A Sneak Peek into Our 7-Figure Agency Operations

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Report Walkthrough

Knowledge that you deserve!

Join these 50+ successful B2B SaaS companies on the path to
achieving T2D3 with our SaaS marketing services.

A Sneak Peek into Our 7-Figure Agency Operations

Sudharshan Narasimhan
|
June 21, 2024
A Sneak Peek into Our 7-Figure Agency Operations

Running a 7-figure agency is no small feat. At TripleDart, people are at the heart of everything we do. Our team's dedication, expertise, and collaboration are the driving forces behind our success. By focusing on our people, we've built an agency that delivers outstanding results for our clients and fosters a supportive, growth-oriented environment for our employees. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we keep things running smoothly. We focus on three core tenets:

1) Our delivery teams must operate at 85-90% capacity

2) Handful of processes aimed at delivering a great client experience

3) Information should be well organized and easily accessible by all stakeholders

Let me break down how we achieve each of these.

Capacity Planning

First off, what is capacity planning? In simple terms, it means making sure we have the right number of employees to meet project needs. It’s like the central pivot around which everything else turns—staffing, hiring, financial planning, and whether or not we need contractors.

Here's what effective capacity planning helps us achieve:

a. Avoid Hire & Fire

We’ve all heard, “Just hire more people to solve the problem,” right? Not at TripleDart. We aim to scale our operations without constantly scaling our headcount. We hire with a clear long-term plan, not just to fill short-term gaps. This means rigorous discussions and assessments before opening any full-time positions. By evaluating whether a new hire is necessary in the long term, we avoid the costly and disruptive cycle of hiring and firing based on fluctuating short-term needs.

b. Meaty Roles for Employees

Keeping operations lean allows us to give more responsibility to our team members. This means more engaging, fulfilling roles that keep our employees motivated and invested in our success. When employees have substantial roles, they feel valued and are more likely to contribute positively to the agency’s goals. It also helps in professional growth, which is essential for employee satisfaction and retention.

c. Efficient P&L Balance Sheet

Being a bootstrapped business, maintaining healthy unit economics is crucial. We add capacity in line with demand, ensuring our profit and loss statement remains balanced month over month. This careful management helps us avoid overspending on salaries and benefits, which is especially important for sustaining long-term growth and stability.

We consider five key factors before opening a headcount during our monthly business review:

1) New Business Pipeline: We project deal closures for the next six weeks based on our pipeline. This helps us gauge incoming projects versus existing capacity, ensuring we don’t overextend our team.

2) Customer Churn: When a client leaves, we can repurpose bandwidth, allowing us to stay flexible and adapt quickly without needing to hire or fire.

3) Existing Capacity: We open new roles only if we won’t have enough capacity to onboard new clients within the next month. This proactive approach helps us avoid bottlenecks and maintain service quality.

4) Employee Attrition: Fortunately, our low attrition rates mean we rarely need to backfill roles. However, we are prepared to do so efficiently if necessary.

5) Skill Set Needed: For new service lines, we invest in building in-house expertise, similar to R&D. This strategic investment ensures we stay competitive and innovative.

We review our capacity monthly and involve key stakeholders from sales, customer success, delivery, hiring, and finance to stay on top of our needs. We use a people viewer that clearly captures the capacity & cost per project for each and every client-facing employee of TripleDart. Here’s a mock representation of our people viewer for our PPC business unit.

This collaborative approach ensures that all perspectives are considered and that our plans are robust and well-rounded.

