The proven process for scaling digital agencies past the place of stuck

The SCALE. Framework™

If you are ready to Ryan Deiss your agency but you don’t know how to improve its performance any further, you might find this useful. It’s an overview of Our S.C.A.L.E. Framework™, which we use on all of our clients so they can play more with their dogs, their kids and drive more teslas.

Beyond best practices

“I’ll never be able to delegate everything” – if you are like any of the agency owners we have worked with, maybe you thought it, maybe you said it and I am here to tell you that is not true because you know that with enough time, energy and know-how you can accomplish anything.

I don’t have to prove it to you because that is how you built your agency so far and now it’s time to take it to the next level. Yes, you need the right toolkit: magic SaaS tools, “killer” workflows, winning client communications, etc. Fortunately, that little box of tricks is in ScaleBox.

We have a systematic process that makes your tools and team work better and together.

The SCALE. Framework™ shows you how.

Let’s review the 5 SCALE. Framework stages:

Let’s get into it.

Everyone Needs a Road Map

1

SCALE. See what’s happening

But how do we create it?

You wouldn’t want a mechanic to tell you how to fix the car if they never looked at it

We diagnose your business where in this game battle called systems which ones your team is winning, losing or need to level up. We give you the control to unlock opportunities for efficient, effective and quality scaling.

We examine your business with 115 questions in 25 minutes.

From there we can map out exactly what is needed to stop the leaks preventing you from growing.

What I have found to NOT work is that most methods for scaling are not comprehensive to growing teams and come up short.

  • If you subscribe to the checklist manifesto, you will often be lacking training to onboard people on the awesome workflows you created.

  • If you are an EOS hard core groupie you will have created amazing financial foundation and strong leadership but will be missing out on the strategic and tactical operations that help to deliver that vision.

  • If you plug yourself into the e-myth ecosystem you might find that the measuring of those systems may not fit your individual needs and course correction becomes cumbersome.

The ScaleMap is a holistic approach that divides and evaluates each critical process into 5 pillars.

Quantify Freedom:

What I Want.

When I Want.

How I Want.

Most owners start a business to create the freedom that being an employee will never allow them. To quickly find themselves shackled by their own dream. With the scalemap we are able to quantify what is in between their current state and their freedom.

FREEDOM CHART

Here is the performance of each process of your business

ScaleMap Pillars

Workflows

repeatable steps that you can check off progress (because you cannot track a document)

Tech Stack

SaaS, shiny apps and extensions, oh my…the tech that enables our processes to run more efficiently and allow for streamlined communication

Documents

support assets so you are not reinventing the wheel; templates can include spreadsheets, decks, client documents, agendas etc

Training

dynamic instructions to teach people how to perform each process and reach levels of excellence

Metrics

the numbers that measure the efficacy of the processes

Prioritize:

Many owners will start out by creating a list of things to create and quickly get overwhelmed putting their processes in the backburner letting them simmer until eventually they start to burn the figurative house down.

We advise you to begin to prioritize instead of trying to tackle everything as overwhelm comes from those things that you are not doing (not what you are executing on).

How? Is the question that usually follows especially when it feel like sooo much!

We can often quickly find the bottlenecks to conquer by seeing where we are losing money or have the largest amount of volume (and losing money). This is where your business is at the biggest risk. If everything is going well and you are looking to optimize for the next level then you would start where you could make the most money.

One caveat to this is if you have an operational event that is taking place within the next month – then that is the process that will skip to the front of the line:

  • Hiring someone
  • Firing someone
  • Financial restructure: acquisition/ merger/ investor

Opportunity Table

See exactly where the strengths and gaps are in your processes

SUCCESS CONTENT

Additional context for success champion

  • Stage: 1.1 - 3M
  • Size: 4 - 10 people
  • Event: Null
Process Name Comments Owners TechStack Volume
Sales Process No Me I have been using Pipedrive but I stopped because I wasn’t going into it anymore. 0 - 10 calls a month
Client
Onboarding
I need to build that assembly line asap. My Team We use Docusign, then they go into Harvest with the hours and timelines broken out for each department. Then hose hours are linked as tasks inside Asana. 4 - 10 calls a month
Production This is my biggest issue currently. I have great folks but they don’t have the PM background I am looking for. My Team Asana 0 - 10 calls a month
Client Management Need a Process My Team We are looking at fresh desk but have not implemented anything yet. 0 - 10 clients
Reporting No Me LinkedIn and Indeed. I need assistance with this but I am doing so much right now… haha, hense this exercise 🙂 1 - 9
Team
Onboarding
Help lol. Me Interested in learning more 1 - 2

Resources:

Cash is queen – not all operations are created or cost the same.  

