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February Growth Report

Monthly Business Growth Report – February 2021

To say I was blown away by the response to the last month’s growth report would be an understatement!

I’ve never had so many emails and messages from one piece of content before… so thank you! Thank you for the support.

January was a very frustrating one for me, as you’ll know if you read the last growth report. And although February hasn’t been without its challenges, it has felt much better.

So let’s get stuck in, shall we?

A Recap

At the end of January’s report I listed down the things I wanted to achieve in February. I thought it would be useful to kick things off by looking at what I had planned and what actually happened.

Branding Completed – I really hoped I’d be able to unveil the brand in this report but sadly it’s not there yet. We are SO close, but we’ve had to push it back in order to perfect it. NEXT report, promise.

New Websites Launched – Unfortunately I vastly underestimated the time it would take to launch x2 new websites (my personal blog and the new agency site). I didn’t quite understand how long it would take me to write up all the copy, never mind have the developer create it! Realistically the new sites will probably go live in April.

New Client Delivery Model – This we have done! Last month I mentioned how I was taking our delivery process and turning it on its head. I spent hours looking at how we can improve every aspect of our service from client communication to results and I’m happy to say we’ve finally done that! More on that below.

Full On Promo – This was in reference to the brand being launched and promoting the heck out of it, but as you can see… that didn’t happen.

Poor show, Gav. That’s only 25% completion on the goals I set out!

Despite that, it’s been a really productive month.

For the first time this year it’s felt like we’ve gathered some real momentum which is awesome.

Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Agency Brand Launch

I’ve been working hard on our branding. Like I mentioned above, I hoped I’d be able to share all in this month’s report but it’s taking longer than I had expected. There’s been a lot of back and forth (as you’d expect) to get it to a point where I’m happy.

As I write this, we’re JUST about there. We have a couple more meetings to finalise things and do the handover, and then it’s party time.

Something I’ve put a lot of thought into is how we actually launch this thing.

At the end of the day, not many people really care about rebrands, but there’s still a lot to do.

It’s all well and good being handed over a brand guidelines book, but WTF do you do then?!

I split my thinking into three parts and broke down all the tasks that need to happen when we go live. I then segmented them into three timeframes. Here are some of those tasks:

To do now (pre-handover):

  • Order Merchandise
  • Create a holding page for website
  • Send Script to video editor for rebrand video
  • Write article about why we rebranded
  • Get emails etc. set up and new signatures across the team
  • Update ConvertKit, PipeDrive, Xero, GoCardless, Stripe, ClickUp & other tools with new brand
  • Edit contracts to be under new name

To do immediately after handover:

  • Brand all social media channels + post the promo video
  • Promote the article about launching
  • Start using new emails
  • Change client contracts
  • Present the new brand to the team
  • Present the new offering, sales process & pricing to the team
  • Notify all clients of change

Longer-term tasks:

  • Interview brand agency about rebrand
  • Get all documents branded
  • All the official stuff: HMRC etc.
  • Register trademarks
  • Website launch

Without having solid dates, breaking it down like this meant I was able to start the planning process. I’ve been working my way through the “Now” tasks to get ready for when we do the handover.

So – keep an eye out for my new brand article and in the next growth report I’ll be sure to share everything!

New Clients Signed Up + Pipeline Growth

Last month I had a moan at how I felt we were lacking in momentum. I was frustrated because after making some huge changes, I found myself in full on “build” mode, whereas I wanted to be in “growth” mode.

Despite still being in that building mode, I’ve felt like we’ve started to get some momentum.

We signed up 3 new clients (equalling ~£6k MRR) and have built up our pipeline to a point where it’s looking very healthy.

We haven’t done a huge amount of promotion for this to happen – it’s just been from our usual inbound enquiries. February and March are historically our quietest times of year, so this has been great.

We tend to get a real rush of enquiries starting around April, so I’m excited to (hopefully) see this happen with the new brand and our promotion plans. It could lead to some really exciting growth.

New Client Delivery Model

I’ve worked with clients in all forms (agency, consulting, coaching training) and I’ve worked hard to develop our own advertising process. But something I haven’t created before is a standardised process for working with our clients.

Some might call that bespoke… but I’d be lying if I said that’s why. It’s just one of those things I’ve never gotten around to.

Here’s the thing: I don’t like how traditional agencies work.

The idea of timesheets, pitches and proposals all feels pretty antiquated and I can’t help but feel there must be a better way.

I much prefer the productised service model: where you deliver a set process, for a set niche and get predictable results. (Like it talks about in Built to Sell – a book I mentioned in last months report)

That’s the direction we’re going.

Here’s what we’ve created:

Momentum

It’s our “Momentum” product.

6 replicable steps we take to help our clients create consistent streams of leads and customers. Facebook advertising is the base service, with an option to add landing pages and CRO as a bolt-on. I’ll share more on this with the rebrand.

