Best Agency Management System

Episode 60: Best Agency Management System, with Juliana Marulanda

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Best agency management system — Optimize operations and boost efficiency effortlessly. This is the Best Agency Management System.

Juliana Marulanda is joining the latest episode of Sell With Authority, and our focus is on agency management systems. Juliana is the founder of ScaleTime, a renowned agency consultancy that has helped over 500 agencies achieve lean, mean, and profitable operations.

How to build the best agency management system? At Predictive, we’re continuously looking to refine what we’re doing financially, make process improvements, meet other agency owners who are doing it well — and, in short — to learn new things we can put into place that raises the bar of excellence inside Predictive, with a special emphasis on the best agency management system.

Every year for the last 8 years — our team attends the annual Money Matters workshop that Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, teaches. There’s a metric that Drew shares during Day One that hasn’t changed — year after year — and in my opinion — it’s one of the most important metrics to running a profitable agency because if owners could get it right — they would have the time, space, and capacity to get everything else right inside their shops.

Here it is: owners should allocate 50 percent of their time toward business development.

It can be a huge struggle to prioritize this aspect because of operational demands.

And that’s why I’m excited for you to learn from Juliana today. We are going to talk through what that agency management system should look like and how it should run.

Juliana offers insights into implementing an agency management system that can unlock 30 additional hours per week so you can have the time, space, and capacity to get serious about creating the helpful content for your audience that you KNOW you want to create and to BUILD the authority position that you know will ADD VALUE to your agency — and —help you build and scale more quickly through the best agency management system.


What you will learn in this episode is about how to build the best agency management system:

  • Why most agency owners become the single point of failure
  • Why it actually cost the business money when the owner is stuck in the weeds
  • The math behind figuring out the effective hourly value to the business
  • Steps to uncovering and fixing operational gaps
  • How agency owners can reclaim 30 hours per week through building the best agency management system, providing practical insights for time reclamation and operational efficiency.


Additional Resources:


Best Agency Management System: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you are an agency owner or a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of RightFit prospects and get the at-bats in order to build and scale, well, then you’re in the right place if you want proven strategies for becoming the known expert in your niche and attracting all the clients that you need. Yeah, we’re gonna cover that. If you want to learn how to step away from the sea of sameness so you actually stand out from your competitors and own the ground you’re standing on, we’re gonna cover that too. Do you want to prove your business in the future so you can successfully navigate the next challenge that you know is going to come your way?


Well, absolutely. We will help you there too. I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights, tangible examples, and best practices, never theory, from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So I want you to think practical and tactical, never any fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monetized that position by growing their audience, nurturing leads, and, yes, converting sales. But all the while, they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were with a helpful answer to an important question. So their RightFit prospects never ever were made to feel like they were prospects. I also promise you every strategy that we discuss and every tool that we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so you can become the known expert in your niche, fill your sales pipeline with that steady stream of RightFit clients, and then they were never, ever made to feel like one of your prospects.


Learn more about Best Agency Management System by listening to this episode: Agency Management Systems, with Juliana Marulanda


Best Agency Management System: Juliana Marulanda’s Introduction


Okay? So I am super excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Juliana Marulanda. So, if you’re meeting Juliana for the first time, she’s the founder of Scale Time and has helped over 500 agencies level into lean, mean, profitable machines. I like the sound of that. Do you like the sound of that? I like the sound of that. On average, Juliana and her team help owners just like you and me free up. Now. This is a staggering number. Free up 30 hours a week so they can begin doing what they want, how they want to do it, and whenever they want to do it. Okay. So some quick context here before I bring on Juliana. Every year for the last eight years, our predictive team attends or has attended the Annual Money Matters Workshop. Drew McClellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, teaches typically every December, although the 2023 workshop will be on October 16th and 17th in Denver.


