For Massive Growth
You are a growth-oriented entrepreneur. Every year you double or triple your revenue and you’re damn proud of it!
But now you’re at a crossroads. You know you’ve got
You feel uncomfortable calling it a problem — otherwise, everything is going well, getting new customers feels effortless, your clients continue raving about you… It’s everything you had hoped for when you were getting your business off the ground!
And yet you feel miserable because you’ve reached your capacity ceiling.
You push against that upper limit but can’t get rid of a sinking feeling that things that have been falling through the cracks lately are not innocent mistakes but a sign of a serious problem.
That’s enough for you to hit the breaks and say no to scaling until you’ve found a solution.
Maybe you should hire an additional customer support person? Maybe even two?
Intuitively, you know that the solution you need is not about adding more team members. You have an incredibly capable team that fully owns their responsibilities and loves taking care of you and your clients.
It’s the way things are set up that doesn’t allow your team to do things as efficiently as they want to. In fact, deep down you worry that your team might leave out of frustration with all those inefficiencies.
I understand your pain! When our systems don’t play well together, working harder, adding layers of complexity, or adding more people to work around the inefficiencies can make things even worse.
I’m not saying that you aren’t doing a good job at creating your systems. In fact, I bet that every time a new situation arises, you and your team create the best system possible to handle a similar situation in the future.
The problem is, the bigger the business gets, the more likely it is that you’ve developed isolated islands of systems that don’t work together. It’s those humps that your team needs to work around to get stuff done. Those are the weak links you’re afraid will break if you continue adding the pressure of more clients.
That’s exactly how the Author Accelerator team felt when they reached out to us.
When we started working with Author Accelerator, the premier book coaching program designed to help writers bring their book ideas to life, they had 30 book coaches who were guiding over 150 writers through their coaching programs.
Because of their incredible results, the demand for the Author Accelerator programs was constantly growing.
The problem was that, on the back end, things were not working smoothly.
Laura Franzini, Managing Editor of Author Accelerator, put it this way:
We developed the company and our processes very much on an as-needed basis.
Rather than having this long-term plan when we started out as to how all of these different functions were going to work together, as a new problem arose, we found a fast, efficient solution, implemented it, and moved forward from there.
What that left us with was a lot of different systems and a lot of different processes that were not working together. A lot of our work was being duplicated in multiple places.
I was very concerned about us growing too quickly because I didn’t want to say yes to folks that we would then have to drop later on because we just couldn’t handle the capacity.
I never want a writer’s first impression of us to be, ‘Can you wait? Because we don’t have the capacity to work with you right now.’
We want to be able to meet them exactly where they are and say, ‘Absolutely, we have the perfect person to work with you. We’re going to help you finish this draft. We’re going to help you write this book and meet these goals that you probably have been holding on to for a long time.’
When faced with a capacity dilemma you have two choices:
Continue operating at your current capacity and delighting the number of customers your systems can handle.
Optimize your systems to handle bigger capacity while still delivering the high touch experience that so thrills your clients.
What choice would you make?
My guess is that you are not the type of person who’d be OK with putting a cap on her capacity. At least not for long.
The Author Accelerator team knew that for their writer clients to have the best experience and results, they needed to ensure that the coach and the writer were a perfect match, based on more than ten criteria from coaching style, to
The stress-ridden match process took five hours of work per client, spread out over the course of about a week.
On top of that, the Author Accelerator team also spent time juggling information across five different platforms.
The team was hitting mental and time limits — and morale and productivity were taking a hit.
‘The company was losing money because it was taking us so much time to sift through and gather all this information again and again and again. So it would take me days to match a writer with a coach,’ said Laura.
Worse, all this time spent on gathering data took time and energy from the much more important aspects of creating a successful match. ‘I wasn’t spending that time pondering the writer’s story, their style, the coaches style of coaching that the writer could most benefit from. I was spending time waiting for emails and trying to gather quantitative data.”
So, why not maximize your efficiency for massive growth?
Here is how we help our clients to break through a capacity ceiling:
First, we simplify:
- We examine your current setup to see how the foundation is supporting your business.
catalogthose “bumps” and “weak links” to understand what frustrations and limitations you are currently facing.
- Lastly, we outline the requirements of a new system that will allow you to break through the capacity ceiling while upholding your current high standards of service delivery and client experience.
