Resources

Case Study: Guiding 3MW Through Leadership Transition

Overview Meet 3 Media Web, a digital marketing and website development agency that provides services and support to B2B companies in a wide range of industries.  Over the past five years, company leaders Mary Novick and Jess Hennessey found themselves more and more engaged in working “on the business” rather than in it, and eventually moved into C-suite roles. When the former CEO decided to step down from ownership, it felt right for them to pursue purchasing the company themselves. The Problem Buying a company is a big deal: it’s not something many of us do every day, and when [...]
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Case Study: Stoked Gets Legally Creative

Overview Stoked is a global design company based out of Nashville, renowned for its expertise in fostering healthy work cultures, guiding teams through transitions, and providing organizations with tools for sustained positive impact. At the head of the company stands CEO Anna Love–a sort of accidental business leader.  The Problem Anna and her cofounder found themselves starting a business without really meaning to. In her words: "Neither of us had the business prowess that is probably needed to be wise business leaders." And a big part of leading a successful business is having a firm grasp on accounting and finances. [...]
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Your Organization Structure is the Answer to Your Growth

This year is an exciting journey through the world of capacity planning, and research around resource planning for service firms that are growing. I’m partnering with Ian Vacin in this work and we are learning a great deal of information in the research we are conducting with service organizations around the world. For a brief primer, when service organizations (like agencies) scale and expand, they often run into the complexity of knowing the ability of their growing teams to be able to produce revenue. How you bring in your revenue is important. Project-based vs recurring revenue will dictate and change [...]
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Mastery is Just Getting in More Reps Than Anyone Else

I know we’ve heard this before, but as a reminder, there are no people with magic skills who are smarter than us at business. But we do get confused when we see people who seem to have a touch of ‘magic’ in the craft that they perform. How do they do that? When you study these people you find that they have a different view of what it takes to achieve mastery in their work. Essentially, mastery of something is a matter of getting in more reps than anyone else in your craft. Kobe Bryant is one of those people. [...]
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BOI Reporting is on the Horizon

Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Reporting is on the Horizon As you may have already heard, there is a new type of information reporting that will be required of businesses: Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI). This requirement was created in 2021, when Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act. This new reporting requirement involves submitting information on beneficial owners (those who own or control businesses) to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Department of the Treasury. New businesses (those that are started in 2024) are required to file a BOI report within 90 days of formation. However, for existing businesses, [...]
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Who to Hire First?

When designers and freelancers begin to think about growth, they eventually run into needing to hire. When you sell services there is no other way to grow except to hire people. You can use software, become more efficient, and even let AI help you do some of your work. But you will eventually have to replace yourself if you want to grow the revenue of your creative studio.  Who do you hire first? Of course this depends, but there are some general principles we can learn from here. When growing, most smaller design and freelance studios think of replacing themselves [...]
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I’m Going on a Deep Journey of Capacity Learning in 2024

My partner and I work with a lot of service-based entrepreneurs that are seeking to grow their firms, agencies, and consultancies. We’ve been doing this for decades, and the more we work with these entrepreneurs the more we see the trouble so many have with something that is generally labeled “Capacity Management.” Many want to know if they have the right team capacity to take in a larger amount of revenue. Many don’t even understand how closely capacity management is tied to revenue performance. And many don’t look at these concepts at all, and their agency begins to consume them [...]
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If You Only Do 5 Things In The Coming Year, Do These

If You Only Do 5 Things In The Coming Year, Do These So here we are again, facing the end of one year, and the beginning of a whole new year. A shiny, brand-spanking new and unused year, full of possibilities and opportunities. This time of year always has me reflecting on the past year, as well as thinking ahead to what I’d like the next year to look like.  Here are some ideas for what I want to take into 2024; hopefully you can find something useful for your new year, as well. Decide what your work/business “word of [...]
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Clients are Buying Our Continuous Firm Learning

One thing we believe that sets us apart as a firm is our commitment to learning with our team. You can always know this about our firm: we are talking about new things, learning new things, being challenged by what we already (think we) know, and making presentations of new concepts to each other. It means we are in a constant state of maturing as a team. Of course, we have to do this on the technical side of our profession (it’s required!). And we let the team lead this learning too, from their own perspective. Our leadership team is [...]
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Principles of a Strong Team

Principles of a Strong Team Team work makes the dream work, right? At least that’s what they say. But it takes effort and intentionality to get to that point.Yet a strong team is essential to good client service and a growing company.   Let’s look at four principles of a successful team, shall we?  Technical Capacity  Technical capacity is when team members have the understanding of how to perform their role with some autonomy.  When leadership is taking their time to micromanage or “stay in the weeds” doing the day-to-day tasks, this is robbing the agency of its technical capacity. Yes, [...]
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