Agency Advancement: Business Mindset During A Pandemic

Michael:
All right, Hello, I'm Michael, this is Brittany part of 51 blocks, we still don't really have a show name, we need to come up with that we're going to continue to continue to do these and not let that stop us, right like with the whole mindset of 8020, get an 80%, right and get out the door. Well, that's this right here. As you can see, today, we're going to talk a little bit about the world. We're in wood right now. It's April 5 2020. And it's a COVID. COVID-19 is very prevalent in our world, stay at home orders all across the United States, and, you know, majority of the United States and they read something like 80% of the people in stay at home orders. So obviously that affects a lot of businesses and what they're seeing and what they're doing. So that's we're gonna talk a little bit about today, and how to set the right mindset and then possibly shift your agency to Maybe be more successful or to at least think things a little bit differently. So first of all, it's going to kind of open the floor. And we'll talk with, you know, obviously Miss Brittany here who's a lot of operations talks to a lot of agencies, seeing kind of what's out there. What have you seen is the landscape in this world that we live in right now? Or the mindset, I should say?

Brittany:
Um, I mean, it's, it's interesting. So it's going to be different from agency owner from one to the next. Obviously, it's going to depend on how it's impacting their current business. It also depends on how big their team is. So I've, I've noticed that for people who have larger teams, there's more of a panicked that, you know, they have to pay for all their, their team's salary and everything. Well, all this is going on. For little agency owners, where it might be them and maybe one other person. They're definitely focused more on growing the business right now and not as panicked about how they're going to pay their bills. So I have I've seen that be kind of a big factor whether or not you know, the team size will impact them in this in this moment. But I think the really important thing here is that regardless, you have to set yourself up for it, which is what's to come. And Michael, you did a really good job. And maybe you can kind of explain how you set us up for that, because I, it completely changed my own mindset. Whereas like you and I think yours is more about the business and finances. Mine is the team right morale and making sure that we retain our team. And so between the two of us, I think we share a lot of emotions that may be one agency owner on their own. And so, I mean, you could go into that. I think that changed mine though, as well, which was really cool.

Michael:
Yeah, I think one of the things we did, I actually got this from another business owner was setting setting the mindset. Obviously, you got to set your mindset to not live in the news world or have all these outside influences the doom and gloom, right. Life still goes on. We still got to move on. With our agencies, I think the biggest thing I was able to do is to understand that we are going to see some dip in revenue, right? So every time we get those cancellations or pauses, which nobody wants, nobody wants to get those emails every time was hitting me right in the heart every time stabbing, like, Oh, no, right? Like, nobody wants those. And when you get those, you know that that emotional rollercoaster takes you on. And instead of worrying or worrying about when the next cancellation was happening, I laid out our month to month revenue goals, and have now adjusted those for COVID-19, right? And it said, Hey, we're gonna have X percent of decrease this month, and then growth next month, or then decrease again, and then a little bit of growth over the next couple months, right, as people kind of get back to this new norm. And what that does is when a cancel comes in, you're like, Oh, that's inside this percentage that I've laid out, whether that be 510 15 2040 to 50%, whatever your agency's experienced, right, or whatever you think it may be, right. So you lay that out. You're like, oh, okay, now that's part of that great move on, you don't spend so much mental thought on that space. And I think that's what's really been, it's been healthy for both of us, right? Because I'm not worth stressing you out about cancels or you're not worried about us getting rid of the team or whatever, right? Like, we're, we're the way we're set up. Has we have a number of employees and a number of contractors, right. So the contractors, you know, obviously ours get reduced or moved around based on like what we're doing, we're actually investing more now into marketing. And I'll let you talk a little bit about that in a second. But it's like just shifting hours around two to make it, you know, make sense for our agency and where we're at, obviously, you know, this is a time you can look at expenses. It's almost like, you dive more into your expenses at this time. It's like you should be doing that when your things are great, too. You see all the things you're spending money on that you probably don't need to be right. When they talk to profit first book. They mentioned this that you need to always be constantly looking at your expenses. So you're not buying those frivolous tools or other things that you think may be fun to have as part of your agency that you really don't need that. Right. So let's talk a little bit about so that's kind of the mindset shift that I've made. And I think it's made us all I know it's made Brittany a lot. It's made my two wife's a lot happier, my work wife and my, my home wife, right? not bringing so much emotionally charged, you know, every night of frustrations of cancellations or pauses, and then understanding Hey, this is the reality we live in and move forward from there.