In other words, what happens during this phase is that we take inventory of all the building blocks of the little structures you’ve built on the back end over the life of your business and draft a blueprint of a more spacious building that would accommodate large crowds and allow your team to seamlessly move from room to room when running the back end.
This new construction usually reuses many of the original pieces. But it’s inevitable that some of them will need to be left behind and new, more appropriate ones, will have to be introduced.
At the end of this phase, we go over the new blueprint with you, get your feedback, and then begin building the prototype. Just as with websites, this new setup prototype gets built in a test environment, so your current operations are not affected.
Here’s what Laura shared about this phase: ‘It really couldn’t have come at a better time. When we were in the trenches, it felt like there was just nothing that we could do. We didn’t have the time [to find a better solution]. We didn’t have the capacity to do research to find a system that was going to work for us. We were just so in over our heads.
It really was like you were a knight in shining armor to come in and to be able to hear us, to listen to what our problems were.
It was your enthusiasm and your pushing us to find these solutions, your optimism that there was something out there that could help us.’
Second, we supercharge.
This is when things get fun for you:
- We present the prototype to you and let you and your team play with it.
- We populate it with the necessary information so that you can see how the setup will work when you go live.
- We make tweaks based on your and your team’s feedback to make sure the new setup becomes your dream house.
Simply put, during this phase we take you on a tour of the new property and hand you the keys to come in and try it out. We start moving some of your furniture and appliances in so that you can get a full experience. When you’re not over the moon about some of the interior design, we move things around, polish pieces, or build additional pieces that will make everyone even more comfortable.
When we started testing the system prototype for Author Accelerator team, the results astounded even us. What used to take five hours over the course of a week now took just one hour on a single day.
‘Now we have one database where all of our information is stored,’ Laura shared. ‘I have all of the coach information in one place. I have all of the writer’s’ information in one place. I can very easily sort through the coaches based on their availability and their genre, their coaching style.’
‘I can then spend the time that I need to actually make the match and think about the important information that will go into deciding which coach would be best for what writer.
It’s been an amazing turnaround and so fast!’
Third, we automate:
- This is when we pinpoint what doesn’t need to be done manually and explore possibilities of using tools like Zapier to make other tools talk to each other without you having to lift a finger.
- Once the
automationsare set up, we test, and test, and test them again until everything works smoothly.
- Lastly, we train your team how to use the setup and provide them with a manual of how to maintain it.
Going back to our construction example, this is when we take a critical look at what we’ve built and
That’s when you will:
- Experience running your business in a totally new way — things just flow, you are in full control again, and there is
transparency,so that you can make decisions based on real data instead of hunches and guesses
- Celebrate your expanded capacity — and the Universe responds by sending you the most amazing new clients
Have the physical and mental space to resume working on the projects and ideas you had to put on the back burner
- Receive raving feedback from your clients about the delightful experience they have working with you and your team
- Feel ecstatic that your team is happy and more energized than ever
- See the positive ripple effect of organizing one area of your business on other areas — now your team excitedly takes initiative to get the rest of the underperforming systems up to your new standard
Just imagine! How would that look in your business?
Now, with the new setup, the sky’s the limit for Author Accelerator:
I don’t really have a fear of growing too fast, too soon anymore.
Laura said, ‘because I’m confident that we’ll be able to bring this new setup along with us and that it will be that underlying foundation for us to be able to keep track of everybody and make sure that everybody’s getting the service that they’re paying for.’
Author Accelerator coaches love the new setup as well:
‘I love getting on a call with the coach and hearing the enthusiasm in their voice
The new setup made the Author Accelerator team five times more productive and infinitely more relaxed every time they get a new writer application.
To further put things in perspective, when we first started working with this team they hit their capacity ceiling at $300K a year. A few short months after we helped them to open their growth corridor, they were already at $500K. And now they are on the way to a $1m a year — with no capacity ceiling in sight.
We would absolutely LOVE to talk to you if you:
- Deeply care about the experience you create for your clients, whether that means high level 1:1
clients, high touch group program, high impact mastermind or high-value membership service
- Develop close relationships with your clients and want to track the progress your clients make, whether 10 or 1000 clients
- Want to grow your client base, but want to ensure it doesn’t happen at the expense of client experience, no matter whether a small hiccup or a string of mistakes
Here are a few more inspiring stories of our clients:
Jessica Abel, an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and creator of Creative Focus Workshop
Each element of accountability and tracking progress for my students in the Creative Focus Group added more complexity to the back end for me. It took a ton of time, I was always forgetting to update my spreadsheet, and lacked the information and transparency into my data that would make it possible for me to understand how to serve my students better, not to mention to identify problems and solutions that would help me market my program more effectively.
