Have you ever felt like you’ve reached a point in your freelance career where you’re ready for the next challenge? Are you looking to take your career to the next level, but don’t quite know where to start?
Well, transitioning to an agency may be the right answer for you!
There are a number of benefits if you decide to take your business to the next level:
But how do you know if you’re ready to take this step?
Before you make the leap, it's important to consider if you're truly ready to make the transition.
The good news is that there are signs that indicate when you are ready to go from being a freelancer to running an agency.
Or if you feel like you’re taking on more than you can handle…
As freelancers, turning down work may seem wrong - after all, you don’t really rely on monthly guaranteed paychecks. Often, the more you work, the more you make.
But whether you are turning down work, or feeling overwhelmed with the number of projects you have going on - it’s probably time to scale!
Did you ever have a client ask you to do something that’s not really listed on your services?
In these situations, you have two choices. You can go for it and learn a new skill (yay you, building up skills is always awesome!) or you can refer that client to another service provider.
But if this starts happening frequently and you don’t feel like you have the capacity to keep learning new skills anymore or that you’re losing money by sending clients elsewhere, then it’s time to scale!
A great sign of that is getting lots of referrals. If clients are so happy with your work that they keep talking about you, it means you have a great reputation!
And this is a clear sign that your brand new agency will have a great chance to succeed.
Now, what about your currently clients? How do you give them the news?
Unlike any new clients who will already know you as an agency owner, current clients may need a bit more nurturing and assurance once you decide to make the transition.
Well, I have two valuable tips to help you handle this transition well:
Give them some notice, explain your reasons, bring up how much you enjoy working with them and most importantly - assure them that this will not impact the quality of work they’re getting. If anything, it’ll make it better!
Make the news about them, and how much better you’ll be able to serve them and their business.
Even though in the end you want your client to be happy and do your best to accommodate, it’s important to make expectations clear from the start.
There are different ways you can write a business plan, from a simple one-page outline to a multiple-page presentation with detailed graphics and stats.
It’s up to you how much time and effort you want to put into this, but I do want to stress the importance of getting a clear vision for what you want to achieve.
Starting an agency also means building a team. So it’s super important to have the right processes in place and to make their onboarding as smooth as possible.
Just as important as having the right processes, is having the right tools to make sure your team can deliver the best service possible.
Also think about the leadership skills you need to grow your agency, such as:
This is not talked about enough, but being a business owner is not easy and when you’re bringing more people into the equation, it makes finding support even more important.
In my opinion, the most exciting part.
Growing the GeekPack team is one of the biggest accomplishments of my career and one of the things I’m most proud of. Make sure you bring on people that align with your values, that not necessarily are like you, but complement your strengths.
You’re no longer a solo entrepreneur, so it’s a good idea to rethink your brand and the message you want to send to your audience and potential clients.
When you have more people on your team, it’s super important to get clear on all your expenses and make sure your prices cover that with a good profit margin.
You’ll probably be offering more services and dipping into new waters, so make sure you make your research and know what to expect!
Marketing is a huge part of business, and it’s a great investment. And marketing is all about connections and interactions to engage your audience.
You may also want to think about paid advertising and campaigns.
There’s a cap on how much you can scale as a solo entrepreneur, so eventually, all freelancers will face this decision.
I hope this post helps you get some clarity on whether or not you’re ready for it and what steps to take.
And if you’re happy where you are, awesome!
But if you do want to scale and build your own agency, I assure you it’s a super exciting career move and we would love to support you in this journey!
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