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#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WHAT THEY NEVER
TAUGHT YOU ABOUT
GROWING AN AGENCY
Making smart people choices, retaining top
talent...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
• Founded in 2009
• Current Staff of 30 People
• Became a HubSpot Partner in 2011
• HubSpot Diamond ...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
THE BEGINNINGS
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
GETTING IMPACT
OFF THE GROUND
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
FOR THE FIRST 4 YEARS,
THINGS WERE GOING
SMOOTHLY.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
• Built the team up to 18 people, profitably.
• Partnered with HubSpot.
• We were consistently selli...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
AND I WAS ASKED TO PRESENT TO
THE PARTNERS AT INBOUND ’13 ON
“HOW AGENCIES CAN POSITION
THEMSELVES F...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
THINGS WERE EASY.
I THOUGHT I HAD IT FIGURED OUT.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
I DIDN’T.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
2013
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
THINGS WERE NOT AS GREAT AS
THEY APPEARED.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
AND I HAD A LOT TO LEARN.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WHAT HAPPENED
AFTER INBOUND ‘13…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WE MADE EVERY MISTAKE
AN AGENCY COULD MAKE.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WE MADE EVERY MISTAKE
AN AGENCY COULD MAKE.
2015 FELT
LIKE ROCK
BOTTOM.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
IN EARLY 2015…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
BY THE SUMMER OF 2015…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
IT SEEMED LIKE IT HAPPENED
ALL OF A SUDDEN, AND
IT HAPPENED FAST.
MUCH LIKE…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
I HAD TO LOOK INTO THE
MIRROR, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY,
AND FIX THINGS.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
IF ANY OF THIS SOUNDS
FAMILIAR…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
YOU CAN TURN
IT AROUND
LIKE THAT!
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WHAT WE DID
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
Get the right
people on the
bus, the wrong
people off the
bus, and the
right people in
the right sea...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
THIS BROUGHT OUR TEAM FROM
36 23TO
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WE GOT
ALIGNED.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
• We had the highest revenue & profit.
• Employee & client NPS had significantly improved.
• We were...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
Q1 OF ‘16 WAS
SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER
THAN THAT.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
MY GOAL FOR TODAY:
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
SHARE THE LESSONS I’VE
LEARNED AND THE CHANGES
I’VE MADE IN HOPES THAT IT
HELPS YOU ALONG YOUR
JOURN...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
10 LESSONS
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
1
BUILD & MAINTAIN
A COHESIVE
LEADERSHIP TEAM
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
IMPACT’S
LEADERSHIP TEAM
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
2 GET YOUR AGENCY ALIGNED
ON WHERE YOU’RE GOING
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
THIS ACTIVITY WAS ONE OF
THE MOST IMPORTANT
COMPONENTS OF OUR
TURNAROUND
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE DID IT
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
3 DEFINE YOUR CULTURE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
A culture is a way of life of a group of
people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and
symbols that th...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
OUR PURPOSE:
TO HELP PEOPLE AND THEIR
ORGANIZATIONS SUCCEED.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
OUR VISION:
A WORLD WHERE ITS EASIER FOR
BUSINESSES TO GROW.
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
OUR CORE VALUES
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE DEFINED OUR
CULTURE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
4 LIVE YOUR CORE VALUES
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE HIRE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE EVALUATE TALENT
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE FIRE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE USE CORE VALUES TO
RECOGNIZE AND REWARD
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
5 LISTEN TO YOUR PEOPLE
& TAKE ACTION
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WHAT WE DO TO GET HONEST
FEEDBACK
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
• Recognize and Appreciate Candid Feedback
• CEO 360 Degree Feedback
• Weekly One on Ones
• Employee...
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
HOW WE USED FEEDBACK TO
TURNAROUND RETENTION
ISSUES
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
“PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THEIR
FUTURE AT IMPACT”
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
6 DON’T HOLD ON TO
‘B’ PLAYERS FOR TOO LONG
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
7 PEOPLE CAN ALWAYS
DO MORE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
8 NO ROOM FOR BAD
MANAGERS
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
9 DON’T DELEGATE
HIRING
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
QUESTIONS?
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
ONE FINAL LESSON…
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
10 ENJOY THE RIDE
#INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
WHAT THEY NEVER
TAUGHT YOU ABOUT
GROWING AN AGENCY
Making smart people choices, retaining top
talent...
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Bob Ruffalo - What They Never Taught You About Growing an Agency

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When we started our agencies, we thought about doing great work, generating profits, and freedom. But we underestimated what it takes to be a leader of a growing marketing agency. And once we hit that “ceiling,” it was hard to break through. We realized that what we did to get our agency here, is not longer what we need to get our agency there. Hear Bob's experience and advice on how to hire and evaluate talent, make people changes, overcome internal crisis, live your purpose and values in everything you do, make your people want to stay with you, and break through that ceiling!