So we attend Money Matters each year because we’re continuously looking to refine what we’re doing financially and make process improvements, meet other agency owners who are doing it well, and, in short, learn new things that we can put into place that raise the bar of Excellence inside Predictive. So, Eric, Hannah, Megan, and I all attended the 2022 workshop, and it was off the charts. Awesome, as always. So, I’m gonna peel back the curtain to Money Matters for just a second. So, there’s a metric that Drew shares during day one that hasn’t changed year after year, and in my opinion, is one of the most important metrics to running a profitable agency because if owners could get this metric right, they would have the time, the space, and the capacity to get everything else right inside their shops. Okay? So here it is.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Strategies for Agency Growth


Best agency management system? Here’s the metric. Owners should allocate 50% of their time toward business development. Yeah, 50% of your time. And inside the biz dev bucket, you could put activities like prospecting, selling proposals, thought leadership content to build your authority, that kind of stuff. So when Drew puts that slide up, every year, I watch some of the people in the room get uncomfortable. They know they need to do it so they can build and scale like they want to, but they can’t see how they can do it because they feel trapped inside the operational day-to-day weeds of their shop. And that’s why I’m excited for you to learn from Juliana today because, as I shared with you a few minutes ago, Juliana and her team have helped over 500 agencies up level into lean, mean, profitable machines and have helped owners just like you and me, free up 30 hours a week so they can begin doing what they want.


AKA, let’s call that biz Dev. I have no doubt that if you had 30 extra hours a week added back into your schedule because you had an agency management system in place, you would absolutely crush biz dev. So, Juliana and I are gonna talk through what that agency management system should look like and how it should run. I promise you if you take the smarts and the insights and the expertise that Juliana shares with you during this episode, you will improve your agency’s operations so you can have the time, space, and capacity to get serious about creating helpful content for your audience that you know you want to create, and to build the authority position that you know will add value to your agency and to help you build and scale more quickly. Okay. So that was a bunch. So, without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast, Juliana.


Well, thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited.


I’m super excited, too, and I’m grateful that you said yes because I think this is a super important and very relevant topic. So, before we dive in and I start peppering you with a bunch of questions, take us behind the curtain for a couple of minutes and share a little bit more context around your path and journey, and then we’ll dive in.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: A Journey in Business Operations


Absolutely. So I have been doing business operations now for over 20 years.  started off on Wall Street. Hmm. And you know, working 16-hour days and all that jazz, looking at spreadsheets wasn’t my favorite thing. But I will say that the one thing that it really taught me by looking at financial operating models and business operating models was that cash was queen, right? I always say this: sometimes people are like, content is king. I’m like, cash is queen. So, I think that’s very important as this threads into what we’re talking about today because it’s so important to understand how ash is like oxygen to your business. I believe Warren Buffet said that, and it really relies on the resources that you have at the maturity level of your business, right?


Best agency management system? If you are starting, if you are seven figures, if you are climbing into the eight and nine figures, right?  your resources start to change, and how you use your cash is so much more important than how you think about it. So follow through with that. And then because I’m very high energy, right? So I went from one crazy pit to another, and I was doing almost like a traveling ops manager. You could think about that, okay? You know, they picked me up and dropped me off in a new city about every three to four weeks. And I was doing operations for sports and entertainment. So think Ryder Cup, USTA tennis, you know, Kentucky Derby, and Super Bowl, right? Like these very tiny events. And so the whole idea was, know, you get to a new city, and it’s like, all right, Julianna, here’s the gig.


You are gonna take two to three days to grab your team of about anywhere between like 40 to 70 people. Okay?  mind you, I had zero management experience in this past, right? Go grab your team of reports then, and you’re gonna do that with these hiring fairs where you’re gonna hire basically do interviews of about a hundred people a day. Hmm, right? For two to three days. Then you’re gonna get to the place to the site, and you’re going to train for two to three days where resources are completely scattered, right? So we’re talking half a mile to a mile where, like, the stadiums and everything is just completely far apart. Okay?  I get there, and I’ve always looked very young, so I look like I’m 13 who’s the manager?


