbers just to paint the pictures so you can start to plug in some of your own numbers, but some of these will actually, uh, will actually be relevant. So let’s, let’s jump in. All right, so let’s say, um, you want to hire someone to, to do some of the fulfillment, right? In my case, it was, I need someone that can build out infusionsoft campaigns. Maybe for you it’s someone to build out ad campaigns or build a website or um, you know, do research or what have you. Right now, let’s say you were to be able to fines and maybe you’re not ready to pull the trigger on someone full time, which I totally get.
I wasn’t when I had Lisa come on. She started at 10 hours a week, right? And then I bumped her up to 20 hours a week and then 30 hours a week. And very quickly we were able to get her full time again, another, another episode. But let’s say you were able to find someone all right, that can do some of the heavy lifting of your fulfillment in your delivery process and charge them 25 bucks an hour. Right now if you’re doing like hands to keyboard type stuff, like building an infusion soft campaign or a having someone help build a website, there are people out there that you can get started with at this. Now, if you think that that needs to be 50 go with 50 in your own head for the sake of this conversation. But for my example, I’m gonna to 25 because I haven’t really found an example where I couldn’t find someone to take a big bulk of my fulfillment off my plate for 25 bucks an hour. So let’s say we have 25 bucks an hour and I want them to help me for four hours a day, right? And that’s five days a week, right? So what does that play out to be? Right? So we have, um, basically a hundred bucks a day. So that’s 500 bucks a week, right? 500 bucks a week, which if you’re having them worked for you monthly, now we have a two k a month that we have to pay this person for the fulfillment, right? Two K fulfillment costs.
If they’re a contractor, you know, that’s, say that’s the case, right? To Cain fulfillment costs, however, they’ve freed up, right? 20 hours a week, right? Which is 80 hours a month as the owner of your business, right? One of the key things that you’re going to have to do is become a marketer, right? Learn how to sell your services and create attraction in the marketplace, right? I’m going to say that again. As the owner of your business, at some point, you’re going to have to learn to become a marketer. Go out into the marketplace, add value, and generate conversations and interests so that you can sell people into your service offerings, right? I think we see in, it’s funny, you’re you, you probably aren’t agency and you do these things for other people, but you’re not doing them for yourself, right? The Bang for your buck is going to be to get someone into fulfillment using, you know, an example like we’re talking about and free up 80 hours a month of your time as the owner.
Now, even if we’re being conservative and it went to 40 hours a month, if you can’t take 40 hours a month and generate more, then $2,000 each and every month we have a bigger problem, right? So if you don’t know how to go out and generate an additional $2,000 a month, let alone you don’t know how to go find someone and plug them into a system that’s going to help them, you know, remove you from fulfillment, you’re just lacking skills and probably some knowledge, right? The great thing is you can go and get those, right? So you’re lacking skills and knowledge. So it’s not like it’s the end of the world, right? You can go change that, but even if you’re a mediocre marketer and a mediocre salesperson, you should be able to, in 80 hours of a month focused effort on going out to create new business.
If you can’t create an additional $2,000 a month, we have a problem, right? So you might need some skills brushed us, brush up on some skills and knowledge to be able to go out there and generate more business, right? But yeah, look, you spend two grand and you go and add, you know, five, six, seven clients a month. Now where maybe, you know, most of our clients charge anywhere from, you know, five k up to, you know, 25 k on the front end, not even counting the back end, right? If you only sold one client, right? That’s already three K that you’ve made up from having this person, right? And that’s just if you only did one sale, right? So imagine if you start doing this every single month and you start generating five, 10 2025 k in sales every single month utilizing these 80 hours. But you have someone that’s, you know, two k a month and obviously if you start generating that sort of business, you’ll probably have to bump up their hours as well.
But you start to see how having someone in fulfillment frees you up to go grow the business, right? So you need to stop doing the work as a part of your fulfillment. Now, if you need to oversee some strategy and stuff like that, you need to find a way to eliminate yourself from the hands to keyboard pieces of this work, right? This is why oftentimes we have our clients. Um, many of them start to make a radical shift in their business model and they on top of their core service, so they already have a core service. If you don’t have a core service, this is a this is, uh, the first thing you start with, right? But if you, if you have your core service and you’re kind of looking to take it to the next level and you want to be even more profitable, you want to start adding things like training or workshops or programs slash coaching, right?
These things all have better margins and you’re going to get paid for what’s in your brain, right? You’re going to be paid to think which, if you think back to when your agency got hired in the first place, they hired you more for what’s up here than anything else, right? You knew how to get those results so they’re paying you. But sometimes over the course of working with a client, and this happens to many agencies, you really end up becoming labor, right? And that’s where your, if you were the one doing the labor, your business stops growing because you’re basically helping someone, someone else’s business grow because you’re really like a glorified freelancer, right? So we want to and get the help in fulfillment, even if it starts at four hours a day, cut it in half, two hours a day. That’s how I started, right? And start offloading some of that stuff so you can start putting more time into sales and marketing to start generating new business, right? The faster you can free yourself up from the, from the delivery of the thing you do, removing yourself from that part of the business as a bottleneck, you will be able to go do what you’re supposed to do as the owner and start generating new business.
If I gave you five to 10 new clients, would you or your agency break? If so, your current agency model is broken. I struggle with this too, until I found a better way. By adding online programs, training, and coaching to our agency, we’ve doubled profits without adding more hours. If you want to work directly with me and my team to transform your agency, visit www.myscalablebusiness.com to learn more.