Published in: Business
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Bob Ruffalo - What They Never Taught You About Growing an Agency

  1. 1. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WHAT THEY NEVER TAUGHT YOU ABOUT GROWING AN AGENCY Making smart people choices, retaining top talent, overcoming crisis, and more. Bob Ruffolo, IMPACT
  2. 2. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO • Founded in 2009 • Current Staff of 30 People • Became a HubSpot Partner in 2011 • HubSpot Diamond Partner
  3. 3. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO THE BEGINNINGS
  4. 4. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO GETTING IMPACT OFF THE GROUND
  5. 5. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
  6. 6. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO FOR THE FIRST 4 YEARS, THINGS WERE GOING SMOOTHLY.
  7. 7. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO • Built the team up to 18 people, profitably. • Partnered with HubSpot. • We were consistently selling retainers. • Became a Gold Partner within 9 months. BETWEEN 2009 AND 2013
  8. 8. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO AND I WAS ASKED TO PRESENT TO THE PARTNERS AT INBOUND ’13 ON “HOW AGENCIES CAN POSITION THEMSELVES FOR LARGER RETAINERS AND GROWTH.”
  9. 9. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO THINGS WERE EASY. I THOUGHT I HAD IT FIGURED OUT.
  10. 10. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO I DIDN’T.
  11. 11. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 2013
  12. 12. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO THINGS WERE NOT AS GREAT AS THEY APPEARED.
  13. 13. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO AND I HAD A LOT TO LEARN.
  14. 14. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WHAT HAPPENED AFTER INBOUND ‘13…
  15. 15. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WE MADE EVERY MISTAKE AN AGENCY COULD MAKE.
  16. 16. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WE MADE EVERY MISTAKE AN AGENCY COULD MAKE. 2015 FELT LIKE ROCK BOTTOM.
  17. 17. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO IN EARLY 2015…
  18. 18. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO BY THE SUMMER OF 2015…
  19. 19. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO IT SEEMED LIKE IT HAPPENED ALL OF A SUDDEN, AND IT HAPPENED FAST. MUCH LIKE…
  20. 20. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
  21. 21. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO I HAD TO LOOK INTO THE MIRROR, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, AND FIX THINGS.
  22. 22. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO IF ANY OF THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR…
  23. 23. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO YOU CAN TURN IT AROUND LIKE THAT!
  24. 24. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WHAT WE DID
  25. 25. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. “ ”- Jim Collins
  26. 26. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO THIS BROUGHT OUR TEAM FROM 36 23TO
  27. 27. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WE GOT ALIGNED.
  28. 28. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO • We had the highest revenue & profit. • Employee & client NPS had significantly improved. • We were operating as a collective unit. Q4 OF ‘15 WAS THE BEST QUARTER WE EVER HAD
  29. 29. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO Q1 OF ‘16 WAS SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER THAN THAT.
  30. 30. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO MY GOAL FOR TODAY:
  31. 31. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO SHARE THE LESSONS I’VE LEARNED AND THE CHANGES I’VE MADE IN HOPES THAT IT HELPS YOU ALONG YOUR JOURNEY.
  32. 32. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 10 LESSONS
  33. 33. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 1 BUILD & MAINTAIN A COHESIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
  34. 34. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO IMPACT’S LEADERSHIP TEAM
  35. 35. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 2 GET YOUR AGENCY ALIGNED ON WHERE YOU’RE GOING
  36. 36. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO THIS ACTIVITY WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF OUR TURNAROUND
  37. 37. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE DID IT
  38. 38. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 3 DEFINE YOUR CULTURE
  39. 39. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
  40. 40. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO OUR PURPOSE: TO HELP PEOPLE AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS SUCCEED.
  41. 41. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO OUR VISION: A WORLD WHERE ITS EASIER FOR BUSINESSES TO GROW.
  42. 42. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO OUR CORE VALUES
  43. 43. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE DEFINED OUR CULTURE
  44. 44. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 4 LIVE YOUR CORE VALUES
  45. 45. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE HIRE
  46. 46. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE EVALUATE TALENT
  47. 47. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE FIRE
  48. 48. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE USE CORE VALUES TO RECOGNIZE AND REWARD
  49. 49. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO
  50. 50. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 5 LISTEN TO YOUR PEOPLE & TAKE ACTION
  51. 51. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WHAT WE DO TO GET HONEST FEEDBACK
  52. 52. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO • Recognize and Appreciate Candid Feedback • CEO 360 Degree Feedback • Weekly One on Ones • Employee Surveys • Really Care to Listen WHAT WE DO TO GET HONEST FEEDBACK
  53. 53. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO HOW WE USED FEEDBACK TO TURNAROUND RETENTION ISSUES
  54. 54. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO “PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THEIR FUTURE AT IMPACT”
  55. 55. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 6 DON’T HOLD ON TO ‘B’ PLAYERS FOR TOO LONG
  56. 56. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 7 PEOPLE CAN ALWAYS DO MORE
  57. 57. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 8 NO ROOM FOR BAD MANAGERS
  58. 58. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 9 DON’T DELEGATE HIRING
  59. 59. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO QUESTIONS?
  60. 60. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO ONE FINAL LESSON…
  61. 61. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO 10 ENJOY THE RIDE
  62. 62. #INBOUND16@BOBRUFFOLO WHAT THEY NEVER TAUGHT YOU ABOUT GROWING AN AGENCY Making smart people choices, retaining top talent, overcoming crisis, and more. Bob Ruffolo, IMPACT

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