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Best Agency Management System: Simplify, Systemize, Scale


I raise my hand managing people who are two or three times my age. Hmm. So that was fun. Hmm.  trying to get buy-in and go operate a million dollars a week, right? Rinse, wash, repeat. Uh, I did that for almost a year, okay? And because I did not know how to manage, right? I was like, okay, how do I fake my way through this? Right? Because I was sprightly, I knew systems and processes, I knew KPIs, and I knew numbers. Okay? So my whole thing was how do I manage less, train faster and hire better, right? Because if I could hire better and I could train faster, then I could manage a lot less, right? And that would make my life easier. So that was my incentive, and that also became my mantra for the next 20 years. Now, nowadays, I love managing people, I love developing them.


I love coaching them up. I love seeing people get promoted you know, and develop their capabilities and their leadership and their ownership and all this stuff. Back then, that wasn’t really a thing. and I think what’s really fun, I would say, is that a lot of the owners that I speak to today, they don’t wanna be her, they don’t wanna manage, right? So, that mantra that carried me through still exists, right? You can manage a lot less with systems and processes if you can, like hire better and trade faster. Hmm. Now, fast forward to eight years ago, I started scale time, and I wanted to work with digital agency owners. The reason why they were really on the vanguard back then was that I still think they were the first adopters of many things.  many things of, of actual like organizational disruption.


Yep. And we’re talking geographically independent teams, you know, that were hybrid teams. And when I say hybrid, I mean full-time, part-time, strategic partners, white labeling, co-labeling, vendors, and contractors. From an organizational standpoint, I was fascinated. I was like, oh my God, this is so cool, right? You have these hybrid teams that are organizationally and geographically independent. how the hell are we gonna get operations to work and function? and I was so fascinated by the idea of adding systems and processes through a digital infrastructure that would be able to sustain and maintain really lead and profitable operations. And that’s why I chose to work with agencies. And as you said in the intro, right? Like, now we’ve worked with over 500 agencies, and it’s fascinating.  when the pandemic hit and people were like, oh my God, we’re going remote, blah, blah, we’d already been doing it for so many years, right? Right. I mean, I was just annoyed that Zoom’s bandwidth was going off. It felt like January at the gym when the newbies came in with the resolutions. So .  and so that’s really, you know, what we’ve been doing and why we’ve been doing it. And I love working with agency owners. I think that it is a phenomenal group. And that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.


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Best Agency Management System: Empowering Agency Owners


Best agency management system? Well, and you’re right about agencies being first adopters, of course. We have to be, right? We have to be at the forefront. We have to be super creative together, cobble it together, whatever, to help solve a client’s business issue or challenge. And so we have to be the first adopters. We have to be super creative, but without the right system in place, that can then also place a lot of burden on our teams because we’re knitting a lot of things together for the first time. And so then it’s not really very efficient. Let me go back to the three pillars to make sure that I have this correct. I’m calling ’em three pillars to make sure that I have this correct. I think I first heard you say, and then I think you put it into order. So, I think I first heard you say, how do I manage less, train faster, hire better? But then I think you reverse that for essential agencies today, where you and your team are helping them hire better, train faster, and manage less. Am I getting those three in the right order?


Yes. And you can you can do it one way or the other, right? Like whether it’s outcome-driven or step driven, yeah. Because I think a lot of it is owners spent a lot of time managing, right? Yes. Yes. Whether it’s managing buyers, managing team members, or managing the hundred questions that pop in Slack, okay.  or teams, right? Like, there’s your day, and back to Drew’s point, right? Like, how do we, how do we get to 50% biz dev, right? It’s how do we, how do we stop managing, right? Because a lot of owners as well, they’re, it’s, it’s less about the management of things. It’s more about creating cool stuff, right? Creating cool stuff.  you know, being the visionary, setting the sites, starting the waters, how many more metaphors could I throw here? I, but how many metaphors? It’s not about, Hey, can I answer the same question for the 50th million times? And to that effect, right? Most owners become the single point of failure because they know everything.


Ooh, okay. Hang on just a second. I don’t know that I’ve heard that term before. So single point of failure, break that down for us. Define that, if you would please.


