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Kill Your Broken Agency Business Model Before It Kills You

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.

This is the second post in a series on the Agency Freedom Manifesto.

The traditional agency business model is broken. It isn’t the model that will get you to where you’re trying to go.

It is broken because it scales complexity.

By its very nature, everything is unique.

The traditional agency business model, we call it “Digital Yes Men“. If the client asks for it, the agency provides it.


This creates a custom situation for each client engagement.

Every client relationship looks different and every collection of deliverables / services look different.

This custom situation means that there is no system to handle the situation.

Only the owner or account lead can navigate the situation.

When you’re serving 1-10 clients, this is fine. Owners can juggle the complexity in their heads.

If you want to grow and bring in more revenue, you need sell more clients.

The more custom situations you bring on, the less and less freedom the owner has over their time because they are required for clients to see success.

Since the owner has less and less time to spend serving each client, things begin to fall through the cracks.

Clients get upset.

Client fires break out.

The team gets more and more stressed.

The morale and culture takes a hit.

This scaling complexity slowly squeezes the life out of the agency.

The business that was started to deliver freedom has turned into a beast that controls every aspect of your life.

When it comes to standardization, there are two sides:

1. The clients that you work with. 
2. The services that you deliver to those clients.

The key to building an agency that gives you freedom is to standardize both sides.

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