Once we know what needs to be prioritized then we can see what are the resources that are necessary to achieve goals.

  • What do you need to execute the process (assets, databases, people)
  • Who will own the process ( you, critical team member, team)
  • How much is it going to cost (tools, resources, training, certificates)

In a fragmented tech environment for small businesses often we see that highly integrated products that allow us to serve multiple functions have a higher price point for months. Automations help to piecemeal operations together to meet operational demands to cash on hand to meet those needs.

Optimize Your Focus

2

SCALE. Create a Baseline

BANDWIDTH MATRIX

Focus Solo <1M(Your Time/$) Small 1 - 5M(Collaboration) Medium 5M+(Oversight)
Finances Managing Invoices Managing Accounting & Budgets Financial Projections
Client Management Direct Selling Managing Sales Pipeline Customer Life Cycle
Quality Assurance Testimonials Surveys Business Intelligence Data Analytics
Marketing Referrals Digital Marketing Social Media Digital Production Advertisement Media
Productivity Organization Time Mgmt Workflows & Tools Production and Capacity Management
Team Collaborating Recruiting/building a team Human Resources
Your Goal: Create a Team People Proof Engine & Saleable Process TurnKey Oversight

Business Maturity

The systems that you may implement at 250k will likely break at the 1M plateau and then the 10M one as your team expands and more collaboration and information dissemination is required.

Systems are stress tested as your business grows and requires different levels of the system.

When you identify what needs to be created (pillars) when (prioritization), the set of resources that it will take and at what is necessary to achieve for your business maturity we can then see where you are at with the creation of your assets that support your process.

A creation hack is to gather and centralize all the assets first.
Then we can audit to see what we have.
We can create, standardize or optimize the individual pillars.
It is so much easier to gather than to start to scratch
I.e. if your workflows are in excel spreadsheets we can upload to a project management system, if your training is in google docs all over we can create a wiki

 

The Methodology

ScaleTime Technology

3

SCALE. Amplify how you do it

document

Bullet proof your business as if they were to leave at any time. 

Documenting is making sure you download your brain (and those of your teams) so all of the knowledge stays inside your business and doesn’t walk away. Very simply, the cost of not being able to document effectively inside the business is wasted time, money, and manpower from the business owner. Everytime a business at your stage attempts a hiring procedure or a systems rollout WITHOUT proper documentation, the risk of poor implementation, poor measurement, and poor effectiveness increases exponentially, literally wasting months of training and thousands of dollars in cash flow. — and probably your peace of mind too.

  • Customer Journey
  • Talent Journey
  • Business Autonomy
  • Create
  • Standardize
  • Optimize
  • Sales

  • Offer
  • Pitch
  • Objectives
  • Sales Scripts
  • Case Studies (testimonials)
  • Proposal Template
  • Capabilities Deck
  • FAQs
  • Service Descriptions
  • Scoping Sheet
  • CRM Notes Structure
  • Cadence: Lead-booked cal
  • Cadence: No Show
  • Cadence Second call
  • Conference Follow-up
  • Closing Timelines
  • Client Onboarding

  • Client Brief
  • Client Intake
  • Client Welcome
  • Kickoff Agenda
  • Resource Selection
  • Client Folder Structure
  • Project Assets
  • Retainer Assets
  • Client Roadmap
  • Team Introductions
  • Launch Timelines
  • Account Management

  • Client Cadence
  • Client Strategy Agenda
  • Client Meeting Agenda
  • Client FAQs
  • Client Reporting
  • Client Sruvesy
  • Client Admin Sweeps
  • Cadence: Client Upsells
  • Cadence: Client Testimonials
  • Cadence: Client Referrals
  • Cadence: Surveys
  • Cadence: Client Delights
  • Client Surveys
  • Client Exit Interviews
  • Off-boarding Letter
  • Project Management