You may remember last month I was writing out SOP’s? This is what I was writing them for – each stage of this process. I’m now able to have the team and any future hires work through the SOP’s and deliver the process. We’ve got:

  • Set pricing (based on client spend)
  • Set timelines
  • Set deliverables
  • Set reporting timescales

And because we’ve done this 100’s of times… predictable results.

This makes it much easier to manage as an agency owner, but also better for the client because they know what they’re getting.

One of the most important things in any client relationship is expectation setting. Clients want to know you’ve got a process and you’re following that process.

If something goes wrong, they want to know you know what’s going on and you’re on top of it.

That level of understanding is much harder when you don’t have a set process like this. I’m talking from experience here!

Gathered Testimonials For Launch

We’ve worked with a lot of clients over the years and have been able to generate some incredible results but I’ve been absolutely terrible at keeping track of results and writing them up as case studies.

So ahead of our rebrand and website launch, I went on a mission to gather some case studies & testimonials we can share.

Here was my process:

  1. Create a spreadsheet of clients we’ve had good results with
  2. Gather assets for each (screenshots of ads, results, landing pages)
  3. Write up a case study with:
    1. Top line numbers
    2. About the client
    3. The challenge the client faced
    4. Our approach
    5. The results

In the end, I gathered about 25 case studies I know we can use.

It was mind-numbing work. It took a huge amount of time. And because of that, I’ve now added case study/testimonial creation to our client delivery process.

Side note: something I’ve loved about the new branding is it’s given me a reboot in how I operate as a business owner. Everything is now turned into a process, rather than a “oh yeah, I should do that!” I’m not sure I’d have made that change without going through a complete identity shift.

New Onboarding Process Created

I’m ashamed to say our client onboarding process has remained pretty much the same since day 1.

Once the client paid, we sent them over an email with a PDF attached which walked them through everything we needed from them to get started: Facebook page & ad account access, targeting questions etc.

It did what it needed to do but it wasn’t a great experience for the client and more often than not, didn’t provide us with everything we needed (which meant back and forth with the client was required).

So again – with the new brand I wanted to create a brand new onboarding experience.

To create the new experience, I needed a tool that could do a few things:

  • Provide information in the way of text and/or video (for explaining certain parts of our onboarding)
  • A place where we could provide instructions (for granting access to accounts, for example)
  • A tool that could collect answers to questions
  • A place where clients could sign their contract

I landed on Paperform.

A couple of years ago I signed up to a service where the onboarding process was done via Paperform and it was a great experience. I mostly enjoyed the fact that I could go away, come back and pick up where I left off with my answers.

Before I built the process out in Paperform, I spent time mapping out everything we need access to and need to know to successfully onboard a client. I wrote them all down and then structured them in a way that made sense.

From there it was simply a case of inputting everything I had mapped out into Paperform. It was incredibly simple and quick to do!

Team Restructure

I made a few hard decisions this month to lean out the team.

One piece of advice that seems to be given out a lot is to outsource everything. I’m on board with this… to an extent.

However with this train of thought, there’s a common problem that occurs (I fell into this).

As you start to outsource tasks, it becomes very easy to outsource lots and lots of things… to the extent where you have a large team of people doing a huge number of tasks.

When the reality is, most businesses would benefit from having less people doing less things!

I realised I didn’t need a bigger team. I needed to do less things.

With our switch to focusing solely on the agency, it’s cut a lot of tasks out and so I had to let a few people go this month, which is never easy but it had to be done.

Moving forward I’m going to be much more careful with who we bring onto the team to ensure the people coming on are either:

  • Helping us make more money
  • Helping us save money

What’s Next?

I’ve learned my lesson from last month… maybe I expected too much from a short month.

But here’s the plan for March:

Branding Completed – In March we’ll have definitely re-launched the new brand and I can finally reveal all with you! Not just that but I’ll have worked my way through the projects relating to the branding, as above.

New Websites Launched – I hope we’ll be able to launch our two new websites (personal brand & agency brand) but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was pushed back to April. Briefs and website copy documents are with the developers.

Promotion – Once the brand is out the way, it’s time to get back into growth mode. We’ll turn on our ads again, start promoting our content and keeping an eye on how many sales calls we can get booked.

ClickUp – We’re moving all of our processes and day-to-day workings over from Asana to Clickup which is mostly being taken care of by Michelle our operations manager but this will likely take up some time as we all get trained up and start using it properly.

That’s a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this February report as much as I enjoyed writing it.

When I got the ping on my phone to tell me to start planning out this report, I couldn’t quite believe it! February has flown by and I have no doubt March will be the same.

March is shaping up to be a very exciting month and I can’t wait to take you on the journey with me!

If you’d like to keep up to date with these monthly growth reports, pop your name and email in the form below and I’ll email you with the report each month. You won’t get any other emails from me (unless you opt in to those separately, of course!)

See you next month 🙂

Gavin

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