A couple of months ago (September 2016) we started to work with the Hubspot platform and we entered the process of onboarding for agencies, this process was scheduled to be completed in three months with certain deliverables, in Impactum we were able to complete this in half the time and with 3x the deliverables that they asked us, with a team of 3 people, without neglecting the accounts of our clients. This is how we achieved it:
The team and its profile
The team is a fundamental part in the efficiency and quality of an agency and for us it is the most important, besides that we are a very young company (average age is 25 years) we take our time when hiring since we look for a very specific profile, we look for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs have the quality of being determined, self-administered and self-taught and this translates directly into results for our agency and for our clients, in addition to the fact that they are self-taught and determined that when they encounter a problem they can not solve at that time, they will find a way to solve it and learn what is necessary to achieve it without the need of a manager or a boss. This goes without saying, it has saved us a lot of time in personnel management, training and problem solving.
At Impactum we are proud to say that we all meet this profile of entrepreneurs even with those who are not co-founders.
A defined process
Although this was not always the case, processes are currently a fundamental part of day-to-day work in the agency and are in part the great differentiator of our work. Having well-defined processes allows you to create excellent quality work consistently, in time and be aware of areas for improvement.
In our case, the implementation of a checklist for each activity allowed us to first define the steps necessary to carry out each work, never forgetting details and being able to review common mistakes that we were making to make improvements in the same process. For this to be effective, a lot of discipline and commitment is needed in the use of these processes, but once adopted, the benefits are very good in terms of quality in the work, efficiency and continuous improvement.
Automate the repetitive
Something we focus on from the beginning is to become more efficient than others. How can we serve more people with fewer resources? and we found the answer in the automation. You have to automate everything that can be automated and that does not detract from the value of customers, for this we use various tools such as Google Drive and Zapier.
The process that has become more significant in this sense are the reports, in our case all the reports we do in Google Spreadsheets and this has the advantage of having an API that allows us to make a series of integrations with the services we use, so that it takes our programmer 10 hours approximately to do an integration for a report but only once per tool, saving us valuable hours in weekly and monthly reports.
Thanks to this approach, everyone in the team has become very skilled when it comes to capturing information and interpreting it, we know where to get it from and how to get it to be introduced alone. We have become very good with Zapier especially and with advanced formulas of Google Spreadsheets but this has saved us many hours of entering data in spreadsheets and although we still introduce some things manually, this is minimal and we are always looking for ways to do it faster and easy. The client translates into updated reports more frequently, more accurate data and more time in the consulting than in the preparation of reports.
Streamline the parts that stop the flow of the process
In developing the process that we carried out in serving each client we realized certain steps that stop other parts of the process and that cost us valuable days in delivery times so we decided to remove those bottlenecks of the process and look for ways to turn them around.
We follow the idea that if something is going to stop the process it is necessary to reach that step as soon as possible so that it starts soon, for example: when we make a social media plan for a client, this requires a creative session, copywriting work and content creation; usually the part that takes more time is the creation of content, so in the company when we have a new content plan the whole team is focused on taking the creative session and copy as quickly as possible so that the designer can start as soon as possible. But, this does not mean doing things quickly or of low quality, it means to stop doing other kinds of things that are not going to stop the process and give priority to that specific work.
At Impactum we sometimes take this very seriously, if we have a lot of client work but we are committed to taking out a piece of content for us and we have not had time, many times we come on Saturday and we are completely dedicated to getting this content out so that do not affect the work of the clients that we carry out during the week. On one occasion we managed to get more than 6 pieces of content on a single Saturday with the whole team working intensely on ideas, writing, design, landing page, programming, etc …
These are 4 tips that we hope will help other agencies as much as they have helped us, they are strategies that may seem simple but in our case they are part of our values, and this has determined the success and our differentiators since they translate directly into better quality of work, shorter delivery times, better service for our customers and effectiveness in campaigns.