Best agency management system?  So when we think about any system, any organizational system, right? Whether it’s an engine or an organization, right? It’s basically the owner because they know everything, right? Usually, they start off by selling or doing, right? One or the other, right? Like, you’re either a massive marketing innovator, and it’s really great, or you’re a rainmaker, and you’re selling stuff like that. Like, you understand how marketing works, you understand how sales work and you understand how to make your clients happy.  you understand what the reporting and the numbers mean. You understand it’s a benchmark. You can like, ask the questions that nobody in the room knows how to ask because you have the experience, okay? And so that in effect if, if you’re not around and you know, stuff hits the fan, Yep. Like you’re the single point of failure because everyone’s relying on you.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Overcoming Constraints to Efficiency


What is the best agency management system? Got it. Yeah. And that puts the agency, as you just described, in a tough spot. So, as we’re thinking about again, a pretty impressive statistic about like freeing up 30 hours, and then, as I mentioned, the 50%, so let’s call that 20 hours. I know that agency owners don’t work 40 hours a week, but just for the simplicity of math, let’s just call that 20 hours. So when you are working with a new agency, you and your team are onboarding a new agency to work with, and in trying to get to that goal of 50%, so 20 hours in your opinion, what are some of the biggest constraints? Like, what are some of the biggest pieces that are in the way of that happening?


Yes. So the first thing that we do with any owner is we do something called a scale map, right? Okay. And it’s our diagnostic, right? So we wanna see, you know, basically, we’re diagnosing like 50 operational gaps, right? Because what we often find when there’s operational gaps the person or people who are filling those gaps, . is usually the owners and leadership team, right? Like so many times I’ve seen, oh, my director of ops or my ops manager is doing a bunch of account management because either someone’s on vacation, someone left, or someone did something, right? So, we see people filling in these gaps when the operation itself doesn’t have the system leveled. Hmm. Right? And so, so that’s the first thing we wanna see where are the gaps, and then how to fill them. Okay?  The reason we do this is because, and I know you and I talked a little bit about this earlier, it actually costs the business money if the owner is stuck in the weeds.


Ooh, okay. Would you mind sharing that math? It is pretty insightful, like what we were talking about in the green room.


Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay. And so, I talk about this as the effect of the effective hourly rate or the effective hourly value to the business, right? So, as the owner, I’m gonna preface this a little bit, if you don’t mind me giving just a little bit of context, right?


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Best Agency Management System: The Three Archetypes of Agency Owners


Best agency management system? So, owners and I also deal with a lot of co-owners, right? Co-founders. Oftentimes, you’re one of three, or you’re a multiple of three, right? There’s sort of, like, there’s the rainmaker, and this is the individual who’s like just get me in front of them, right? Like, like, or the team hasn’t closed, lemme get at it. Like, I’ll close them, I’ll close them in 15 minutes, right? Like, that’s, that’s the rainmaker.  or they’re, they’re like, oh, yeah, like I’m gonna go to the trade show. I’m going to the conference. You know?  So, the rainmakers really oftentimes are visionary heads of sales. Are they doing their best to make as much revenue for the business as possible? Then there’s what I call the exit master.


You know, we have multiple businesses. They’re starting a business. They’re selling a business or acquiring a business.  even if it’s a small business, they’re like, ah, man, if we can only open up in this new city because there’s a bunch of, you know our avatar is there, and like we can open up shop and like, we just need one person there to start selling, right? So, we have what I call the exit master person who’s really looking at acquisition and building revenue one way or the other. And then there’s the innovation, right?  this individual is usually the one who’s like, just let me add it, right? So G four, you know, comes out, came out is fully fledged, I believe, this summer.


You know, they’re like, all right, I’m gonna figure out exactly how to make it work for all of our clients. Or the algorithm changed, or there’s a new process improvement. It’s like, okay, we’re gonna figure out how to completely AI all of our backend, right? So the innovator of the business and all of these individuals are bringing revenue one way or the other, right? So, whether it is the innovator bringing a new product line, a new service line, or new technology, right? They’re generating new revenue via that. The Rainmaker is closing clients or strategic partners, right? They’re bringing in revenue. The exit master is bringing in revenue by buying acquisitions, you know, productizing the business. Like, that’s it, right? So, each of you, no matter what type of owner you are or co-founder, you are, right? There’s the revenue that you are generating.  and so if we take that revenue that you are generating, right? Whether it’s a service line or closing the client or whatnot, and you divide it by the hours of acquisition, you’re getting your effective hourly.


