If you are a part of the growing WordPress industry, running a WordPress development agency, and determined to scale up your company, what are the key considerations for expanding an agency’s team and sales? That’s what this article will explore. Growing from scratch to 150 team members, White Label Agency has gone through the challenges that come with scaling an agency, especially in terms of expanding its capacity to handle more work and attract more clients. Based on WLA’s over ten years of industry experience, I will share some important tips on two main points: first, streamlining processes in terms of scaling up your team and workload, and second, strategies for expanding sales. But first, let’s find out if you are ready to take your WordPress development agency to new heights.
Is your agency ready for scaling?
Scaling up can be a bumpy road, the first step is to make sure your agency is scalable. In other words, whether you have all the necessary things to hit the road. First, you’ll need a good roadmap: a business plan, which outlines your ideas for attracting new clients while retaining existing ones. Identify risks and negative sides of growth. A business plan should include potential scenarios, listed challenges, and ways to address them.
The journey to reach the summit can be costly too. To be able to scale, capital often is needed–you may need to hire more staff or purchase equipment to keep up with sales before the new revenue actually hits the account. Make sure you’ve got, enough cash flow, reserves, or credit to fund all the new expenditures and avoid the negative consequences of rapid expansion: employee burnout, low morale, loss of focus, liquidity problems, and so on. The lowest risk approach is focusing on organic growth and using your own cash reserves to scale, and this is the approach WLA has taken. Growth can go faster by taking debt or searching for an acquirer depending on your agency’s goals, although this approach also presents some additional risk. In either case, the key is to have a solid financial foundation so your scaling plan doesn’t stop short because of a liquidity crunch.
Choosing your growth strategy
Once you have ensured you have the financial foundation for growth, the next step is to assess whether the market conditions are right for growth, and what your strategy for expanding sales should be. When deciding on a strategy for expanding sales, research and analyze the market, competition, resources, and capabilities of your agency. Different strategies might be better for your WordPress development agency depending on your strengths and your market conditions.
If you are planning to operate in a highly competitive market, with many players offering similar services and you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, consider diversifying services and products. This might mean even going beyond WordPress development services. Become a one-stop shop for your customers by offering design, SEO, and digital marketing. You could also consider expanding your WordPress services from development to maintenance and support. Taking into account your resources, maybe your WordPress development agency can offer larger sites with custom integrations; custom plugins, and themes. Other possibilities include adding hosting, uptime monitoring, or firewall services. Diversify not only services but industries, geographies, and company sizes.
If your agency has unique expertise in a specific area and a strong reputation, narrowing down your focus on your core strengths and offering tailor-made solutions by specific services, can be another strategy for attracting the right clientele. Stand out from the crowded field of competitors, choose your niche, and become a go-to expert.
Whether you aim to diversify or define a narrow niche, another useful approach to attract sales is to create standardized packages and offer services as clearly defined products that are easy for customers to understand and purchase, rather than simply “by the hour” consulting services. It will also help you streamline your operations while scaling up, since for each project or product you will provide a similar kind of output.
WLA’s strategy for growing and handling the competition has always been focusing on what was important to the customers, to understand the customer, and to be a reliable partner that has the capacity, so the customer can scale up and down easily when needed. So, don’t forget to listen to your customers, assess your strengths and market conditions, and decide on your strategy.
With the financial foundation and sales strategy in place, the third step is to lay the groundwork for adding staff by streamlining processes. Effective processes are essential for a growing agency as it enables an increased workload and demands that come with growth. The core principle of streamlined processes is to develop standards, documentation, and education so that new employees can quickly learn how things work, instead of relying on the knowledge of a few individuals to solve every problem. Getting these pieces in place takes time and effort, but it is not the place to cut corners. Without streamlined processes, a scaling WordPress development agency may encounter issues with efficiency and quality. If new employees don’t learn the agency standards quickly or properly, they can slow work down and lower the quality of the output, counteracting the value of scaling.
Here are some examples of key processes that are common for many WordPress development agencies:
- Onboarding processes for clients
- Onboarding for employment
- Initial steps for website development
- Checklists for maintenance or quality assurance
- Sales funnels
- Project management processes during design, website development, and ongoing maintenance
Each of the core processes of your business should be documented in easily accessible reference material. While developing documentation, this is an opportunity to review your processes and eliminate unnecessary steps–especially when an increased workload is expected.
While every agency has its unique steps for improving and optimizing processes, I will focus on automatable ones that are commonly shared among WordPress development agencies. Automating repetitive tasks will free up your time and resources, and allow you to fully concentrate on growing. There are various tools that agencies can use, in customer relations, social media, human resources, or project management.
If you’re not already using them, consider implementing project management tools like Trello, Asana, or ClickUp. Using such tools, instead of manually creating project tasks for every new project or process, you can automate it to ensure your staff knows what steps to follow in each situation. The same goes for generating reports about project status, progress, or milestones that you can immediately share with stakeholders.
In addition to project management tools, marketing and customer relationships management tools such as HubSpot or Salesforce can also save time by assisting in sales pipeline tracking, customer data management, social media marketing, or lead nurturing.
Similarly on the human resources front, tools like BambooHR can streamline various HR tasks such as managing employee day-offs, processing payrolls, and setting and tracking performance goals. Additionally, BambooHR can also be useful during the staff onboarding process as it can manage employee data and assist them in necessary training.
Overall, scaling up a WordPress development agency can be a challenging experience. Before starting this exciting journey, it is important to ensure that the agency is scalable and has a solid financial foundation. During the process, implementing streamlined processes is essential, especially automating repetitive tasks and utilizing tools. When it comes to sales expansion, focus on the needs of the customers, your capabilities, and market conditions and choose the right strategy.