My assistant and I probably spent 20-30 hours on the spreadsheet for each cohort, and it was still not doing what we needed it to do.
I’m so pleased to have this new system for tracking my students. It’s seamless and easy, and I never have to dig up obscure data anymore.
As far as time spent, I went from 30 hours to 5-6. But I also use the information the system provides more. I’m in there all the
An unexpected benefit was the realization that I actually can have the capacity to pay attention to where students are struggling. Without automation gathering up the data, I would never have enough bandwidth to both find the data and also do the outreach. I’ve already reached out to two students this cohort, and their reactions were really over the moon.
Brigitte Lyons, Founder and CEO of B: the forward-thinking PR agency
Brigitte’s “before” system for securing and tracking client media opportunities forced her to juggle multiple Google docs, Google sheets, and Asana projects. Because data was scattered among so many different platforms, managing workload required immense manual effort. Plus, it risked mistakes and oversights and made it extremely difficult for Brigitte to keep track of her team’s activities. On top of that, because the data wasn’t clearly organized and easily accessible, Brigitte’s team constantly needed her input to determine their priorities.
With the very specific requirements of the workflow the team followed, Brigitte was spending more time keeping track of tasks and due dates across multiple projects than nurturing client relationships.
Brigitte’s new client hub allows her to create a media list for a client in seconds, instead of hours. After that, she assigns a team member to the client and monitors the client’s mini-portal as steps are completed. This at-a-glance system allows Brigitte and her team to analyze priorities and take strategic action, rather than constantly being in reactive mode.
Brigitte now has a central location to manage her clients start to finish, and a holistic view of status and deadlines. Her team is empowered to confidently do their jobs, and Brigitte’s time is freed up for business-building activities.
The new client hub works so well that Brigitte uses it to record video updates for her clients, instead of the time-consuming, non-engaging written updates she used before. It’s just one way she’s been able to get back to focusing on nurturing relationships rather than on a task list.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you say you build a new setup, what do you mean? Do you actually build new custom software?
No, we do not build custom software (not yet, anyway ;). We look at what you and your team need to accomplish and we create the most optimal combination of tools and processes. For
How long does it take you to build a new setup?
Our usual turnaround is 90 days. It might take a bit more or a bit less depending on the scope and complexity of the project.
I’ve so many tools and software already. I don’t want to introduce any new ones. Can you work with the tools I already have?
We always start with the tools you already have. We don’t break what works. We take time to analyze your current setup and the flow of information and processes. We also take inventory of the tools you use and the way you use them.
If there is a way to optimize your work without introducing any new tools, we will do that! And by optimizing I mean making sure that you use your tools to the extent of their potential. When it comes to tools we take a minimalist approach — it’s better to have one tool that does 10 different things than to have 10 tools that do one thing each.
At the same time, if we see the potential of a more elegant and efficient setup which will solve your capacity challenge using a new tool, we will bring it to your attention. If you like the idea, we implement it. If you don’t, we don’t.
How difficult will this restructuring be on my team? How long does the training last? Won't we have to re-document our processes all over again?
No, we will do the re-documenting for you. Towards the end of our engagement, we will begin preparing an offboarding packet which will outline the new setup: how to use it, what to look out for when you introduce new team members to it, how to make changes if your processes change. It’s all there for you.
Training your team doesn’t take long either. Because we let you experience and play with the new setup very early on in the process, by the time we are done, you and your team will not have any troubles using it. If we introduce new tools, you and your team will also have access to a vault with mini-tutorials to get comfortable with that new tool.
Lastly, in our experience, every team we have worked with embraced the setup just as fast, if not faster, than the executive team. In fact, a very common reaction is: “Oh, WOW, this is so cool, give me more!”
Is there a chance the new setup negatively impacts our client experience?
We are dealing with technology. So, there is always a chance things don’t go as well as planned. That’s why we extensively test things on our end before giving them over for you to use. And even then, we are there for you should something stop working. In short, it’s possible. But should it happen, it will be fixed right away.
Can I speak with any of your past clients? I’d like to hear their impressions.
Sure, we’ll be happy to put you in touch with some of our past clients for reference!