Okay? The dollar amount is divided by the hours of acquisition or the amount of time it took you to generate the dollars. Exactly.


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Best Agency Management System: Calculating the Cost of Non-Billable Client Requests


Yes. Now, if we wanna get a little fancier with the formula, you might throw in there, you know, percentage of conversion depending on what that is, right? Sure. Okay. So I’ll give you an example, okay? And this is a very common example. I have a client, and he is like, well, Juliana, you know, like the clients, they always want me, right? Like I have these legacy clients legacy we have the account manager, like he’s phenomenal. The account manager’s great, but, like, they still want those, strategic questions. Hmm. And so, and I have a couple of clients like this, and they’re texting me, so I’m getting text throughout the day, and I’m like, okay, so on average, how long is your texting interaction? Like, I dunno, it’s like 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Sometimes it’s 10, sometimes it’s like 20. Sometimes, we jump on a call.


Which usually means it’s three hours.


Right? So I was like, all right, so we’re gonna pretend, yeah, it’s an average of 15 minutes, right? Okay. On these ad hoc, out-of-scope, non-billable conversations, right? Because that’s what they’re, right? They’re, they’re client requests that come in, in the disguise of, I need help, owner. So I’m like, all right. So, so on average let’s talk about your sales, right? Because that’s what you wanna be doing. When you take in a client what’s your average revenue, right? For, for like a client, okay? For the year, it’s about 60 K on average, right? We’ve got about 5K retainers on average, give or take. I’m like, okay, cool. How long does it take you to actually close that in your sales cycle? He’s like, well, it’s usually like a one-call close. Sometimes, it’s a two-call with some follow-up and a mini proposal of about six hours. I’m like, okay, cool. Now they have been doing hold outreach, right? Okay. So I’m like, all right, what’s your closing rate? More or less, he’s, that’s about 25%. I’m like, okay, that’s pretty decent for cold. So if I calculate that right, and again, I’m gonna get a little fancy with it because we had a 25-closing rate, right? So, I still wanna count on all the time he’s putting into


Sales. I love it. Now we’re doing algebra, let’s do it.


Now we’re doing algebra rights. So his effective hourly is about two 5K an hour. Right? Given all of his sales activity, right? So I’m like, alright, so let’s divide that by four, right? More algebra because we said 15 minutes a call, that single-text interaction is costing him $625.


Yeah. It’s pretty enlightening, isn’t it?


Right. And not only right? We want to get deeper into this. It’s $625 that he’s not making sales.


Right? Yep. And it’s also time that he’s donating to the client out of scope.


So Yeah. And it reinforces the single point of failure.


It means that his account manager isn’t trained, doesn’t have the skillset, or hasn’t been edified, right? Yes, in order to be able to actually manage the client. If we take a look at some of the clients across their engagements, that engagement most likely has become unprofitable.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Implementing Solutions for Operational Gaps


I literally, I love the fact that you used the word edified because the reverse of that is, and perhaps unintentionally, we diminish the account manager in that example, and we, the, the opportunity to edify that person and talk about how great that person is and, and build that person up, not falsely, but helping the person that we’re investing in building a relationship with the client as opposed to reinforcing that the owner is a single point of failure, which cripples the agency.


Best agency management system? Absolutely. And for those listeners who might be like, well, Janet, how do you fix this? Sorry for that particular thing, I’m just gonna like not leave them with a complete open loop. So oftentimes, right, depending on your organizational structure, you might have an account manager who’s really client-facing. Sometimes, it’s an AM PM, and depending on how edgy you’re trying to be, it’s an AM PM slash strategist, right?  clients will go either for comfort and safety, warm and fuzzies to the owner or for strategy to the owner. So if you like, so if you don’t have strategists on your team, the one way to couch this is to have like a quarterly or a biannual meeting with the owner strategically where it is built for inside of scope and allows you to upsell, cross-sell increase engagements, and then give that strategic feedback that the clients are looking for.


