Blog Post

Major Mistakes Agency Owners Make When Trying to Grow Their Business


Whether you’re new to the world of digital marketing or you’re an established reseller with a few loyal clients, it’s only natural that you’d be focused on building your agency. But knowing how to do that can be a real challenge -- especially if you’re accustomed to doing it all on your own.

As a white label SEO agency, we understand how important it is for our partners to build their business. We believe growing together gives us all the freedom to be more, do more, and have more. In short, we’re invested in the trajectory of your business.

And that’s why we’re committed to providing you with valuable information from the get-go. Building your business can be a daunting task. And while many of us learn by doing, it’s our hope that we can help you avoid making costly mistakes in the first place.

One of the ways we do that is through our SEO case studies. By providing you with real data from our SEO campaign success stories, we’re able to illustrate the effectiveness of our strategies and provide guidance on plan selection, keyword research, and more.

But that isn’t the only valuable information on our site that can help our resellers. When it comes time to grow your business or even build a brand new agency from the ground up, we want to do everything we can to ensure you have the resources you need. With the right tools, you can make better decisions that will have positive effects on your business and on your own clients.

So what are some of the most common mistakes that agency owners make when attempting to build or expand their business? Let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges that you might face -- and how we can help you avoid those struggles altogether.

MISTAKE: Trying to Be an Expert in Everything

When you own a business, you become accustomed to wearing many hats. If you’ve been putting your jack-of-all-trades background to good use with your current clients -- or you’re not intimidated by the idea of handling everything in-house as part of your agency -- it’s not always easy to give up control.

The problem is that this business model isn’t necessarily sustainable for a growing business. When you’re the only one selling and fulfilling, this option simply isn’t scalable. That might be okay if you’re forming your agency as a side hustle or you never intend to take on more than a handful of clients. But if you’re dreaming bigger or you simply lack the knowledge in certain areas, you’re going to end up hurting yourself (not to mention your clients!) in the process.

Let’s face it: it’s pretty unlikely that you’re an expert in all things digital marketing. Your strengths might lie mainly in sales or in one specific area, like analytics or PPC. If you’re not as well-rounded as you’d like to be, you’re going to end up disappointing your clients when you can’t offer a specific service or you underdeliver on an aspect of their campaign. Not surprisingly, you might end up losing business as a result. At the very least, you’ll probably feel frustrated and stuck where you are.

Instead of feeling stunted, it’s often better to take some of the pressure off. If you know there are vital areas of digital marketing you simply aren’t equipped to provide, you can outsource those services and stick to what you really know how to do well. That’s far more efficient and cost-effective for everyone involved. Take the time you’ve been spending on industry research or banging your head against the wall and use it to find a partner you can rely on to provide those other services for your clients.

There’s no shame in admitting that you aren’t the best person for the job. But instead of promising results you can’t deliver or shutting down the conversation with your clients, you can work and grow together with a provider who can help you fill in the gaps and provide stellar results for everyone involved.

MISTAKE: Not Having a Work-Life Balance

Just about every business owner can appreciate how difficult it is to achieve a balance between their professional and personal obligations. That’s especially true when you’re the only one running the show. While we logically understand that we can’t possibly be on the clock 24/7, many entrepreneurs aren’t able to separate their work from their home life.

Bringing on new work should be something to celebrate. But when you’re the only one your clients can turn to, you might be struggling to keep your head above water. Many agency owners feel the solution to this is to extend their hours. It may seem like the only way to stop feeling overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities. With more hours in the day, it stands to reason that you’d have more time to sell and fulfill your services.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. The more time you spend working, the less time you’ll be able to devote to your loved ones, to your other passions, and to causes you care about. When you try to do it all on your own and extend yourself too far, you’re going to end up creating scarcity in your own life. What’s more, you’ll put a limit on how many clients you can realistically take on and may even jeopardize the success of your current clients. No one can do their best when they’re feeling burned out and overwhelmed.

We believe growing together gives us the freedom to be more, do more, and have more. Instead of spending every waking moment on your clients, you could invest your time and energy into finding resources that can lighten your load. When you team up with a provider who’s just as invested in the success of your business and the success of your clients as you are, you’ll be able to prioritize your own needs and make more level-headed decisions that will benefit everyone. That’s how you’ll thrive -- both as a business owner and as a human being.

MISTAKE: Thinking Hiring In-House is the Only Option

If your business is steadily growing, it makes sense that you’d eventually realize you aren’t able to handle all the work on your own. You only have so many hands and so many hours in the day, after all. When you need a sustainable solution for your business, it’s probably time to take a look at your staffing.

