Fri, 24 January 2020
What happens when a digital agency outgrows a partner? Do you sell the agency and part ways? Can you negotiate an agency partner buyout? It happens - partners drift apart or sometimes people simply want out. Dealing with a partner break-up doesn't have to impact your agency's growth if you don't want it to. In fact, you can negotiate a fair buyout by facing it head-on or by being proactive. It's a tough conversation but definitely one to have earlier than later.
In today's episode, we'll cover:
Today, I talked with Dan Altenbernd, Co-founder of H2M, which is his digital marketing agency in Fargo, Minnesota. Dan has over 18 years of experience in the industry, and he's been building brands in his hometown for years. Not only is Dan's agency booming, but he started it with one more partner than he has now. When his partner didn't have the same goals as him, they negotiated a buyout and he's on the show to share that wisdom.
#1 Source of Digital Agency Leads
We all know agency growth is both the biggest goal and the biggest barrier for most agencies. We all want to grow. And how do you grow? With a lead generation system that keeps your pipeline full. The lead war always seems to be between outbound and inbound. Should you be reaching out to them or should they be coming to you? And actually, I don't think there is one right answer -- in fact, I preached a 3-channel approach to lead generation. I've seen agencies win with outbound. And I've seen agencies win with inbound. Your agency needs both, as well as strategic partnerships, in order to stay successful.
But, here's the thing — neither inbound nor outbound is the easiest source of leads. You know all of those relationships that you've been cultivating throughout your career? Those are an amazing source of leads. Former colleagues and co-workers are all low-hanging fruit. Many agency owners think they need 1,000 leads a day to grow big. You don't. You really only need a few. And your network can be those few leads that end up catapulting your agency into 7 figures.
Dan says this is especially important for newer agencies with lean budgets. Rather than spending a ton on Facebook ads, get out there and leverage the connections you already have. Once you have your first few clients, you can start implementing other killer inbound strategies you've been thinking about.
The Best Way to Approach a Bad Partnership
There are plenty of agencies that have amazing partnerships that just work. But, let's be real. No one will always want exactly the same things as you at exactly the same time as you, right? Eventually, you or your partner will outgrow each other or the business. Maybe your partner doesn't have the same ambitions as you, has different views, or simply wants out. Then what?
I always say, you either know the bad partner or you are the bad partner. But as Dan explained, it doesn't have to be an ugly break-up. You just need to have an honest conversation with your business partner. If you think you're headed in the wrong direction, let them know. Don't be scared to start the conversation. If a change needs to happen, rip off the band-aid, and get it done sooner than later for the sake of your business and your own well-being.
4 Steps to an Agency Partner Buyout
Direct download: How_to_Handle_an_Agency_Partner_Buyout_Without_Impacting_Growth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:26pm EDT