How To Start Building Systems For Your Agency
"I’ve been lucky enough to learn the skill set of building systems for my multiples agencies and over 80 other agencies that now hire me to assist them in building their systems and their dream team." - Jamie Stenhouse
How To Start Building Systems For Your Agency
I’m sure the idea of sitting down, locking yourself in a room to build systems for your agency does not sound like a great way to spend your week.
Creating time to build systems demands our full focus and maybe the thought of “slowing down” before you can “speed up again” might scare you.
At some point every agency owner and one man band needs to take that time to slow down, sit with their business and begin designing protocols and systems.
I’ve been lucky enough to learn the skill set of building systems for my multiples agencies and over 80 other agencies that now hire me to assist them in building their systems and their dream team. So here are a few little key takeaways that may make your life easier.
PS. If you want help to turn the work that you do into a production line, I do offer free system planning and dream team building sessions.
You can book yours here: https://www.jamiestenhouse.com/letstalk/ at the end of the call, you’ll walk away with a process map and the steps to deploy it. My gift to you for reading this article. Now grab a pen
Lesson 1) 5 steps back, 25 steps forward.
I touched on this a little bit above and it scares a lot of business owners, especially agency owners who are at the whim of their clients.
The idea of, stopping all work and attention grabbing tasks in order to sit down and design a system sounds like a nightmare.
There’s constant quotes and invoices to follow up on. Creating content and being active on social media. Not to mention responding to client fires, changes and non-stop requests. If this sounds anything like you, then it’s the exact reason why you should take 5 steps backwards (stop what you’re doing) and begin designing systems to then take 25 steps forward (running the systems and building your dream team). It’s in the moments where we deliberately build our agency that the needle in our lives begins to move. Instead of being dictated by the marketplace our clients and the never ending stream or to-dos and strategies we “should” keep on top of. And no, you don’t need a chatbot.
Lesson 2) Movement is better than perfection.
Another mistake I see agency owners make before they begin to work with me, is that they try to build the perfect system from day 1.
Every little project action step and checklist with all the training and screenshots that anyone would ever need to “figure it out”. They spend weeks and even months creating it and treating it as their own little project. Whilst ironing other parts of the business completely or killing themselves in the progress with stress and overwhelm.
Instead the goal with creating your first system should be MOVEMENT. Lets get work flowing between your agency and get to-do’s completed by someone else besides yourself. We are aiming for movement within the agency, not perfection.
Perfection will come from feedback via your team, which is how we design the perfect process. If you focus on creating a system that can cause something to move within the agency and then drop a team member into that system ensuring to pre-frame that they should ask you any question they have the moment it appears and building a culture around open communication, even within a virtual team.
They will highlight flaws and gaps in your system. Areas that leave room for assumptions or quality control issues. In your team member moving through this process (movement) they will tell you which areas need to be fixed (perfection over time).
Do what you can with the bare bones and your team will tell you what else they need. In most cases, what we think our team needs, (resources, content, training, screenshots, video examples) they don’t usually need or will never look at.
Lesson 3) Building systems from the tools back.
A closest system tool or a CST, is a system that begins at the tools within the agency and as close to the workload as possible.
If you’re a web design agency then this would be the actual coding of the website, the tools, the grunt work, the writing of the code and the keyboard pressing behind it. If you’re an Ad agency, this may be the ads manager as another example.
The goal here is 2 fold.
First we want to remove yourself from the tools, from working in the business to working on the business – So lets create a system for that to happen. The second is that since you’re most likely new to building systems, the idea of letting work go whereby there is a chance you’re team member may get it wrong (unless you follow these steps), lets combat that by keeping the system close to the tools.
Whereby if anything does go wrong, it is not branding facing or client facing. Its internal. Where the errors or quality can still be proofed and adjusted before the client or the world even noticed.
This is a great place to begin cutting your teeth on the skill set of building systems. The better you get, the easier it becomes, The easier it becomes the more you do it. The more you do it, the faster your agency begins to operate like a production line and the further away you get from the tools to where you begin outsourcing content creation, lead gen and even client commutomon.
These 3 takeaways are only a handful strategies that have helped me to automate both my marketing agencies with a team of 16.
It is a 2 fold process. You need the systems and you need the people. Thankfully, I can assist with both of those challenges.
If you would like help in planning a production line for your agency and then deploying your very own virtual dream team into those systems that delivery A-PLayer results for a fraction of the cost, I would love to help!
During this consulting session we’ll work hand in hand, developing a step-by-step strategy you can use to begin hiring and offloading daily client tasks to a team you can trust with systems. No more being on call for clients. No more doing small client changes. No hassle, no more frustration and no more worrying about a steady stream of leads.
And don’t worry, I’m not planning on wasting your time – quite the opposite actually. I’m so confident this will help you that I even offer you the following… My $300 promise: If after our conversation you don’t know the exact steps to begin building a virtual team that actually meets your standards who you can trust and who doesn’t cost a fortune then I’ll send you $300 as compensation for your “time wasted”.
If that sounds interesting to any degree, then click here and lets secure a time next week 🙂
Founder at Production Line Agency
Starting in 2009, his early success as an online marketer led him to generate customers online in over 150+ different industries around the world for his clients.
After running and selling multiple agencies and companies, he is now the creator of the "Dream Team Intensive" – A unique methodology that help digital marketers to productise their agency through systems and teams.