Brittany:
Right. And I think to your point, like with our team, it's been important to be really transparent. So the blend of employees and contractors I think, has really helped us in a lot of ways we're not having to pay for five, you know, in one little pod or one department, we're not paying for a bunch of salaries. It's a nice blend. One thing I did just on the operation side was as soon as this hit and we started to see it impact other businesses at even a minimal level. I went to our contractors and I said, Hey, if we do experience any cancellations, I just want you to be prepared that you will likely see a reduction in hours. And I have that conversation with them really early on. Because, you know, I know that they're the ones that are going to be impacted. So I do think it's important to just communicate like, even you know, outside of us, in a leadership team, it's important to communicate these things down to your team as well and just get them prepared. I think we did a good job of that, because we just experienced our first reallocation of accounts last week, and everyone was on the same page, everyone was happy to help. We had contractors, you're like, Okay, cool, I'm gonna pass these to the next person. They all understand that it's in. It's retained our whole team, you know, everybody wants to be here. And we'll get back to where we were when we have people who are full time and things like that. But communication is huge. And you're setting the landscape for these changes.

Michael:
Yeah. And then I think that that is, I think being open enough. honest communication. Like, that's what I've really tried to do. You know, like, we're not going anywhere like we we have some good cash reserves that the way we run our business and you know, but that doesn't mean that we're gonna continue to spend, you know, number of hours on things that don't need number of hours on if cancelled clients cancel or pause. Right. So I think with that then the next kind of thing is like the marketing initiatives that we've done, we have, you know, pivoted a little bit to I'll let you kind of spoke a little bit, speak a little bit to kind of the differences of how we're thinking about marketing now and what we're doing,

Brittany:
Right. So we're a split, we're white label agency, we have direct clients, it's like 6040. Most of our marketing has gone towards white labeling because for Michael and I, that's what we want to do. Right? We are not salespeople. But in this moment, I think people are a little bit more hesitant to outsource because they're going to lose a little bit more of their margins, usually It's obviously giving them time, freedom and peace of mind and a lot of things that emotionally make a lot of sense right now, it might not make as much sense for their bottom line. So what we decided to do was kind of go Okay, well, we still have direct clients still, those are still people we serve. And so we wanted to shift our marketing towards that but also look at the essential businesses. I mean, you have to be smart right now and go Okay, who's actually willing to spend money on marketing? It's it's great that we can educate our partners and our clients on why really everybody should be marketing right now. But I don't think people are in that state of mind not everybody so we certainly being a an agency that serves all verticals we can see which ones are doing really well right now. And I think for us, it was a smart move to go Okay. Let's start getting some of our own work marketing towards them. Just direct to consumer and hopefully get you know, that side of our business built up a little bit more to to help with the lackluster Right now with white labeling, where a lot of people are actually pulling back from their vendors.

Michael:
Hmm. And but I think even on the flip side, there's been a couple of instances where we have been engaged by bigger agencies almost now, right? Like, because they're trying to figure out a way to because maybe they're seeing that their margins, like having overhead of employees and having, you know, to pay those tab, employment taxes, and all of those things come into play. And now they're like, wow, maybe it's not worth having. Right. Please.

Brittany:
Yeah, yeah, it's very true. Yeah, we're definitely a better I think, hourly fit, and we're flexible, which is nice. It's not the same flat salary for your employee. So that's true. I think bigger agencies would look at this as a good viable option for a way to reduce their overhead and, and make sure that, you know, they don't have a bunch of people on staff who actually aren't able to work or aren't working on right account.

Michael:
Cool. All right. Well, I think that's a pretty good wrap on this episode of whatever we're going to call this show, I think. I think just having your mindset right during this time is very difficult, whether that's in business or at home, right? We're all living in a little bit of uncertainty of when these lockdowns will or the stay at homes will end. And, you know, I just, you know, hopefully everyone you know, is doing well and I think once you get your mindset right, and you can set your business expecting some of these ups and downs and not you know, obviously we're projecting growth to be whatever we think it's going to be may or may not be but at least it kind of allows you to control what you can control my father in law always says your sphere of influence is is this wide, right is as wide as your arms you don't get to control anything else other than that, and I think we all think we do, right and especially for somebody like me, that probably has some control issues. Anyways. That's That's a good reminder in life, that, that that's true that that that that we only can really control as long as you have a food, shelter and love in your life. That's all that really matters, right? So I'm Michael. She's Brittany, and we'll see you next time. Thanks

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