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Going from 2 employees to 4

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5 posts
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Adina Zaiontz
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We've just gone from me having only 2 direct reports to 4: 1) project manager 2) a web developer 3) a graphic designer 4) a marketing student summer intern who is brand new.

I'm a bit overwhelmed never having managed this many employees and clients. We also have a client load now of about 23 clients (some small and some very big projects). My team is quite young too.

I have a question for the more experienced agency owners. 1) How often do you have team meetings? Weekly? daily? How often do you check in on how an account is doing? I feel like I am into everything and checking in on everything all the time. I'm also on alot of sales calls with my business development director (who is my other partner and 6th team member). Anyone got management tips for me on empowering my team and yet keeping an eye on them.

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Jennifer Peterson
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I was in this situation about 2 years ago. Very rapid growth, extremely young but eager team. We held daily scheduling meetings (still do). I also felt as though I was checking in too often and that, coupled with meetings as you've described, prevented me from being thoughtful and strategic. One thing that helped transition was for me to "give" certain low-risk relationships entirely over to junior team members. We walked through the process of them consulting me on every communication, then copying me on every communication, then just taking over. Simultaneous with this was the accountability and reporting process that we used in daily scheduling. Each team member had to report on what was on their list the day before and what remained on their list (carried over) This was not for shaming purposes but rather to encourage them to move things forward and be prepared to report on how they did so. This is an extremely challenging process and I very much feel your pain. I wish I had better advice. Best of luck!

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Tom Score
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Congratulations on the growth of your agency. First thing to check is that you're not growing too fast or too big. Your success is probably due in large part to your small size and having the top, most senior people working the account. The worst thing you can do is bring on a new client then dump them on a junior person.

As far as meetings go, once a week is the norm. Then again, you're probably having more one on ones as the needs come up.

You can have your team email you a brief recap of their activities/interactions with the clients, but let them breathe. The more people you empower the better off you'll all be.

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Michael Bielski
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We have 15 people and agency-wide we meet monthly. Generally, this is more of a state of agency – our numbers, changes in clients, prospects/new business update, trade shows, and any overall items that affect the entire agency).

We have weekly account meetings that last about 1 hour with each account person that focus's on the accounts (not projects).

In creative we do stand-ups when needed but we are small enough that resource management isn't difficult so know what has to be done and who is doing it. Any more growth and we'll need someone on this and more structured but we are good for now. Also in creative, we do a bi-weekly 1-hour education meeting where they have a topic to review that makes them all smarter in some way (sometimes technically related to software we use, could be industry info, about clients/prospects, or even competitive review against those we compete against).

Then I have 1-on-1 meetings for 10 minutes every week with every employee to focus on what they need to do their job better - this meeting is about them. For some this is helping them focus on the 1-2 things they want to do better, for others it’s helping them solving issues to get to the point they can do better.

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Adina Zaiontz
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Love all these tips! thank you so much everyone.

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