It’s a bold move to leave the comforts of freelance land, and head into the eye of the storm and create an agency. You might be drawn to this option for a number of reasons, but you need not carry any trepidation into this venture, although you will need to educate yourself and plan for what will be an incredible ride. No plan? No chance of success. If the 2020s are promising growth for you and your freelancing, here is how you can scale your venture and become an agency.

Get your ducks in a row.

You wouldn’t be exploring this option if you didn’t have reason to believe this could be a viable business, but you want to translate that into a registered and compliant business so that you can officially open your doors and begin your operations. You also want to protect yourself! This will mean you need to scout a physical location for your agency, explore your employee obligations and single touch payroll options and upgrade your business registration from a sole trader to a business/employer. Fear not, there are so many resources out there that can guide this process, and you can always talk to the government entities to clarify anything that doesn’t make sense.

You could also talk to a new agency in your niche, and see if they want to part with any wisdom. They may be flattered to know that you aspire to achieve what they have.

Scout a team.

You probably have your eye on a professional or two who you believe can assist in birthing this concept and bringing it to the market. Ideally, you want to gauge their interest in a role before you launch an agency based on their assumed commitment. If you know that they are on a great package at their place of work, you may need to sweeten the deal with allowing them to design their role or offer them a legal stake in the business. If you have worked with a couple of agencies previously, sit down and collate a list of professionals that you would like involved in your business and begin some preliminary conversations. You should be quite measured in your approach here, and can even create an org chart so that you can visualise how everyone will fit in. It might be the case that some talent will have to be tapped on the shoulder in one to two years when you have built the agency up to be a bit more substantial and profitable.

Alternatively, you can look at external agencies that provide outsourced services. A typical arrangement would be to find specialist digital marketing agencies or graphic designers to handle more complex work.

Write a business plan.

Why is it that we hear a collective groan when the suggestion of a business plan arises? If you are in this camp, you are missing the value that a business plan adds. It is essentially a roadmap to success and a critical tool that you should be clutching like a life vest in those turbulent times in your early agency years. If you feel that you know what you want it to be but cannot quite articulate it, consider engaging a business coach or mentor who can guide you through this process and prompt questions and insights that you haven’t yet considered. This will be one of the best investments you make, and one that will continue to improve as you reach new heights and need to confer on a more exciting opportunity. Not to mention, you can claim this expense on tax!

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Scaling your freelance business to a fully-fledged agency is an incredible accomplishment and one that you should be very proud of. It will take time before you feel like you are running a successful agency, but just soak up every learning and continue to achieve growth, one step at a time.

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