Over that past several weeks, I’ve not followed my own advice.
You see, our agency is growing. We’re adding new clients every week. We are interviewing and hiring and now looking for larger office space. Growing pains. Well, I’ve been here before (in fact, a couple of times). I’ve known these days were coming. And I always said that when I was solely in charge things would be different.
But over the last couple of weeks I find myself doing the exact things I said I would never do. I’m not delegating responsibility, finding it faster to just do things on my own. I’m not setting processes in place that are “successful, sustainable and repeatable.” Basically, I’m taking each problem as it comes and reacting instead of proactively prohibiting the problem in the first place.
You see, this tends to happen when the staff is overworked, you can’t get the right people in place and trained fast enough and there’s way more work than you’ve allowed in the past. And worse yet, if you haven’t set you processes in place during the building up times, implementing them during the busy times is like pouring gasoline on a raging fire. You make the problem worse.
Luckily, all of our processes are documented, even though they haven’t completely been followed to the letter of the law lately (which is completely my fault, as I said above, it was easier for me to just do rather than follow the process – which takes more time initially but in the long run saves hours of headaches).
My goal is for our agency to be the McDonald’s of SEO and SEM, but with a better product. I hear many people crying about the commidification of search marketing services, and to those people I say, it’s coming. And if its coming, I want to be the one to do it. There is nothing shameful about selling a commidity – and yes, there are ways to sell a commidity with the sole uniqe selling proposition being price. In fact, here’s a interesting blog post I read on that exact topic the other day. So don’t be scared. The day is coming anyway. After all, some of the richest people I know sell commodities. They are called Oil and Gas men. And lately, they’ve been riding a wave that has put my brother-in-law in a new house with an incredible pool.
So now I work to undo the damage I’ve done. It means a few missed deadlines and some cracker jack customer service. Even a few give-backs on some money (how that hurts!) but it’s the right thing to do. A successful, sustainable, repeatable process (I almost should add adaptable to this) is what will take us to the next level and beyond. So now its time to get back to basic.