  • Project Checklist
  • Reatiner Checklist
  • Cadence: Backlog Cleanup
  • Approval Process
  • Q/A Sheets
  • Internal Review Process
  • Signoffs
  • Change Orders
  • Client Recommendations
  • Hour Tracking
  • Password Tracking
  • Invoice Tracking
  • Scope Burn Tracking
  • Media Spend Tracking
  • Create
  • Standardize
  • Optimize
  • Recruiting

  • Org Chart
  • Job Description
  • Jon Post
  • Recruitment Platforms
  • Candidate - Budget
  • Candidate - Timeline
  • Position Interview Q’s
  • Trial Period Project
  • Trial Assessment
  • Offer Letter
  • Welcome Letter
  • Candidate Tracking
  • Hiring Dealbreakers
  • Team Onboarding

  • Onboarding Timeline
  • Workspace (digital) Tour
  • Team Member Welcome
  • New Team Procurement
  • Digital / Systems Setup
  • Training Hub
  • Culture Training
  • Capabilities Training
  • Systems Training
  • Stakeholder Introductions
  • Onboarding Handbook
  • FAQs
  • Capacity and Resourcing
  • Team Performance

  • Meeting Agendas
  • Feedback Loops
  • ScoreCards
  • Performance Reviews
  • Incentive Structures
  • Cadence: Disciplinary
  • Cadence: Firing
  • Cadence: Offboarding
  • Mentor Matching
  • Continuous Ed
  • Motivation Archetypes
  • Development Hub
  • Create
  • Standardize
  • Optimize
  • Business Autonomy Metrics

  • Sales Dashboard
  • Financial Dashboard
  • Resource planning Dashboard
  • Capacity Dashboard
  • Client Dashboard
  • Project Dashboard

implement

Bullet proof your business as if they were to leave at any time

The faster you execute, the faster your business can grow. The cost of not implementing is death by a thousand papercuts (or more likely the owner having to pick up the slack at every turn). We divide implementation into 2 camps:

1. The decisions around implementation – the who, what, where, when and with what tools (the founders job)
2. The actions needed to implement (team effort)

You want to own the execution forever? Anoint and train a gladiator on your team to document and implement so you own the execution forever (…instead of hiring an “implementer” consultant and then, you or your team doesn’t know how to do it). As I tell all of my clients, I love you, I just don’t trust you to implement all of this.

measure

You can’t grow what you aren’t measuring and scaling is the goal We need to measure and create metrics

Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, spelled it out when he said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Most of us hate to manage and this is why metrics are so important. With metrics, you actually get to manage less – it’s awesome, I know! The lack of measuring leads to massive cash losses: because you don’t know what’s working, what to focus on, what to correct or where to invest. Without metrics, you can’t make data-driven decisions and you are left to run the business on emotions.

elevate

Iterate to create the utmost customer experience at every level

We elevate your systems for culture (internally) and the customer experience (externally). This is where you get to geek out with automations, branding of assets, adding videos and animations to client journeys. This is where the fun stuff happens.

And to make sure that the DIME method is appropriately executed, we make sure you have a Gladiator (someone on the team to execute).

gladiator

Create, Standardize, Optimize

4

SCALE. Lead and delegate

Each Win Feedback Loops New Opportunities

The S.C.A.L.E. Framework™ is iterative; and transformations in one process create opportunities in others. Each transformation builds upon the success of the previous ones. Each time your process is improved, it becomes increasingly difficult for competitors to compete. Also, as your agency scales, more opportunities present themselves. It’s important to “zoom out” and look at the ScaleMap again, to determine which part of the business you should focus on next.

Growth capacity

Codify your Excellence

5

SCALE. Exit and oversee

We don’t create better processes We set the standards for excellence

As this overview has shown, The S.C.A.L.E. Framework™ is not about best-practices systems and processes; it’s a process of activities that encompass a wide range of disciplines. Although it sounds less appealing than applying “magic elves,” we don’t know of a simpler, more reliable way to grow a digital agency consistently, effectively and profitably.

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