Well, so thank you for taking us behind the curtain for the math, for effective hourly rates or, like you said, value to the business. So, let’s loop back to the steps. So if step one is the scale map, the diagnostic that you mentioned, and then in my notes, I wrote down uncovering the 50 operational gaps, which is obviously pretty significant. And then you walked us through that math, which was super helpful. So, if step one is the scale map diagnostic, what is step two to fix this issue?


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Team Buy-In and Operational Gladiator Appointment


Step two is it’s really like creating a baseline, seeing where you’re at. Okay.  and getting, getting buy-in from your team that you’re going to start to make some operational changes. Okay.  I think this is super important. Maybe one of the most important things that you can do when you’re starting to make changes to an organization is okay.  is getting your team to buy it. Because you can make all the changes in the world if your team doesn’t implement it. It does mean that’s how data zero, right? Because, like, so many times, people are like, oh, yeah, well, we invested in EOS, and we did this, and we did that, and we invested in the, nothing, nothing changes. Yep. So like, having those critical conversations and getting buy-in from the team is really important. Yeah.  also, designating someone to really manage the implementation of what that is, right?


Ah, now we at skill time, we call them your gladiator, we’re like, right? Because I love it. Boots on the ground, they’re gonna be your operational gladiator, right? We anoint them. There’s a, you know, imagine ceremony that happens. But I think it’s so important because after working with so many owners, yeah. It’s like I tell everyone I love you. I just don’t trust you to implement it. And the reason why it’s not because the owners aren’t smart enough. If they had the 30 hours, they probably could do it themselves, and they could do it, if they have too much to do.


They have so much to do, right? Right. And so, we really wanna make sure that we have someone on the team, okay?  that is, you know, going to do this. Now, oftentimes, I’m like, well, who is on the team? Depending on how big, you’re right. So, like, if you’re a small shop and you so define, define like small for, like in this example, Yes. What would you consider to be small shop? So like, let’s say you’re doing six figures, right? Like, let’s say you’re not quite a million dollars yet.


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Best Agency Management System:  Prioritizing Operational Changes for Maximum Impact


Yes. So, like, let’s say like maybe you’re low to mid six figures, and you’ve got a totally geographical, remote team, right? Okay, got it.  your operations person might be like a really souped up virtual assistant. Okay.  right? Like, that could be your person, right? Yeah. And we’ve seen many teams that have done this successfully. Okay. Right? So like, that would be your gladiator. Okay?  let’s say you have a project manager who could be your gladiator. You have an ops manager who can be your gladiator. You have an ops director, you have a COO, right? Like. So think about the lineage of your ops people, right? Yeah. So, going up to you, you have a co-founder who is really the master of production and an innovator in the organization. And you can’t sell anymore because they keep telling you that things are at capacity, right? Like, that could be the person. So We want someone who’s really going to help to do this, right? And we wanna prioritize, right? Because you can’t fix everything like that. You know, it’s we’re barely trying to fix one thing, right? We can’t fix everything. So, really prioritizing. So oftentimes, the way that we prioritize, and the way that I see it, is whether, like, where you have the most volume or you’re losing the most money. Hmm. Is where you wanna go.




Right? That’s how I like to think about prioritizing.


Hang on, hang on just one second. Because yeah, this is really, really key, and I could see where some owners might get this wrong, okay? So, when you say the most, let’s break both of these pieces down. What does that mean when you say the most volume?


Okay, so let’s say you run an SEO shop. It is high volume, low ticket, right?


Got it. Okay.


So you have 300 clients on the books, which would be your highest volume. They’re each spending $1,500 a month or something like that. Exactly.


