How to start a digital agency

Steve Jobs famously said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

I’ve taken this agency journey myself at least six times. There have been plenty of missteps and blind alleys. The truth is that it takes experience of travelling the road many times before the road becomes really clear.

In other words, once you can look backwards along a well-worn path, it’s actually easy to see where you needed to turn left, right, hop over a stream, reset your compass and so on.

There are some tools that are needed before you set off. Starting a successful agency turns out to have relatively few critical components. They include:

  • A Big Hairy Audacious Goal
  • Your Hedgehog (see Jim Collins, Good To Great)
  • Competitive differentiation (read this article)
  • A strategy map, leading to…
  • An execution map
  • Lead generation process
  • Sales process that focuses on value, not price

There is a separate website that goes into more detail about the critical processes and how I work with founders. It is designed for those who want to start their own agency without having to go through the trial and error which too often leads to failure. If you are planning to start a digital agency, and serious about making certain you are successful, then please do have a read.