RiskBox Ltd

RiskBox, an independently owned commercial insurance broker, was founded to help creative, digital and media agencies be the absolute best versions of themselves they can be. With RiskBox you will always have someone on your side.

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Four Top Tips On How To Grow Your Agency To 100 People

13 August 2019 7:47am

As the chosen insurance specialist for scores of creative companies, RiskBox work with agencies at every stage of the growth journey.

Part of the Bulletproof Agency Network, RiskBox weigh in with advice and guidance for expanding businesses; witnessing both the successes and obstacles that arise as a result of scaling.

Growing an agency is a challenging process which often raises more questions than answers. That’s why the Bulletproof Agency Network are holding a conference dedicated to tackling this challenge head-on.

Based in Manchester, the event features a prestigious panel of entrepreneurs who’ve all experienced (and found solutions to) growing pains whilst agency-building. To whet your appetite for the occasion, four of the conference speakers share their top tips for hitting the century mark in staff numbers.

“Stay true to your culture”

– Katy Leeson, MD of Social Chain

My biggest tip for growing a team to 100 people is keep your values and culture at the front of your mind.

Really understand what your company culture is and how you want it to be as you scale. Be obsessive about keeping that culture special, ensure every hire matches with your values and your team.

If the person you are interviewing has an amazing CV filled with experience but you know that they won't fit with your culture and rest of your team, do not hire them. You can always train people in terms of skill set.

“Focus on your people”

– David Hunt, CEO of West Havas Health & You

My interest is in creating a sustainable agency, so I’m interested in what the next decade looks like, not the next 12 months. If we were interested in the next 12 months there would be no academy, no graduate programme, there would be no tea lady going round - there would be none of those things.

I know it’s about attracting the best talent, retaining the best talent, and supporting the best talent, so it’s a really long-term investment.

People want to learn more, they want to get better and I believed agencies weren’t fulfilling their obligation to their team providing the necessary training, and if I’m honest, I felt like a lot of people provide training because it sounds good in pitches, because it sounds good in interviews, because it sounds like the kind of thing you want to talk about again and again. It goes back to my point of if you are going to do something, make it the best - make it absolutely awesome.

We came up with the Lynx academy, now in its fifth year, and it’s definitely one of my biggest points of pride and our commitment to it is unsurpassed.

Listen to the mini-interview by David here

“Have a clear strategy”

– Sarah McKenna, MD of Evidence to Action and Non-Exec Advisor to AJ & Smart

Have a strategy as well as a plan. Strategy is what will make you competitive over time. It captures what you will do to change or evolve your business. A plan is how you will achieve it. Owners regularly confuse the two and end up with incremental improvements that leave their product and people behind.

“Judge yourself by your own plan”

– Paul Barnes, MD of MAP

People in agencies often speak about industry "benchmarks". They want to know what good looks like so that they can measure their own performance against it. The problem is that no two agencies are the same. Even if they are in the same specialism, one agency's strategy, goals and location in their journey will be different to the other, so benchmarking has little value.

The real test is to measure your performance against your own carefully crafted plan, which includes your revenue capacity, profit requirements and strategic decisions about how you want your agency to look.

Get more invaluable growth tips at the Bulletproof Agency Network conference

Want to take your agency to 100 staff? Be sure to attend the Bulletproof Agency Network’s Manchester event and get invaluable advice from insightful and experienced business owners.

Simply drop a line to sam@thebulletproofagencynetwork.com to book your spot.

Can’t make it? Just email Sam and let him know you’d like to receive content from the event. We’ll also keep you posted about future gatherings you may be interested in.

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