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Best Agency Management System: Identifying and Fixing Operational Money Leaks


Best agency management system? Okay. Got it. So that would be your most volume. Okay? So you wanna say, okay, here’s where we have the most volume. Is this running smoothly, right? The diagnostic will tell us yes or no, okay?  is this running? and then that way, we’re like, okay, We wanna give this some attention, right? So whether it’s the project management, whether it’s client onboarding to increase capacity and like really hand off clients properly, whether it is client engagement, We wanna take a look at, okay, how do we prioritize either the most volume or where we’re losing the most money? So here’s an example of where one could be losing a lot of money. So let’s say you’re doing, and you’re spending money on marketing, okay? Right? Whether that’s ads or social, or you’re going to whatever channel you choose, right?


Okay.  your sales are going great, right? You’re like, ah, you’re crushing your sales, okay?  but operations are a little funky, and your handoffs are not as smooth as they can be, right? Okay, so handoffs, so not smooth handoffs. It looks like client confidence is down, right? They’re like, oh, I spoke to this person, I don’t know how I feel. Now you’re getting on the phone trying to resell them again.  it could look like refunds and chargebacks. It can look like, you know, all of a sudden, the client completely changes the scope, right? Because they have a kickoff call, they’re like, well, actually, blah, blah, blah. Or it looks like there is always communication between sales and production. And so sales is selling one thing. Production doesn’t know what’s going on, right? It’s like, how do we deliver on the promises we’ve made? So, now you’ve got a massive leak in your client onboarding. Ah, right? I have seen businesses that have gone from 500 K to 2 million back down to 500 K because their client onboarding was not tight.


Holy bananas. Okay?


And so that’s where we’re like, okay, where is it that you might be losing money? Another place that you might be losing money is your client projects and or retainers. Okay? Right? So either scope creep is a mess on time. Deliverables can be very off. Your clients keep pushing projects, so it’s messing up your capacity, right? So there’s all these little things that add up and become like big things. And so that’s where we wanna take a look at and say, okay, where are you losing money? And let’s go, let’s go prioritize that.


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Best Agency Management System: Implementing Solutions to Operational Challenges


Love this. Okay? So let me, let me give this back to you and see if you would laugh if you could see all of my notes, so it highlights and circlings and all of that kind. That’s amazing. So, let me make sure that I’m getting these steps in the process correct here. So, step one is the scale map, the diagnostic that we talked about, in the 50 operational gaps. And I love how you just pulled that back in as we were talking about, you know, the client onboarding. But so step one is the scale map diagnostic, step two being, hey, you need to create a baseline and then get buy-in with your team. The fact that we’re gonna be making some operational changes, so, so buckle up, they’re coming.


So that’s step two. And as you mentioned, critical conversations are super important. And that really takes some courage to lean into that step three, you know, anointing someone as the gladiator, right? This is the person who’s going to lead the charge. And I totally dig the whole gladiator piece. That’s awesome. Uh, and then step four is, okay, we need to prioritize, we need to,  essentially divide the fires, if you will, into two buckets. One of them being bucket is the most volume. And then, and I’m not sure that I labeled this second bucket, correct? The most financial loss, I think you had a different word for that. Or was that as weird bleeding money?


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Best Agency Management System: Leading and Delegating for Sustainable Growth


Okay. So, after the prioritization, how do we start conquering these things? Is there another step, or is it a kind of rinse-and-repeat? What do we do next to get the owner or give the owner those 30 hours back into their schedule? 


Yeah. So We amplify how we’re doing things, right? Okay.  and so figuring out your processes, your systems, how do we how do we create streamline how do we eliminate things that aren’t working? .  and documenting things along the way so that the owner isn’t going back into the weeds of things so that people know, so that people can feel confident so that people can do their jobs at a high-performance level, right? And so I think about it as like our scale framework where we see what’s happening, we create a baseline, we amplify how you do it, right? And then, the owner has to lead and delegate. Like they gotta get out. You gotta let it go. For anyone who has children like that frozen song, Let it Go.


I love the Disney reference, though. That’s awesome.


Yes. so lead and delegate because you’ve done everything to set your team up for success. Yeah. Like now you have to, like, truly let them perform


Well, and they have to. They have to have that critical conversation using your word. They have to have that critical conversation really with themselves. Like, if I am truly not going to be the single point of failure any longer, I have to master step six, right? I have to master, lead, and delegate. If I don’t, the system will always be broken, and then I shouldn’t complain about it, right?


