It’s a tough predicament you must be in. You are stuck in a rut of not being able to focus more time on sales and marketing, but you’re not at the point where you can hire someone full time to do such a task.
Or, perhaps you are very wary of hiring someone on your staff to be the “sales” face of your business because you’ve been burned in the past or you’ve dealt with sleazy sales people that make you feel like you need to take a shower after talking to them - and that is not the kind of message you want to portray.
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To help you, your marketing, and your business become more efficient, you obviously need to have a strong growth strategy in place.
But what does that growth strategy look like? Are we talking about hiring employees? are we talking about training existing staff and moving them horizontally or vertically in the business?
Or are we talking about consulting with a company to get better results, save money on overhead, and deliver things in a timely manner.
If you find yourself thinking "I think I need to hire marketing and sales teams for my company," you'll need to consider a few things before making that decision.
Here are 4 things to consider when you are exploring the ideas of hiring marketing/sales teams.
You would rather potty-train 12 puppies at one time than build a creative team.
Not a fun visual, right? Having to source, interview, hire and manage a team of creative people is not easy either. Paying the overhead for an in-house creative team is already difficult for some, and then you need to orchestrate their efforts so they produce what you want.
If you’re at this point where you need more headcount around creative, you should ask yourself these questions to determine whether it might make sense to go with an agency:
- Can I detect branding inconsistencies? This may sound easy, but it is more than making sure the logo is aligned correctly on everything. This is more about the image and cohesion of everything. Does the color palette blend well with the font? How about the white space, photography and ad copy?
- Do I speak designer-ese? The beauty and challenge of working with awesome professionals is they were educated to do the things you want. When they deliver a piece of creative, do you know when and how to tell them what you want instead? Could you talk to them about HTML and CSS?
- Am I capable of building systems around people? This could be in an office or online, but the systems need to be able to get the job done. They need to do the job and do it well, not just to get it done.
If you answered “no” to more than one of these, you might want to start looking into outsourcing your creative to an inbound marketing agency. You already have enough to worry about, don’t add onto the pile.
You find yourself saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” a couple times a week.
When working 5 12-hour days sounds normal, you might be in trouble. You need to be on top of your game in today’s over-saturated market. If these scenarios sound familiar to you, it might be time to find an agency to help:
- The only time you give leads your full attention is between the times of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
- Lunch with a client? Who has time for that, I have a campaign to single-handedly run.
- You are tempted to ask your kid to handle your social media.
- Your LinkedIn posts have gone from engaging and creative to something like “I’m still here! Pay attention to me!”
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Lets look at the first bullet. Your potential leads should be given prime attention the second they are ready to be contacted by your team. If you are too distracted from operating your business to focus on marketing, you might want to contact a marketing agency soon.
You’re a jack of all trades, but you're a master of none.
There are a couple of really enjoyable parts of running inbound marketing for a company. Running a blog, talking to people on Twitter, conceiving a creative campaign and casting a marketing vision sound pretty fun, right?
There’s a problem with this setup though. The more responsibilities you take on, the more you stretch your time and talents thin. In order to focus more on these talents, consider these exercises to determine whether it’s time to find an agency to help you with your daily tasks:
- Go back to your roots. What excited you the most when you started your position? How often do you get to do that?
- Make a list of grunts. Use your grunt list to handle tasks that you have been putting on the backburner. Jobs that you have let gather dust should be the first you hand off.
- Do your research. Research different agencies, and find one that aligns with your goals. Contact them and get to know them, to see how they fit in your business structure.
What do all of these signs break down into? Your business’ sales and growth suffer when you have too much on your plate. Regardless of they are in your skill set or not. Leads will easily fly under the radar and straight to your competitors’.
Consider having your website do most of the process for you.
For example, at Web Canopy Studio we focus on what’s called Growth Driven Design, tied with inbound marketing. This allows our website to evolve over time, building speed and generating leads. By doing this we are taking a large chunk out of the sales efforts, because we are allowing a portion of automation to qualify our clients for us.
If you are unfamiliar with GDD or inbound marketing, you should seek out help from an agency that is familiar with it. Not only will they do most of the work for you, but your website and business will be fully optimized for growth and the needs of your customers.
If you were familiar with a lot of these experiences, it might be time to look for an agency to hire. You don’t want to become overloaded with work, for the sake of yourself and especially your business.
Take these signs and consider looking for outside help to relieve your workload and ultimately help your business grow in the right direction.