When I’m coaching digital agency owners, one thing I look for is a point of leverage. What I see most agency owners do (and I used to do it myself), is take an inventory of every skill they currently have – might have in the future, and have ever considered – and offer that as a service to their clients.
What they end up with is a business constrained by themselves with no leverage.
- A well-documented process that someone else can run ad infinitum
- A seat in your business that can quickly scale with demand
- An automated and productized offering that requires little to no human interaction
- A marketing system that earns a customer for less than your net margin
- A sales system that can bring on new clients without the owner being present
Complexity in your business, usually introduced by you, creates a limiting factor in the growth of your business. Over the long run, simplicity wins. So find a simple point of leverage and make the most of it.
Have you figured out a great way to build websites for fitness gyms that is highly profitable?
Great. Go spend the next year gaining one percent of that market. Spend the next five years earning five percent.
Have a well-documented process for helping your clients write their about page?
Awesome. Turn that into a course and sell it to other agencies and businesses. There are a lot of about pages that need help after all.
Consistently hear about how your strategic planning is the most valuable service you offer?
Excellent. Maybe you should do that for businesses and drop all of the other stuff. That idea is so simple it probably scares the bejesus out of you.
“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.”
-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Scale is in Leverage
Finding that one thing you do better than anyone else is hard. However, once you see it, you should question – with ruthless aggression – anything else that pops into your head to offer. This discipline requires the utterance of the hardest word:
There is a question I ask agency owners when I spot a point of leverage:
“What if you just did that?”
And by “that” I mean whatever it is that pops out as their obvious superpower. I get this response:
“I couldn’t build a business just on that.”
That statement is the most significant limiting belief I hear over and over. Agency owners are so committed to the hard work being a diverse set of skills connected with technical mastery.
Sometimes I think we believe the business we’re in is complication.
The hard work is taking your one thing and figuring out how to package it for a market and then find the market ceiling. What you deliver should be pretty easy. Coca-Cola is still just sugar in water, but the worldwide network of manufacturers, distributors, and branding engine is what all those MBAs wake up daily to further.
Once you find your point of leverage, delivery of your service should be more like clockwork than clock building.
Be Bold, Take Risks
The truth is that you could take any single service that you offer and build a seven or eight figure business around it. I think this truth scares most agency owners to death.
I hear things like, “I’d get bored,” or “I couldn’t do one thing all day.”
Those statements couldn’t be further from the reality of specialization.
Scaling a business is hard. There is complexity you’ll have to tackle as your business grows. You’ll need to get comfortable with new skills in leadership, management, and risk-taking.
The reality is that you not only can do that one thing as your business, but it’s probably the best decision you’ll ever make. That decision will give you the power of leverage.
And once you wield that power, you’ll have a hard time understanding what took you so long.
What’s your point of leverage?