Absolutely. and that’s a huge deal, right? Like leading meetings, of course. I mean, it means slashing meetings off of your calendar that don’t belong anymore. Yeah.  it means prioritizing that follow-up.  it means pointing people to documentation and resisting the urge to answer them or do it for them because, you know, you can do it better. And because, as the owner, guess what, you are the only one that truly cares.  so it’s, or at least cares the most. So it’s hard.  And I think a lot of us are able to delegate production and a lot of those things, but then when it comes to account management, it is one of the last things to be delegated. Strategy is one of the last things to be delegated.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Scaling Your Agency


When you’re in the reels, reels of like hitting eight, nine figures, you’re delegating your CEO responsibilities, like you’re delegating your, your selling to a team and actually having the confidence that they can do it.  in the end, you’re delegating the direction of your different departments. And you’re actually able to last a bit, right? Is exit. You’re, you’re exiting these departments and you’re overseeing them with visibility and metrics and KPIs that everyone’s doing well, right? And by well, I mean that they’re meeting their performance metrics, right? Via the values and vision that you have set.


This has been so amazing.  I really appreciate the steps. So I’m gonna just run back through them, and I know we have to come in for a landing. So, step one, everyone, scale map, that’s the diagnostics piece. Uh, and then obviously, working alongside Juliana and her team, that’s what gives us the 50 operational gaps. Step two is creating a baseline. Getting the buy-in. Having the critical conversation with our team of, hey, big operational changes are coming. Step three is someone to manage the operational changes, right? Anointing the gladiator using Juliana’s words there. Step four is prioritized, right? So the two buckets are the most volume, like what goes in that bucket, like you’re doing that all the time. And then the most financial leaks or using her words, bleeding money. And then step five, amplify. Step six is the owner has to lead and delegate. And then this is where we start hearing Angels sing, step seven exit. So this has been absolutely amazing.  I know there’s more for us to discuss. We have to come in for a landing here, but I hope you’re gonna be open to coming back for an encore. I’m sort of putting you on the spot. I would love to have you back.


Oh yeah. There’s no time like the present, right? Yes. I would love to come back.


Okay. This will be so much fun. And I can’t wait for our team to meet you in person in just a few short weeks at the Builder Better Agency Summit. You’re speaking there and sharing your smarts with that amazing community. Before we go, before we close out and say goodbye here, please share with our audience the best way to connect with you, Juliana.


Learn more about the Best Agency Management System by tuning in to Our “ROI of Community” Framework


Best Agency Management System: Final Bits of Advice from Juliana


Yes, absolutely. So I know that it can be really hard when you’re like, oh my God, there are seven steps I could barely get to one. What do I do? So I promise you it doesn’t have to be that hard. Oftentimes when you think about operations, you would rather go get a root canal. However, we’re here, and we have tons of resources, and I make it fun. I make sure that people are laughing as they’re grinding. So you would absolutely like to join our newsletter.  once you join, we’ve, we’ve built out a sequence of like three months of quick action tips that you can take that are gonna make a huge operational impact. And you can do that at That’ll be there.  I’ve also got the five di five minute diagnostic that I spoke about.  you know, get your 50 operational gaps. We send you fancy results with a heat map so you can see exactly what’s happening in your operations. If you’re visual, I know I am. And you can actually see what’s happening, which is huge. We send it to you within 24 hours. So definitely fill it out, it’s free. I put that on the page, and if anything resonates and you wanna hop on a call, feel free to do that. And again, the resources are at


Awesome. Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and re-listen to Juliana’s words of wisdom and all of her insights that she’s so generously shared with you, no matter how often you do that, the key is you have to take her smarts and put it into practice. Take it and apply it. Because when you do, you will accelerate your results. And Juliana, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day, and I am grateful that you came onto the show to be our mentor, to be our guide, to help us raise the bar and move onward to the next level in our businesses. Thank you so much, Juliana.


Aw, thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed this talk, and I appreciate you assuming the sale for next fall that we will do together.

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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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