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“Build An Agency” They Said. “It’s The Right Thing To Do” They Said! 

Grow & Scale

“No, I don’t think that’s for me” I said!

Growth and expansion are often seen as markers of success. However, there are times when bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially when it comes at the cost of potentially losing a value in your business that underpins so much of what you do and who you are.

In the early-ish stages of my journey as a business owner there were times building a VA  agency might have seemed like the logical step forward.  I lost count of the number of times people said to me that is what I should do, so I could always say yes to the steady stream of referrals that were coming my way.  A very fortunate situation to be.

That thought just didn’t feel right.  I have a small team of 3, and together we support a wide range of entrepreneurs and CEOs of charities and corporate organisations, and I also offer mentoring for OBMs and DOOs and consulting on business operational structures and workflows too.  To grow a bigger team for more one-to-one clients just didn’t feel right.  I felt it would inadvertently dilute the essence of personal connection that my business was built upon since day 1.

In this blog post, if looked at the pros and cons of building an agency to provide a service, while shedding light on why I chose a different path.

The Allure of Growth: Pros of Building an Agency

Scalability: One of the primary reasons businesses consider building agencies is scalability. With a team, the business can take on more clients and handle larger projects, potentially boosting revenue.

Diversification: Expanding into an agency allows for diversification of services, catering to a broader range of clients. This can spread risk and make the business more adaptable to market changes.

Expertise: Agencies can bring together specialists with varied skill sets, offering clients a comprehensive range of services under one roof. This can enhance the quality of work and attract clients seeking many solutions.

Brand Recognition: A successful agency can lead to increased brand recognition and industry influence. Being associated with a well established agency can attract more high profile clients and partnerships.

The Drawbacks of Distance: Cons of Building an Agency

Loss of Personal Connection: Perhaps the most significant drawback of building an agency is the potential loss of personal connection with clients. As the team grows, the founder’s direct involvement in client interactions can diminish, leading to a more impersonal relationship.

Quality Control: With a larger team, maintaining consistent quality across all services becomes a challenge. Ensuring that every client receives the same level of attention and quality as before may prove difficult.

Communication Challenges: As the team expands, internal communication can become complicated. Miscommunication between team members may lead to confusion and errors in delivering services.

Dependency on a Big Team: Relying on contractors or employees to uphold the company’s values and standards might not always bring the desired results. The business’s reputation could be at stake if team members don’t share the same dedication as the founder.

Embracing the Personal Connection: My Decision

In my case, I knew that the core of my business was built upon personal relationships and a deep understanding of my clients, who they are and what they need. As I thought about the idea of expanding into an agency, I weighed the pros and cons carefully. While the allure of growth and scalability was tempting, I couldn’t ignore the fact that what set my business apart was the personal touch I provided.  As previously mentioned, I have a small team, and although they work directly with some clients, I still meet with all clients regularly and get to know them, and have an understanding of what they do and how they work.

Choosing not to build an agency allowed me to maintain a close connection with all of my clients. I continued to be involved on some level with everyone, ensuring that the values and experience of Virtually Does It remained consistent. This approach helped me cultivate trust and long-lasting relationships, which in turn led to referrals and repeat business. We don’t have a high-client turnover, and I love that the relationships we build mean clients are with us for years.

It’s important to note that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer or approach to this. Some businesses successfully manage to strike a balance between growth into an agency and personal connection, and do it very well.

I chose carefully selecting a small, dedicated team that shares the same values and commitment to maintaining personal connections as I do.  And it works for me.

It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons against the core values of your business before making any change. For me, maintaining a level of personal connection was paramount, and I decided to forgo the agency route. By doing so, I not only preserved the essence of my business but also continued to foster trust and authenticity with every client.

In the end, the choice between growth and personal connection depends on your business’s unique identity. And remember, growth doesn’t have to mean a bigger team and more clients. It can be complimentary services, different offers, or new income streams. As with every step in business, do what works for you!

Meet Katie

Katie is a business operations strategist, manager and workflow expert, designing and streamlining what goes on behind the scenes for better results.