Right Processes & Tools for a Great Client Experience

At TripleDart, consistency is key to providing a great client experience. Here are the processes we follow to keep everything running smoothly:

a. Start of the Week Priorities

Every Monday, we post our weekly priorities on the client’s Slack channel. This keeps everyone aligned and allows for any needed course corrections upfront. By setting clear expectations at the start of the week, we ensure that both our team and the client are on the same page.

b. Pre-read for Weekly Client Calls

We send out reports a day before our weekly meetings. This way, clients can review them in advance, leading to more productive discussions. This practice allows us to focus on critical issues and make the best use of our meeting time.

c. Minutes of Meetings (MoMs)

We post these within a few hours of our meetings to ensure alignment on next steps while everything is still fresh in our minds. Prompt MoMs help keep track of decisions made and actions required, preventing any miscommunication or forgotten tasks.

d. Notion & Google Drive Maintenance

All our information is organized in Notion and stored in Google Drive. Notion acts as our single source of truth for everything from onboarding materials to project trackers. This centralized system makes it easy for team members and clients to find and access the information they need.

e. End-of-Week Wrap-Up

Every Friday, we post a summary of the week’s activities, giving clients clear visibility into what’s been accomplished. This helps clients stay informed and reassured that we are making steady progress.

Using the right tools is crucial for the adoption of our processes. We use Notion for project management, Slack for always-on communication, Loom for async work, Basecamp for content management, and Avoma/Fathom for meeting notes, transcriptions, and recordings. All of these tools come together and work well in our system to drive adoption of our core processes.

These processes ensure visibility and alignment with our clients, enabling us to meet their expectations consistently. 

Internally, we maintain a weekly scorecard for all client engagements to track adherence to these key processes. This scorecard helps us identify areas for improvement and ensures that we maintain high standards across all projects.

Here’s a snapshot of how we drive adherence to processes! Most importantly, the goal isn’t to penalize anyone who doesn’t follow the process, rather incentivize those who do! ✌️

Organized and Accessible Information

We work with ~100 clients actively, we exchange a massive volume of information daily. To manage this, we’ve created a well-organized Notion space for each client, which includes:

a. Onboarding Material

This covers everything a new client needs to get started with us, including introductory documents, initial project plans, and key contact information.

b. Meeting Notes

We document all meetings to keep track of discussions, decisions, and action items. This ensures that nothing is forgotten and that everyone is clear on their responsibilities.

c. Weekly Reports

Regular updates on project progress help keep clients informed and engaged. These reports include performance metrics, completed tasks, and any issues or concerns that need to be addressed.

d. Marketing Assets

All creative materials, such as images, videos, and graphics, are stored in an easily accessible format. This ensures that everyone is using the latest versions and that assets can be quickly located when needed.

e. Marketing Strategy

This includes detailed plans for paid media campaigns, content roadmaps, and other strategic initiatives. Keeping these documents organized helps us stay focused on our goals and measure our success.

f. Trackers

We use trackers for tasks, creatives, and content to monitor progress and ensure timely delivery. These trackers provide a clear overview of what’s been done and what still needs attention.

g. Target vs. Attainment

Comparing our targets with actual achievements helps us evaluate our performance and make necessary adjustments.

Attaching a few screenshots of our client workspace and here’s the link to our client workspace template. If you need a copy, reach out to me. I’ve left my contact details below! 

Having all this information organized and easily accessible helps us stay on top of things and respond quickly to client needs. This systematic approach not only improves efficiency but also builds trust with our clients by showing them that we are thorough and well-prepared.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, agencies run on the back of people! Alignment is the key to success. Your team should really understand the purpose behind your processes & decisions. Communicate decisions with utmost transparency and constantly educate your team on the “why” behind your processes and do it for the right reasons.

Here’s a happy picture of our superstar team 🤩

If you’re running an agency and if you have learnings to share, I’d be more than happy to connect and exchange insights. Let me know what has worked for you. 🙂

I’m SN, I run operations at TripleDart. Feel free to drop a note if you’d like to chat. 🙌

Have a great day! 💜

A Sneak Peek into Our 7-Figure Agency Operations
Sudharshan Narasimhan
Director of Operations TripleDart, Demand Gen & MarkOps for B2B SaaS

We'd Love to Work with You!

Join 70+ successful B2B SaaS companies on the path to achieving T2D3 with our SaaS marketing services.