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As an agency owner, your dream is to scale your business to get new clients, expand to new sectors, and increase your revenue. Scaling up also means your agency is no longer reliant on you alone but on your entire team to get the work done.
Beyond delegating, assigning tasks, and overseeing day-to-day business operations when scaling up, everyone must be on the same page on business goals and how things work. That’s why it’s important to identify internal issues and blockers that may cause problems so your agency can keep thriving and growing.
What internal issues should you look for to prevent your agency’s downfall? Read below as we discuss how to detect a problem with your agency and how to fix it.
Internal Issues With Your Agency
As you continue to grow, internal issues can grow with you. You need to recognize them and find ways to dissolve them. Here are some common internal issues you may find in your agency.
Being Prepared to Scale
Growth is one of the primary objectives of many business and agency owners today. You may have decided it’s time to scale and started setting things in motion. But are you preparing your agency for the growth you have planned? Every aspect of your business must be able to scale up as you plan to scale up operations.
If you once had a team of four and decided to grow, do you know how many more team members you’ll need to handle the additional workload? Does the technology you use to oversee client onboarding and project management have the ability to scale up with you as well? What will the internal hierarchy look like with these additional team members?
If changes in operations and structure aren’t taken care of, your agency can struggle to grow efficiently in areas that may not be top of mind. This can affect your business and your employees if not planned for effectively.
Take a look at your operations and structure. What changes do you need to implement for your agency’s growth to be smooth? Make a list of what aspects of your business need attention before they can be scaled up. Start by putting those in place and grow steady until everything is complete.
Working With the Wrong Team
Hiring the wrong people can be very grave for your agency. As a small business owner just starting out, you need to hire people who can meet your expectations and help build towards your goals. This may require you to create a work environment filled with transparency and communication so everyone is on the same page.
Transparent communication can help you build deep and meaningful relationships with your team members so that you can count on them in the future as business needs grow.
Another important internal issue regarding your team is to ensure you have team members with the skill sets needed to grow. Without addressing skill sets and skill gaps, your team members may struggle to fit into roles that aren’t part of their job description or that require skills they don’t have.
Hiring the right team as you continue to grow will save your employees from burnout and prevent a drop in service quality. It will also give you the confidence of knowing your team can handle the growth as it happens.
Using Your Original Internal Structure
What once worked for an agency of one person may not work for a team of multiple employees. As your agency grows, the internal structure of your agency may need to change.
If you once only managed yourself or a small team, your approach to people management may need to be adjusted as your team grows in size. Determining how to manage those different teams is very important if your agency grows into separate departments.
While you have many responsibilities as the agency owner, managing each department shouldn’t be one of them. Create a management tree or organization chart that clearly defines who each team member reports to and how the teams are separated within the agency. This will help your team know who is leading each team and who is responsible for specific business tasks.
Once you have the chart, you can then develop and implement clear workflows for different aspects of the business. For example, if you have created an accounting department, it’s essential to define how accounts payable and accounts receivable will run. These workflows will also make it easier to explain how things work when onboarding additional team members.
Ignoring Important Issues
Each business will experience issues throughout its lifetime, and your agency is no exception. It’s vital to build a culture of tending to issues promptly before they become a huge problem. Try not to avoid the small problems that arise, as they may grow into larger issues that cost you more time and money.
Some common issues you don’t want to avoid include poor work performance from team members, skipping important workflow steps, and missing deadlines. While these may not seem like a huge problem separately, they can grow into more significant issues like disappointed clients and missed payments if they continue to happen.
Ignoring issues can also negatively impact employee productivity, job satisfaction, and company culture and may grow into full-blown conflicts. It’s important to address issues in a timely fashion, try and get to the root of the problem when possible, and fix the issues before they become a problem for the entire agency.
How to Fix Internal Problems in Your Agency
Once you’re aware of any issues in your agency, it’s important to know how to fix them. Here are some ways to fix common problems in your agency.
Schedule Time to Address Issues
In any business, there’s always something to do. Whether it’s a task, you need to check off on the to-do list or a project that’s nearing its deadline, the priority of each may feel like you can’t focus on anything else.
However, finding time to address issues and find ways to fix them is imperative to the health of your business.
Start by carving out time to have one-on-ones or weekly reviews with team members and team managers. Make sure your team is aware of this time in your schedule and communicate the importance of these discussions.
They can be used to discuss any internal issues, talk about what’s happening in the business, or mitigate any client issues that may be occurring. These discussions can help you identify any internal issues to take care of them before they grow into larger problems. They will also help build trust across the team.
Brainstorm and Implement Solutions
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain order and keep things flowing.
When your team members identify issues, no matter how small they seem, don’t ignore them. You also don’t have to fix them alone.
Work with your team to discuss some of these issues and any ideas for solutions they may have. Create action steps from these discussions so each team member knows how they can help fix the problem.
Once the proposed solutions have been implemented, circle back with your team members to ask for feedback, continue to have regular meetings, encourage team members to speak on things they consider problematic, and keep trying solutions to keep issues at bay.
Handling Internal Issues For a Growing Agency
As you continue to grow and scale your agency, it’s vital to use your team to build you up through communication.
If you create an ongoing feedback loop, you can identify issues in their early stages before they cause significant problems. The process also helps your employees learn, which allows them to stay focused and build the mindset of moving forward and growing your agency.
Internal problems can continue to arise no matter what size your business is. That’s why it’s crucial to work together with your team members to deal with issues as they happen to ensure your agency’s success. By keeping communication open and having a forward-thinking approach to problem-solving, you can continue to grow your business with a solid foundation.