Many business owners believe that it’s better to have everything done in-house. While there are a number of benefits to having your own employees to handle sales or fulfillment, there are also a lot of costs associated with hiring. If you have ambitions of running a larger company and improving the employment rates of your area, those costs may be well worth it. But for smaller agencies or for those who don’t feel ready to make that kind of commitment, these costs can be daunting.

Keep in mind that a full-time employee with the necessary experience will translate to substantial spending. Once you factor in wages, health insurance, payroll taxes, and other office costs, that one employee might cost an agency owner anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 a year. You’ll need to provide paid training, account for sick days and vacation time, and provide everything from a desk and chair to essential technology. Even if you hire someone on a part-time basis, that might not translate to added financial benefit for your agency.

You might not even have considered that there’s another option: to outsource. Outsourcing at least some SEO services or other deliverables (like graphic or website design, for example) can be a highly cost-effective way to address your clients’ needs. A local SEO campaign might cost anywhere from $300 to $800 a month when you outsource, which isn’t anywhere near what you’d pay to hire someone in-house when you crunch the numbers.

Outsourcing is equivalent to hiring a fractional employee -- without all of the financial and emotional strain that goes along with in-house staffing. For example, if you receive feedback from an unhappy client, you won’t be forced to hire a valued member of your team. Instead, you can simply terminate the campaign with your SEO agency and devote your extra time to lead generation. When you partner with a reputable SEO partner, you won’t have to train anyone, either; you’ll already be working with highly skilled individuals (who might actually know more about the SEO best practices!).

You won’t have to account for sick days, vacation time, or office space rentals, either. Instead, you’ll keep your overhead low while you benefit from reliable results. Your SEO provider will have a major incentive to complete work on time and ensure that it’s of the highest quality. And because you won’t have to spend your time checking up on the deliverables, you can focus on more urgent tasks -- like sales.

Why Focusing on Sales Makes Sense

In all the aforementioned examples, one recurring theme is that outsourcing allows you to shift your resources to areas in which your expertise can really make a difference. By abandoning the idea that you have to be the expert in everything or that you have to constantly be working, you’ll free up your time and energy to concentrate on what your skills really shine. For many of our resellers, that’s in the sales department.

If what you really want to do is sell but you’re being bogged down with the fulfillment aspects, outsourcing is the perfect solution. The idea that you have to add team members or that you have no choice but to work 12-hour days to achieve your goals may actually be holding your business back.

By being able to focus on sales, you’ll be able to create and maintain stronger relationships with your clients. You’ll actually have the time and energy to devote to getting to know your clients and their unique goals. And when you outsource, you’ll be able to avoid the traps that come along with hitting your maximum client number. You won’t have to scramble when a client chooses to cancel their services; instead of stopping when you reach that cap, you can continue to grow your business and leave the fulfillment of deliverables to your providers.

Ultimately, sales are the most critical aspect of your agency’s success. One of our larger resellers was able to increase their business from $600,000 to $3 million in two years by selling our services -- with no fulfillment on their end whatsoever. While that’s an extreme example, it goes to show just how powerful outsourcing can be and how essential sales are to the growth of your business.

Simply put, it pays off to entrust an SEO partner with the other aspects of your clients’ campaigns. You’ll free up your time, save money, and see growth for both your business and your clients. As long as you choose the right SEO agency, there really isn’t much of a downside.

How We Can Help Maximize Your Sales

Having a partner you can count on to handle your fulfillment will allow you to keep most of your focus on selling. But we can actually provide even more assistance to ensure your sales process is smooth and consistent.

As part of our services, we provide in-depth reporting in our unique dashboard system (accessible by both resellers and their clients, if needed). We also offer keyword research, help with sales proposals, and provide intake forms for our partners to utilize. Since we highlight the key performance indicators that really matter for campaign success, you’ll be able to use this information to educate prospective and current clients to solidify your sales process.

We even provide ways for our website visitors to maximize their sales independent of whether or not they choose to partner with us. We have our own free Web Grader tool that can analyze your site alongside your competitors, as well as a number of case studies you can reference to inform your own strategies and gain insight into our processes. Our Proposal Builder makes it easy to get started with our reseller program and shows some of the features you can use to cement your sales, as well. In addition, we’re happy to provide sell sheets, Google Trusted Digital Media Advisor (TDMA) training guides, and more -- just email us and we’ll get you set up.

Avoid Mistakes By Outsourcing With Us

Business owners face enormous pressure to “do it all.” It’s easy to fall into the DIY trap -- we’ve even done it ourselves in the past! But by outsourcing to partners you can trust, you’re able to free up your time and energy for the most important (and enjoyable!) part of your operations. Instead of struggling to make everything happen on your own, we can grow together to be more. Ready to get started? Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our white label reseller program.