Adapting to business growth issues can be a struggle
It's interesting to go through this process and realise that after 10 years, some sort of switch has been turned on, and we are picking and choosing our clients. We can't scale fast enough to cater for our burgeoning growth. Scale for most businesses isn't hard as long as you have the right processes in place. But for us, it is extremely difficult.
The reason being is that there are not enough "qualified" tactical marketers out there. We can hire from the top of the tree, but the marketers sitting at the top are strategic and are use to working with agencies. The difference is that we are "the agency", so the butt stops with us.
I have yet to find a person at a senior level that has the ability to do a marketing consulting role at Marketing Eye without extensive training and on the job trial and error. It's frustrating as hell, although I shouldn't really be saying that. But it is!!
Then of course, you have those that you train that are more junior, but they are millenials and want instant gratification. That "instant" approach includes being client facing, but gee whizz, I couldn't put just anyone in front of our clients, otherwise we would have none left.
I've created a happy environment in Australia where our team is proud of our brand. We constantly watch out for each other and are genuinely there every step of the way. If you are a non-performer, they will let you know. I never need to anymore as they are as passionate about our clients as the leadership team is.
We have one of our talented marketers who is leaving us next month to become an entrepreneur. I am immensely proud of this important career decision that he has made. Being an entrepreneur should be applauded and while we would love to keep him, the sky is the limit when you own your own business - and he deserves the opportunity to experience that.
I want more than anything for him to take that next leap and become a highly successful entrepreneur. Anywhere along the way I can be of assistance, I will be first to put up my hand.
Another has Visa issues, but we always knew that. It's frustrating because they only work for between 3 and 6 months and during that time you train them and they can sometimes cost more than they bring to the equation. It's always a risk and I am sure many business owners are faced with that particularly for the more mundane roles in a company.
Then of course we are growing, so there are 9 positions in total that need to be filled. Our strategy needs to change and for the first time, we need to focus on marketing to talented marketers around Australia to fill very important roles in the company.
I find this bitter sweet, as in one way I am thankful to have this problem, but in another, it is just that - a problem. It's not always fixable particularly when you find that associations like the Australian Marketing Institute are struggling to remain relevant at the level they once were. They of course, provide a base for upskilling, and when they actually have seminars hosted by people who have been there and done that, and have runs on the board, its a worthwhile investment in training.
I am finding growth challenging but at the same time, learning a lot and realising how much effort and work we have put in to be prepared. I am looking forward to ticking off more things on our business plan over the next year and raising the bar for the 2015/16 marketing strategy and business plan. It's time to set some higher goals and really take this business to where it deserves to be.
3 Ways Marketing Eye is preparing for growth:
Business plan: We constantly adapt our business plan to accommodate a changing business environment. While the strategies remain the same, execution of the strategy often needs minor tweaks to be the best performance out of a company. That includes a more aggressive hiring strategy, more financial investment in key areas like technology and systems and office space re-evaluation.
People: Constantly investing in your people and empowering them to be self-starters and make decisions is important. When they fall over, ensuring that they are able to see where they failed and learn from their mistakes is imperative. The right attitude is everything and for our company, people that have a sense of entitlement just don't work out. Usually they are people who expect that world, but don't want to put the hard work in.
Fun: Take time out to have fun with your team. When you are busy, it's easy to forget to have a laugh or participate in office banter. This is necessary for a healthy culture and a must-do for any marketing company wanting to attract the best people.